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One-in-three young Canadian couples keep completely separate bank accounts: RBC poll

Financial stability, parenthood and buying a new home listed as top priorities

TORONTO, March 18, 2010— One-third (34 per cent) of young Canadian couples between the ages of 18 to 35 keep completely separate bank accounts and financial products, with only 10 per cent holding all of their accounts and products jointly, according to a new RBC poll.

Feeling a sense of financial independence (51 per cent) was the main reason why young couples decided to keep completely separate bank accounts and products, with 31 per cent citing having different financial needs. Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of young couples say that planning for a financially stable future is top of mind.

"Discussing financial plans that take into account long-term objectives and life events is essential to any relationship," said Patricia Domingo, Investment & Retirement planner, RBC. "Being on the same page and agreeing on financial priorities can help ease the transition to buying a dream home or starting a family."

The RBC poll found that half (50 per cent) of young Canadian couples say that preparing to have a child in the next five years is really important to them and 41 per cent hope to buy a home in the next five years.

The survey also indicated that nearly half of young Canadian couples (47 per cent) try to live within a set budget but don't always succeed and almost three-quarters (74 per cent) want to be more financially independent.

"Balancing saving and spending can be a challenge, especially when you start to merge your finances with your partner, and each couple should decide together what works for them," added Domingo. "Working with a qualified financial advisor can help couples better understand their financial needs, habits and goals."

RBC offers young couples the following advice to help build and maintain a healthy financial relationship and achieve their life goals:

1) Talk openly with your partner - Discuss your spending and saving habits as well as your values and attitudes surrounding money matters. Be honest about any past mistakes, like defaulting on a student loan or outstanding debts, which may affect both of your finances.

2) Decide on key issues - It's important to decide on key issues such as who pays for which expenses? Who's in charge of paying bills and reconciling bank accounts? What are your financial goals as a couple? What does spending and saving mean to each of you?

3) Review your financial arrangements as a couple - Sit down together and review all of your accounts, plans and investments and simplify as much as possible. Whether you use a joint account or manage separate accounts, keeping a banking account for day-to-day expenses can help make paying bills and tracking spending easier. Working through your financial goals and arrangements together will give you confidence that you are managing your money wisely.

For more information about creating a financial future and advice on banking needs as a couple, download a personalized Guide to Everyday Finance, visit www.rbc.com/couplesandfamilies.

The RBC Poll was conducted by DECODE between November 13 and December 06, 2009. This survey of 1,736 young Canadians, aged 18 to 35 that are living together, was conducted online, with respondents recruited from an online panel. DECODE is a boutique consulting firm that helps its clients decode and engage young people through better insight and innovation.

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Media contacts:
Jill Quinn, RBC, (416) 313-8121
Cyndi Maisonneuve, RBC, (416) 974-1757