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Marriage and Financial Stress in a Recession

Given the current economic climate of instability, rising unemployment rates, and lay-offs, it is important for spouses to understand and address financial challenges before debt consumes their relationship.

Unlike the Great Depression of the early 1930’s and the 1990’s recession, the majority of Canada’s current household debt has been created by families reaching for credit to finance day-to-day living expenses. According to a 2009 report from the Ottawa-based Vanier Institute of the Family, many Canadian households carry debt loads in the “danger zone.” Further, the accessibility of excessive amounts of credit is allowing couples to finance items, such as plasma televisions and new cars, rather than deferring purchases until they have saved enough money to buy them outright. While new purchases can evoke feelings of excitement and happiness, purchasing on credit does have a price and often a costly one.

While some couples are able to work through money problems

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