It won’t surprise you to learn that I am the money manager in our household. Traditionally women have always run the household even where the man is the sole earner. This is because women tend to prioritise better.
NGOs that are involved in alleviating poverty through microfinance initiatives have learnt the unique position of women in the household. Many schemes now focus on handing money over to women because they are much more likely to feed the kids and buy them clothes than buy themselves a radio or whatever the must-have gadget is.
I didn’t make myself the money manager in the household it happened by default. I care more about the bills being paid on time and as an Economist and former investment banker I’m good at understanding mortgages and the small print in contracts so it was a natural role for me to play.
If we look at a very traditional African family of yesteryear the man went to work and he gave his full pay cheque to his wife who in turn gave him his pocket money. Yes, she gave him pocket money from his own earnings. With this pocket money he could do whatever he desired. The rest of the money went towards feeding, clothing and educating the kids. The wife was fully responsible for the latter set of activities.
Personally, I think this is not a bad model at all because the power was relatively balanced. The wife’s position was respected and even though she didn’t earn the money she had a lot of control over it.
Some husbands will not be open to doing this for various reasons. However, you will increase the chances of avoiding financial frustration is you’re open and honest about how you are managing the money. These are my top 3 tips for ensuring you are financially included in the running of your household:
Tips for women that earn more than their husbands:
This is the last article for now on money and relationships. If you have any questions please contact me on twitter @Getting2Wealthy.
“I have a fantastic relationship with money. I use it to buy my freedom.” ~ Gianni Versace
For 2 years until early 2014 I wrote a weekly personal finance and business column for Malawi's leading media house, The Times Group. The target is middle-class, working African women.
This is a reproduction of the articles that appeared in the weekend edition of Malawi News.