Law School
Personal Finance

Who Takes Care Of the Finances In Your Family?

Ideally, both people in a marriage should contribute equally to managing family finances. However, it usually one person in a relationship takes more responsibility of keeping track of family money.

During the times of Leave It To Beaver, tracking personal finances was a matter of traditional gender roles meaning men usually took care of the money. They would pay the bills and give their wife an allowance for groceries depending on the family’s need. I know some couples that still do this. The husband takes care of all the financial decisions and deposits money into their wife’s account for groceries and clothes for the kids.

Growing up, it seemed like my mom took care of most of the financial upkeep in our house. She’d pay the bills, budget for Christmas and school shopping, and go to the bank. It made sense. My dad was gone a lot with his job, so he probably didn’t have much of a clue when bills were due or even what bills we had. Of course when there was a big financial decision that involved a lot of money, my parents would consult with each other.

In my own family, I’ve taken on the job of keeping track of Kate and I’s finances. I go to the bank to deposit checks and keep tabs on our accounts. While I do a lot of the ministerial things, my wife and I constantly communicate about money. If I notice we’re overspending in an area, we’ll discuss what we can do to remedy it. If either of us wants to make a big purchase, we’ll discuss it with each other and make sure we can afford it. It seems to work for us. I enjoy planning and scheming on how to save and make more money. I also find going to the bank to be extremely satisfying. So taking on this job hasn’t been a burden at all for me. Kate’s happy with the arrangement as well. She’s not a big fan going to the bank and paying bills.

For those of you who are married, who takes care of the finances? The husband or the wife? Or have you figured out a way where both contribute equally? If you’re not married, who took more of the responsibility in keeping tabs on the family’s finances? Your mom or dad?