Sunday, July 15, 2012

Finances & Marriage. Who is Responsible For What?

     The following is in response to a question about my thoughts about finances in a marriage.   Before I start let me state for the record that I have never been married and my thoughts here may very well be my delusional dream about what a marriage should look like in regards to finances.
     I believe that the man should be the head of the household, thus he should take care of his family.  However, given the society that we live in today where most women make more than their husbands, to think that a man can pay for everything is unrealistic.  Unless your man is making a substantial amount of money, you need two incomes to make it nowadays.  I know that I can NOT be in a marriage where we are struggling.  Even though a women would love to be "sat down" and not have to work, if my husband didn't make enough money by himself to be able to support the family and uphold a certain lifestyle, then I would have to take my butt to work and I have no problem with that.  I have always stood by the saying, "I can do bad by myself."  Why get into a relationship or marriage where you were doing better alone, than with someone else?  I never understood that.  "For better or for worse," is all good but why do "worse" when you can do 'better" alone? I'm just saying...
     As far as how the bills are divided, I think that the man should be responsible for the house note and car payments.  The woman should be responsible for utilities and groceries.  That is if there isn't a joint account that both parties should be contributing to for household expenses.  Now the problem here may be just how much each party is contributing and I guess that it should be based on each parties income.  50/50 in a household account is very realistic, as it leaves the other 50% to be put into a separate personal account that I believe both parties should have.
     Some women believe that their separate account should be a "secret" but I don't think that it is necessary to have a "secret" account.  Your husband should know that you do and there doesn't need to be an argument about it.  If you work, you should have your own money and not have to depend on your husband to give you money, although he should still give you money when asked.  I think that it is still very important, even in a marriage, for each party to still have some sort of independence. To have to ask your husband for money every time you want a new dress or shoes, is ridiculous.  You should be able to buy whatever you like.
    Who should pay the bills in a marriage?  I think that it should be, whoever is better with money.  I know that it would not be me, thus, I have to find a husband who handles money well because I do not.  Two people in a marriage who are not good with money spells a recipe for disaster.
     Now that I have given you my views on finances in a marriage, tell me what works for you in your marriage?  Do you have separate accounts or one and how did you decide who was responsible for paying for what?


  1. As a married man, I can tell you how me and my wife handle ours. I am a tad bit more organized than my wife, so she let's me decide how the money is going to be handled. I am currently the only one working, but even when she is, I handle the budgeting. When we were both working, I paid everything out of my checks. We used her check to save and have money in our pockets. Its easy to handle as far as us. I think that people make things harder with all of that secret stuff. Everything is 50/50, no matter who works are not in my house. As a man, I always put more money in my wife's pocket than mines.

  2. My husband is our sole bread winner but only because we've just had a baby and I have not yet been able to find a new job in the current economy and our new home town. We share a joint account and do not have separate accounts. I do the budgeting as I am better with the money. Any money that I would earn though would only go into the savings account rather than the bills because we survive quite happily on his alone.

  3. Those are both excellent examples of how to handle finances in a marriage. I think that it is really what works best for you. Often times people get so caught up on who is paying for what that it can lead to the demise of a marriage. Thanks for the input.

  4. I agree with you in that I can do bad all by myself! I've never been married, but my partner and I are moving in together in a few weeks. He's been married before, and his ex-wife completely burned him. We have already discussed having separate finances, and who is going to pay for what. He is encouraging me to find a part-time job so that I can work on my freelance work more, but I appreciate that he was open about not really feeling like financially he could foot everything on his own.

  5. There's no right way to do it. I've seen the man handle all the finances. I've seen the woman do it too. I've seen both parties put all the money out there with no secrets. I've seen both parties make each other think they're being up front with the money, while keeping secret accounts. It really boils down to communication. I guess as long as people are talking, then a game plan is being established.

    Nice post, TK.


    1. I have been on both sides of the fence..Mu first husband worked while I went to school..He took care of everything..I was too young to appreciate what a good man I had..The second we split everything half and half..he was irresponsible not paying his half..ending up losing a house..I just believe that if you love each other and have built Trust..maybe half and half will work until the man makes enough money to support his wife and children..

  6. For years I made more money than my wife but now she makes more money than me. Our finances have always been joined together and we have no secrets when it comes to money. In forty years we've never had a financial problem we coudn't sit down and talk our way through.

  7. Stephen, that's great. Communication is the key!

  8. I've been married for 2 years and been with my husband for 5. We just started discussing who's responsible for what because he was always the provider and now that I'm working and building my own business its important for me to understand what bills need to be paid and what I am responsible for. I really appreciate this article. Thanks for Tweeting me (inspiringaia) ! :) I followed you and look forward to more posts.

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