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March 14, 2008

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Good post. I agree with the chores thing, divide it up so all work is relatively evenly divided. My girlfriend and probable future wife will make more money than me (a doctor), and I definitely have no problem with that. I think it is probably as much feeling valuable to the family that is important (but again, I am not married, so what do I know).

My wife does the housework, I do the yardwork, home improvement work, and car maintenance. I consider this a 50/50 arrangement.

My wife and I discussed all of this before we even got engaged. She had come out of a very one sided marriage before and didn't want to be there again. We talked about what we expected chore wise and everything from grocery shopping, to child dicipline to vacuuming.

I think that went a long way to our happiness in marriage. Most people don't ever talk about that even after they are married. Talking about it before really sets the expectations at the right level.

I wonder what age the researchers are? I'm 31 and wouldn't be "surprised" by those results. I've commented this before, but we've talked this out in my office and a large majority of the men I work with (where we're all in our 20s and 30s) have said they'd consider being a stay at home parent, that their wives/girlfriends are the CFOs, etc. And this in the construction field, often seen as a conservative and macho environment.

I think there's only a problem with the wife making more if she uses that fact as some sort of power trip. If she doesn't care, he probably doesn't care.

I agree with curtis that it's important to discuss money issues before marriage. This will prevent a lot of conflict in the future.

My husband and I have equal decision-making authority but we also have individual 'allowances' (for lack of a better word) that we don't have to disclose or justify.

When I met my husband, we met through an online personal ad. We talked about several personal things in emails and then by phone before we actually met in person. He knew that I had had financial problems in the past (bankruptcy in my 20s) and that I had taught myself about finances. His parents did a great job teaching him about finances. He paid cash for cars, had a nice savings account and all I had was a house and several bills. I had rebuilt my credit from the bankruptcy and was doing ok. We are opposites on money, he likes to save, I like to spend, but we are learning to complement each other very well with our strengths and weaknesses. I know what to do with money, I just never had it. He had money and wasn't sure what to do with it. We have separate checking accounts, divided the bills up and never argue about money. All big ticket items are decided on by both of us equally. Small things are at our discretion. It is a system that works well for us and we are both learning valuable lessons from each other.

My goal in life is to be a kept man. I'm well on my way, too, because my wife makes significantly more than I do and I'm fine with that. (just kidding).

I have no problem with my wife making more than I do. I take care of the finances. Although I am getting better about it, I don't do nearly the amount of chores that I should around the house. I do most of the outside work, though. I do kinda consider stressing about the finances making up for some of the chores that I don't do. Wrong? Maybe, but I stress A LOT about our finances.

I've had similar experiences to guinness416. At my workplace (in a traditionally male industry) most of the men earn less than their wives or girlfriends, and that's just fine with them.

I'm also not remotely surprised that most people think that earning more money does not give you more control over money. Couples that do separate finances are likely to make joint financial decisions like buying a house and so on. I can't see why how the couple divide up their money would have any influence over who gets more deciding rights.

The kind of guys that would be threatened by a woman making more today are not the kind of guys I would want to marry, that's for sure.

The best thing for us about both working is that we can outsource all the stuff nobody wants to do, like cleaning and car repair. The only thing we haven't outsourced is cooking, because he loves to do it. Oh, and laundry, which I do.

The kind of guys that would be threatened by a woman making more today are not the kind of guys I would want to marry, that's for sure.

The best thing for us about both working is that we can outsource all the stuff nobody wants to do, like cleaning and car repair. The only thing we haven't outsourced is cooking, because he loves to do it. Oh, and laundry, which I do.

yeah I have been married for 3yrs and finance is a big issue for us; I'm the saver and she is the spender. I think about future and she thinks about present, so it is hell around the house.

"I think there's only a problem with the wife making more if she uses that fact as some sort of power trip. "

This goes both ways. If either spouse thinks that making money gives them the power then there will be a problems. Two friends of my future wife started having money arguments when he just decided to buy a car without even telling her. They got through it, but I think that dynamic will spell trouble for them down the line if it's not fixed. In my experience "I make the money I should be able to spend it" is nothing more than a justification to spend money on something you know you shouldn't buy.

I think it's fashionable these days to write about the "new" family dynamics when the woman makes more money than the man. But if either member a married couple can't see that all resources belong to the family as a whole and must be shared equally then they shouldn't be married in the first place. It especially cheeses me off when I hear a man complain that a woman took half "his" money in a divorce. Please, it was no longer your money as soon as you said "I do". If you can't accept that, then don't get married and please do not have children.

Great comment Pete!

We don't do "his" and "hers" accounts. When two people get married, I believe, they should act as one. Acting as two leads to the marital strife mentioned above. We each get 2% of income to use as we please, the rest goes to an agreed-upon budget.

My wife makes a good income. It comes with the trade-off of more splitting up of chores and other household duties. The traditional roles of husband and wife are changing because of the need for two incomes to make it. We are lucky to be able to save one income and live off another.

My wife makes more than me -- almost five times as much, right now. I'm a part time teacher for a non-profit, and she's a software/systems engineer for a major defense contractor. That's not a problem for us. We both recognize that we have different capabilities, different aptitudes, and different circumstances in life. We recognize that, right now, she's going to rake it in and I'm going to contribute just a bit. And in the future, I'll likely work full-time while she works limited hours and raises the kids. Again, that's not a problem for us.

In terms of division of income: we have a single budget and a joint financial plan. I make sure to put all of the accounting stuff into the spreadsheet, but we both stay aware of what's in there, and we make our decisions jointly. We each have a small discretionary fund ($50/month) and that's as far as "separate money" goes.

In terms of division of labor: whoever has the time does the work. I normally do a lot of the grocery shopping and laundry, we split the dishes, and she does a lot of cleaning. I'm working a lot more hours than I was before so the balance has shifted just a little.

We're definitely not a typical couple... but we're not entirely atypical, either. A lot of couples have similar attitudes, as the article shows.

My husband and I discussed this before we got married (at the time, I had a full-time job, but he had just graduated and was looking). I've always made more money than he has, mostly because I've been in the workforce longer. We pool all our income into a joint account, and then take out equal "allowances", so it hasn't been a big issue.

We also split up the chores on an assigned basis, but either of us will pick up the slack if necessary (examples: if he's working long hours, or if I've been too ill to get much done outside of work).

It has been a big topic when we're discussing children, however. I really want to stay home once our first child is born, but that will cut our income by more than half. If we can afford to do it, I'll certainly be taking over the lion's share of the chores.

I definitely think chores should be split. However, I do have issues with the outdoor yard work vs. housework division of labor. I think indoor chores are endless(laundry, dishes, cooking, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing toilets and tubs, mopping etc..) whereas yard work, home improvements and car maintenance is something that's more occasional. My husband and I have a huge yard and he definitely does all the manual labor and mowing while I do more of the gardening. There are times that he spends a lot of time building or fixing something but overall, heavy yard work tends to be seasonal while the indoor chores never end. I think this is why women tend to think they do more than men around the house. Luckily my husband does do some of the household chores and most of the cooking!

I've noticed that many men in their late 30s or younger want to spend more time with their kids. It makes sense that they don't mind earning less and don't want to be the sole breadwinner. That's a huge burden in this day and age (layoffs, no company loyalty, etc..) and I've known many families who are struggling because the man is laid off and the woman has few skills or doesn't want to work.

BTW, my husband and I do have separate accounts and we've been together for 12 years, but we consider our money as joint.

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