Lucy, you got some [financial] ‘splainin’ to do!
I have been doing a lot of thinking about family finance and especially the financial relationship between a husband and wife. I do not have all of the answers to solve every problem in this area, but I thought I would share just a few thoughts:
Family finance is about priorities. Both the husband and the wife should contribute to these priorities. It is our money, regardless of who may have directly earned it. My paycheck might be bigger, but Mrs. Stew does a whole lot of things that allow me to do the job for which I am paid.
I am not a fan of “his and hers” money or “his and hers” purchases. All money belongs to the family and all purchases need to be according to the priorities set by that family.
Different areas of financial responsibilities are certainly appropriate. When we were first married, my wife took care of almost all areas of our finances – food, clothing, utility bills and the rest. That did not work out for various reason. Now I take care of monitoring our bank accounts and paying regular bills. Mrs. Stew does a good job caring for the grocery and clothing budget items.
I am more likely to make a major purchase without consulting my wife. Not a good idea. Mrs. Stew is far more likely to consult me if the positions are reversed.
It is sometimes difficult for me to grasp the financial priorities favored by my wife. I think that we could spend more for things that she thinks are important.
A little walking around or “funny” money for each spouse is a good idea.
Open and honest is best.
When one spouse spends money in a way that does not reflect the priorities of the family, it allows the other spouse to rationalize expenditures that do not fit the plan. This can be the catalyst for friction. “Well, you spent money on ________ , so I can spend money on ________ and there is nothing you can do about it!”
Expensive hobbies can present a huge financial problem in a marriage. Hunting, cars, gambling, golf, etc. can place unneeded financial strain on a marriage. A good rule of thumb might be that each spouse is allowed to spend the same amount of money on a hobby. For instance, I gave up golf when I got married. I would love to play again someday, but not until I can afford to bring my wife along!
If both spouses are doing their best to support the financial priorities of the household, then money can never drive those spouses apart.
Hopefully there is a nugget or two here that you can use . . .
Article by Stew
Photo by makelessnoise