Who Makes the Household Financial Decisions?

Who makes the household financial decisions in your family? Is it the husband? Is it the wife? Who’s responsible? The answer is simple; both of you. Both have equal say, and both should respect each other’s opinion. However, that is not always the case in our culture.

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Men and Women

It is from my experience from financial coaching that the husband tends to be (or wants to be) the decision maker. That is not always the case, but it tends to be very common.

Men and women are different; sometimes their difference can be strengths or weaknesses. Men tend to use money as a scorecard and some cases, their ego is tied to that score card. Women are more relational when it comes to money, they are seeking security and may be less likely to take on risk.

Men’s Ego and the Scorecard

With men, their egos can play a major role in how they handle or discuss the topic of money. I have seen this behavior exhibited in the following scenarios:

  • When I teach Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University,” it is common to see the wife drag the husband in with her. There is probably a good reason she is making him come to the class, and this is perceived by the husband as an insult. Since money can be used as a score card for men, having someone else teach them about money is a blow to their self-esteem. 
  • If a potential client submits an inquiry on my website for financial coaching, it is usually the wife. She is distraught over their financial picture, and she is need of feeling financially secure. Recently, I had a potential client speak to me about coaching, but I would not take them on as a client because the husband refused. The sad thing was that he was a financial planner and practically led his family to ruin. However, his ego prevented someone else advising him about his financial situation.
  • Family members have demonstrated this behavior. I have been contacted by both sides of my family, about advice, all were female. However, the men in the family would not dare seek my advice (except for my Dad), they are usually so confident in their own decisions. The sad thing is that they usually have the bad ideas (including myself).
  • I have been wrapped up in what I perceive is the right answer or approach to a financial situation or goal, but fortunately, I have a spouse who is not afraid to speak her mind and stops me before I do something stupid.

The Partnership

Ultimately, to win with money, both spouses have to be on the same page and both must make the decisions. That doesn’t mean both have to be good with numbers. The person gifted with calculations and spreadsheets can do the work on paper, but both have an equal say in the decision. A marriage is truly a partnership that requires respect and compromise.

Proverbs 31:10-12 says, “(10) Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. (11)Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. (12)She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

Question: If you are married, do you and your spouse make the financial decisions together? 

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I provide one on one financial planning, counseling, and coaching coaching services that will help you develop and implement a plan specific to your unique situation. This may include learning how to create a cash flow plan, save for emergencies and purchases, reduce debt, and build wealth. In addition, I can walk with you through a crisis, such as dealing with harassing debt collectors, bankruptcy, and foreclosure.

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