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Canadians believe financial transparency is key to a healthy relationship, but nearly half confess to being dishonest with their partner when it comes to money

New poll commissioned by Coast Capital reveals Canadian couples aren’t being open when it comes to their finances and launches new card game to help spark those conversations

Vancouver, B.C. (January 25, 2023) – New survey data from Coast Capital’s latest poll hosted on the Angus Reid Forum is shining a light on just how uncomfortable Canadians are when it comes to talking about money with their significant other. Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Canada’s largest federal financial cooperative is encouraging people to invest time and attention into meaningful conversations with a new card game for couples to play on their date night, Talk Money to Me.

“When it comes to building a future with our partners, we’re better at talking honestly about topics traditionally thought to be taboo such as sex and politics than about money,’ says Trish Tambellini, Director of Marketing at Coast Capital. “Although the vast majority of Canadians polled (97 per cent) believe financial transparency is crucial to a successful relationship, one-in-five find it difficult to talk about finances with their partners, due to shame, anxiety, fear of conflict or getting it wrong. It appears that money is that final taboo. That one topic that feels too intimate to talk about even with our most intimate partners.”

The Coast Capital poll found that, despite a belief that open conversations about personal finances are fundamental for a successful relationship, full transparency isn’t always the case when Canadians discuss personal finances with their partners. In fact, nearly half (45 per cent) of respondents admitted to being dishonest with their partner when it came to money management.

The poll revealed two key themes when it comes to love and money:

Financial Dishonesty

Financial Shame

  • 45 per cent of Canadians confess to financial dishonesty, most commonly hiding purchases or money and the full amount they spent from their partner.
  • 57 per cent of Canadians don’t know the exact amount of their partner’s savings.
  • 49 per cent of Canadians don’t know the exact amount of their partner’s personal debt.
  • 40 per cent don’t know the exact amount their partner makes.
  • The main reasons for financial dishonesty are conflict of fear of argument (38 per cent), fear of judgment (38 per cent), and their partners’ disapproval (34 per cent).
  • 44 per cent of Canadians say they feel embarrassed or ashamed of their finances.
  • Younger Canadians are more likely to feel embarrassed or ashamed:
    • 56 per cent for Gen Z
    • 55 per cent for Millennials
    • 28 per cent for Boomers
  • Income level and socioeconomic status are playing a role, with those who make $100,000 or more annually more likely to find financial conversations easy, compared to those who make less than $50,000. 

The data also suggests that financial issues are a make or break for Canadian couples, with three-quarters of Canadians (76 per cent) saying that certain financial topics or issues would lead them to consider ending a relationship. This is especially true for younger Canadians, with Gen Z (40 per cent) being twice as likely as Boomers (20 per cent) to say significant differences in attitudes to finances — such as spending and saving — would be a deal breaker.

“Building a strong financial foundation for your relationship is so important, and often, the hardest part is getting started,” Tambellini adds. “That’s why we’ve developed Talk Money to Me, an interactive game designed to help you break the ice about money topics with your partner and start all those important conversations in an approachable way.”

This Valentine’s Day, bare it all (financially) with Coast Capital’s innovative new card game Talk Money to Me. Starting February 7, pick up a free copy at your nearest Coast Capital branch or play online at

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 About this survey

The findings are based on a survey conducted between January 10 to 13, 2023 among a representative sample of 1,549 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. For comparison purposes only, the sample plan would carry a margin of error +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About the Angus Reid Forum

The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

About Coast Capital

At Coast Capital, we’re not dreaming about a better future, we’re building one. We’re a member-owned financial cooperative with an 80-year legacy of unlocking financial opportunities that positively impact people and communities. We believe that every Canadian deserves a financial partner who actually cares how things turn out. Driven by our social purpose, we look at everything we do through the lens of how we can help our 600,000 members, our employees and communities. Ranked in the platinum category of the 2022 Corporate Knight’s Social Purpose Ranking and a proud Certified B Corporation®, we’re part of a global movement building a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system. Each year, we invest 10% of our bottom line into our communities, which over the past two decades totals almost $90M. We’re deeply committed to making our financial cooperative a great place to work as demonstrated by some of our accolades. Coast Capital is a platinum member of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures, and a BC Top Employer. To learn more, visit us online at

Media Contact
Cristina Melo
Account Manager, Citizen Relations (on behalf of Coast Capital)


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