I’ve heard for years that money problems are one of the most common reasons for divorce. If you’ve been married for any length of time, you can probably understand how that happens. Communication about money is TOUGH. And one of the most difficult areas to figure out is who should keep track of finances in the household.
Here’s my quick answer to the question: The one who cares more should be the one to keep track of finances for the family. Often, this will be the one who is more detail-oriented, responsible, and possibly more anxious about the money.
No, I do not think that it always needs to be the husband in a Christian household. As Christians we talk a lot about the husband as the head of the home, and that’s Biblical. But nowhere does the Bible specify that that means only he can do the bookkeeping. If his wife is better at numbers and more diligent about paying bills on time, then he is wise to delegate the job of family accountant to her.
We’ve tried it both ways in our family, although I have been the primary number-cruncher and bill-payer most of the time. For us, with my husband gone so much, it just makes common sense for me to be the one to keep track of finances in our home. Because I’m the one that’s HERE, hello.
And yes, I will freely admit that I’m the one that gets most anxious when the money is tight. Lately I’m LIVING there, lol. But that means that I will pay attention to due dates and balances; I am also the one most likely to say “no.” That can be a good thing, lol.
But it can also be a bad thing. The one who will keep track of finances for the family must not become an overbearing kill-joy. They must not decide that they, and only they, are in charge of what goes out and when. Communication is still critical. The family finances should still be a group effort, with much discussion about how the budget is set up, what things to save for, what things to spend on, etc. For one spouse to leave the other entirely out of the decision-making is a setup for major discord.
And both partners must be open and honest about their own spending. It’s tough when you are trying to balance the checking account and are finding a lot of transactions you knew nothing about. It’s also tough on the other side, when you feel like you have no autonomy for making a decision to use the debit card.
If the current bookkeeper gets tired or frustrated, the other spouse can try for awhile. That is often a way to improve your understanding of how the other guy has been feeling all this time, lol! But don’t expect your spouse to keep track of finances the same way you did. Let them find the system that works best for them.
Money is often a difficult subject already; let’s not make it even more controversial by legislating who “should” keep track of finances for the family. Either spouse can do it; decide together which one it should be and then go from there. Life’s too short to make things more complicated than they need to be!
You know what? That previous sentence is essentially the motto for this blog. If it resonates with you, then you will fit right in — because my mission here is to de-stress life by cutting out the complicated. Sign up for my email newsletter to join me! And as a bonus you will receive a resource that will cut the complicated from one of the most difficult parts of the day — 30+ Ridiculously Easy Dinners for Busy Families on a Budget. Put your email address in the green box in the sidebar! :-)