More spend time stressing about personal finances than love lives, according to the results of an online poll.

By Francine Kopun, Business reporter

Personal finances, money, love, financial plan, financial goals

Canadians spend more time thinking about money than they do about their love lives, according to new research released by BMO Financial Group.

Almost two-thirds of Canadians — 63 per cent — who participated in a recent online survey identified personal finances as the top issue on their minds. Only 14 per cent said their love lives are top-of-mind.

Results varied by region. Ontario residents were most likely to be pre-occupied with finances — 69 per cent said they were — while only 11 per cent cited their love lives as their primary preoccupation.

Quebecers were the least likely to be preoccupied with money — only 55 per cent said they were. They were also the most likely to be preoccupied with their love lives — 17 per cent cited it as their main concern.

The study also found that the percentage of Canadians with a financial plan is down compared to last year, 59 per cent now versus 64 per cent in 2012. Among Canadians who have a plan, 82 per cent said having one helped them achieve their financial goals and nearly 70 per cent said they wish they’d created one sooner.

“If people want to reduce the time they spend thinking about dollars and cents and be more secure about their overall financial situation, they should consider working with a professional to develop a financial plan,” according to Caroline Dabu, vice president and head, BMO Wealth Planning Group.

There are also numerous online tools to help families budget as well as personal software.

Personal finance guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade offers free advice on her website and has also launched a new website to help people tutor each other when it comes to money:

The online BMO survey was conducted by Pollara with a random sample of 1,007 Canadians 18 years of age and over, between October 24th and 29th, 2013.

Respondents were asked to rank items according to how much time they spend thinking about them. The items included finances, vacation, love life, shopping, television and movies and the weekend.

First published in the Toronto Star on November 28, 2013


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