What Canadians would rather do than talk about money

Toronto: Canadians seem rather reluctant to chat about their finances — especially with the pandemic hanging over their heads.

So, what, according to a TD Bank survey, would they rather talk about?

  • 59% would rather go for a physical check-up with a doctor.
  • 56% would rather clean their house top to bottom.
  • 40% would rather discuss the weather.
  • 24% would rather discuss politics.
  • 8% would rather bridge the topic of religion.

The TD survey shows that six in ten (58%) say they are willing to talk to family members about their financial situation, while only three in ten will talk to someone at their bank (31%) or friends (28%).

The survey also showed that this hesitancy to talk about money both in-person and online translates into a reluctance to talk about finances even with a dedicated financial professional. Surprisingly, six in ten (59%) survey respondents say they are less scared of going to the doctor than meeting with their financial advisor, with 1 in 10 (13%) admitting they’d rather get a root canal, which highlights the lengths that some Canadians will go to in order to avoid talking about money.

The survey was conducted in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of Financial Literacy Month in Canada. The recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) found that while nearly half (46%) of Canadians say Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their family’s financial situation, talking about money remains a touchy subject.

Despite Covid’s ongoing impact, a third (34%) of Canadians surveyed are uncomfortable talking about their finances, creating a real barrier to financial recovery or achieving their financial goals. Among those who say that they are uncomfortable talking about their personal finances, they attribute their motivations to good-old Canadian courtesy.

The largest proportion of respondents indicated they don’t think it’s polite to talk about money (37%), don’t want it to seem like they’re bragging (13%), or don’t want to be judged (18%).

However, there is also a sizeable proportion of respondents who say they aren’t comfortable talking about finances because either their financial situation isn’t great right now (28%), they are struggling and don’t know who to turn to (12%), or they aren’t confident managing their money and are embarrassed to talk about it (9%).

“We know that for many Canadians, talking about their financial situation can feel uncomfortable but asking for help when it comes to money is an incredibly important step towards financial health and confidence,” says Dave Golen, Associate Vice President, Customer Strategy. “As a supporter of financial education in Canada, we’re working to help remove the stigma often associated with having conversations about personal finances.”

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