Revisiting a popular topic:
It has been said that more than half of the divorces in the United States are caused by fights about money or money problems. So the question is… Who should handle the money in a marriage?
Craig & Angela Bickford share their thoughts in this week's He Said/She Said blog.
My feeling is that there is not one perfect answer to this question, more that you should discuss how you feel it should be handled and then come to a common ground on how your family is going to do it. I have found that having all of our family's income in one account and having my wife pay the bills works best for us. We sit down at the beginning of the month and look at what our expected income is going to be and then look at what bills we have to pay. We then discuss the amount of extras we are going to allow ourselves to splurge on or not. I strongly believe that there should be no “secrets” when it comes to your family's money. Both partners should fully disclose the amount of money that they are bringing in, and there should be no point at which it is “my money” or ”your money”. All the money earned by a couple should be “our money” and be used to pay for your family’s activities and responsibilities. I fully believe that one person should be in charge of paying the bills in order to cut down on the confusion. I do not believe that there is an exact answer to the question overall. I think the most important part is for both partners to be actively involved in the process of handling the money, and most importantly that money is being communicated about openly and honestly. The rest of the answers will fall into place if everything is being laid out on the table with nothing being hidden from each other.
I agree with Craig for the most part. Traditionally, when men used to be the sole breadwinners, they also handled the family money. Nowadays though, things are a bit different, and many people like to keep their money separate. I personally think this causes more problems than it solves, and like Craig, tend to think that open communication and complete honesty about money is better than holding back and keeping secrets. One thing we do to help with that, since all of our money goes to the same joint account, is that we both have individual accounts still where our decided upon 'allowance' money goes. With this money, we can do whatever we want and don't have to run our purchases by the other spouse. However, we don't keep these accounts secret from each other, and since I manage the money for our family, I see the ins and outs of all of our accounts. As for who manages the money - I think that it comes down to who wants to do it and who is better at it. We are both great with money and wouldn't mind doing it, but I manage the money because I am more organized and on top of it and am better at it in that sense. Bottom line though - no matter who manages the money - communicate about it frequently.
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