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Family Finance: Who is Paying for What?

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Photography: Denis Raev

In some old traditions, they expect husbands to be the primary, if not sole, breadwinners for his family and wives to stay at home to take care of the family. If this old tradition is still in place in your lives today, then the answer to the question above would be easy for you to answer: the husband will be paying for all the family expenses because the wife will take no part in financial contribution.

However, in this day and age, it is also common for women to work and for wives to also be an active member of the workforce. Modern couples are more practical in their approach to expenses and have understood a "sharing" concept when it comes to expenses, both in weddings and in the subsequent family life. So, when it comes to the double income family setting, who is paying for what?

The subject of how a husband and wife should contribute to the family expense budget depends on an open and honest discussion between them. The decisions that they make should be fair and beneficial for the family. Ideally, when we decide to marry for love, it is worth to remember that a marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman and that "the two shall be one flesh". One "flesh", in body, mind and soul includes meeting the family's financial needs. This understanding debunks the popular "my money is my money and your money is your money" or even the "my money is her money, but her money is her money only" statements.

A very practical way of meeting this financial union is to have any savings and investments in joint names where both husband and wife's incomes are combined and both spouses have access to the money that pays all the family expenses. A joint income makes it "our money" and all expenses will be paid from it, including the amount of money you choose to spare yourselves for hobbies and personal entertainments. Some couples do this already as a means of security that any spouse has access to the couple's money when needed to tend a family emergency. So, who is paying for what? The correct answer would be: "We are paying for our expenses with our money."

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