Household finance

Who manages the finances in your household ?  

I know this is a delicate topic — money is something I tend to avoid discussing on my blog as it is both personal and considered by people in different ways—some people are very open on this topic, whilst others think this is a very private matter. So, please, I do not wish to be nosy . . . just interested, as I have read different approaches to household finance and wondered how it worked for you.

Many a marriage has broken up or been strained over finance—too much money, not enough money, wasting money, credit card expenditure, saving money, household debt, partners having different goals . . . it really can be the root of all evil but we can't live without it no matter how hard we try.

In Australia, 75% of wives either completely manage or has some say in the family finances. This is quite a change to my mother’s generation where far fewer wives managed the finances.  This created a major problem when their husbands died and the widows had to manage their money alone for the first time.  I can remember my mother telling me stories of a few of her lady friends who needed help making phone calls to the bank as they had never done it before.

When we were first married, my DH managed all the finances, however it didn’t take me long to see that it wasn’t working.  DH wasn't the best organised when it came to paying bills, he had other more important things on his mind.  So when we came home one afternoon to find that we had no power due to a late bill, I decided it was time to take control and I have ever since and so far the power has remained on!

I manage all the day-to-day finances, making sure the bills are paid and the money is where it should be.  I don’t discuss the day-to-day finances with my husband as he trusts me to do the right thing.  It is not because he isn’t interested, its just that he knows that I am in full control and everything will be paid on time —he also knows that I will discuss any anomalies with the bills if they arise.  We aren't one for sitting down once a fortnight to discuss money or bills, partly because the bills we get each month rarely vary. I decide when things will be paid and how much we spend on things like food, but once again this doesn't vary a great deal each fortnight.

We do discuss the big ticket items and generally agree (sometimes after some discussion) and what we buy is based on a mutual decision that we have both reached. Interestedly, I’m not one for months of consideration before buying something, I am more likely to make a quick decision — DH needs a little more time to “think” so I need to remember this and allow him his "time"!! However, when it comes to computers he does "his thing" and I have very little involvement — he knows what he is buying and if it is value for money.  I wouldn't have a clue!  And when it comes to the kitchen, I do "my thing".  it seems to work quite well.

With me handling the household finances, DH has time to focus on other things — this is part of being his helpmate.


  1. This is just too timely...I am sure you were listening to my adult daughter and my conversation, which we were having while you were writing this.

    We have done both in our household and we are more successful when I am managing the money and he could focus on his job. Saying that, there was a period of time that many in the church taught it was wrong for the woman to handle the finances...we switched to let my hubby handle it and it was a really is who is best at it should do the job...I am sending this to my daughter.

  2. In our home, my husband is in charge of the finances. Of the two of us, he's the saver and most capable of thinking long-term when it comes to finances. I'm mostly hands off. But nothing is hidden from me, my husband listens to my input and I'm more than able to take up the responsibilities should the need arise (I have a degree in Finance!). I receive a monthly allowance (my husband does too) and I'm given the grocery envelope (we have a cash-based budget) since I handle the grocery shopping/meal planning. This arrangement works best for us. I have complete faith in my husband and having him in charge of the finances has never caused me a day of worry.

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper

  3. I'm in charge of finances in our household, but my husband is involved with decision-making. It just works out best this way - he can focus on other things and I can take care of the bills etc. I don't think the Bible really says anything about who should take care of the finances - we just mustn't love money! We do have an example in the Proverbs 31 woman who seemed to have at least been involved. Her husband fully trusted her, and it says SHE considered a field and bought it - she must have played quite a big role in financial aspects and decisions! :)

  4. Janette – my husband would hate to do the finance now and very happy that I enjoy doing it and he doesn’t need to worry – I showed him my spreadsheet the other day and he took one look and decided it was all too complicated (but pretty) and I was doing a great job!! You are right – it should be done by the one who can do it the best, whether the husband or wife.

    I taught my son to do the finance and he manages his and his partners and she doesn’t do any – and it works fine for them.

    I have been influenced by my mum who managed the day-to-day finance of our farm as she had the time whereas my dad was too busy being the farmer.

  5. Clara – I think our Proverbs 31 woman was very savvy with money as she was both able to buy the land and bought it herself, so she understood how to purchase land and deal with the banks of the time. She also ran the household which meant managing those costs as well – a very clever woman!

  6. When my hubby and I were first married I managed the books. It was really frustrating for me because he would nickle and dime the account to death and not understand why I was so upset over silly little purchases. This was all due to a lack of communication on both our parts. We finally sat down together and looked over our bills and he saw that those little things added up really quickly. Now he has taken over the books completely. We sit down together once a month to plan out the next month's budget. We both get our own spending money and he leaves the grocery budgeting up to me. It works really well for us this way but I think the biggest key is communication. Great post!

  7. Really Good Post!!

    We provide Mortgage Broker Vancouver to our customers with affordable prices. At our site,

    you will also be amazed with our excellent services.

  8. I agree that money can be “the root of evil”, but we can’t deny that we need it to live. Almost everything we need, we have to pay with money. We actually have to work to earn money too. However, since it is a limited resource, we need to learn how to manage our spending and save it for future expenses. In our home, both my husband and I manage our finances. We both pay our own credit card bills, he pays for the utilities while I budget for groceries. It really requires teamwork to work things out for our household, but it has been helpful and effective for us.

    Hershel Duffey

  9. Hershey's got a point. Money can be a root of all evils, only if it was used in a wrong way. We work hard not to earn more money, but to buy things that we need – our basic needs.


Post a Comment