Answers: The 5 Ways Married Couples Organize Their Money

Answers: The 5 Ways Married Couples Organize Their Money

altMoney Systems In Marriage: Quiz Answers

Check out my last post on common structures for money systems in marriages. I gave you a quiz to see if you could figure out some of the social dynamics attached to each money system—and promised a free half hour consultation to one winner who gets all of the answers correct. Here are the answers:

1. Which systems do you think are related to higher levels of happiness and/or dissatisfaction with family life? For the man? For the woman? System #5 (pooled, joint management) was most satisfactory for both sexes. System #2 (in which men give women allowances) was least satisfactory for both.

2. Most systems are often seen as giving an advantage to men, except for the pooled, joint model.

3. System #2 (with men giving women allowances) is linked to couples with the most money to manage. System #1 (in which the woman consolidates the paychecks and gives the man an allowance) is generally associated with families that have the least money to manage.

Here’s what’s noteworthy about that:

To use the joint, pooled system in the first place, both partners have to have trust, commitment, and teamwork. This is the most common marital system in all developed countries except Japan, typically chosen in about 75% of marriages.

System #2 (in which men give women an allowance) bothers men because they tend to carry all the financial power and the worries about money. Women don’t like this system because they feel that the men have all the financial say. Interestingly enough, this is also the system most likely to be associated with high income, wealthy, well-educated men and couples who have traditional views of the roles of husbands and wives.

Note that women were also very unhappy with the completely separate system (#3) and the partially pooled money system (#4) because they felt that men benefited most from these. Meanwhile, men were neutral on these two systems. On average, men make more money, and in these two systems, they keep more of their money for themselves…while the women pay their half of the bills and end up using their money for more household expenses and things for the family.

Women tend not to be happier when they manage the money themselves, as in scenario #1, because the model of women doling out money to the men is most often associated with families where the money has to be stretched to the limit. Typically these women spend money on necessities only and perceive managing the money to be a domestic chore rather than a source of power or control; other family members’ needs come first. Unlike other developed countries where pooling and managing together is the most common system, this system is the one most commonly found in Japan.

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