Columnist image
Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


Sign up for BNN Bloomberg's new weekly newsletter, Home Economics, here:

These are very scary times with the second wave of the pandemic pushing infection rates through the roof in many parts of the country.

Added to the health fear, new figures from Statistics Canada show one-third of businesses that managed to survive the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are unsure they will be able to do it a second time.

We know this pandemic has negatively affected Canadians in many facets of their lives, and a recent survey from TD Bank highlights the impacts.

Nearly half of Canadians (46 per cent) say the pandemic has negatively affected their family's financial situation, yet more than one-third (34 per cent) are reluctant to discuss their personal finances, according to the survey results published Thursday.

It does not surprise me people are reluctant to discuss their finances right now. Here’s why:

1. People are embarrassed and may feel they are worse off than everyone else.
2. No one likes to be judged or told what they should or shouldn't do with their money. 
3. As debt levels continue to grow, people have fallen further and further behind. They may feel they will never gain financial control again.
Some believe talking about money is taboo.

I would argue talking about money can release a burden that may be weighing you down. 

Here are a few benefits:

1. Being open and sharing your financial situation can be liberating and could even help someone else. Involving family members in financial discussions, especially as we lead up to the holiday season, can be a great stress reducer. It is not shameful; it is being honest and transparent. 
2. When you talk about money, the financial burden can be shared, financial goals aligned, and financial infidelity can be prevented. I also don’t think it’s fair if the handling of household financial affairs falls to one person. Everyone in a partnership owes it to themselves to be aware of their financial situation. 
3. As potential increases for further job losses, budgeting has to become a family affair. You can't budget effectively if you don't know your numbers. 

Having a discussion around money can begin with a simple dialogue on where you stand financially.  I say a "simple dialogue," but apparently it isn't so simple. 

According to the TD Survey, Canadians would rather have a check-up at the doctor (59 per cent), clean their house (56 per cent), discuss the weather (40 per cent), and heck, 24 per cent would rather discuss politics than money. 

Let's have the money talk – it is a big step in taking control of your financial future.