The Secret to Managing Money as a Couple

Libby Kane

If you’re in a relationship—or have ever been in a relationship—you know that managing money as a twosome can be tricky.

We get questions every day about … how should we divide it? Who should pay for what? So when rather controversial research came out suggesting there’s a whole new way to divide your money in a couple, we perked up.

Especially since, in many traditional American households, the husband manages the investments while the wife manages daily budgeting and spending …. and that, researchers say, might be all wrong.

They make the argument that there are specific financial roles within a household that better suit a man or a woman … and they’re the ones you might least expect.

The Findings

In the 2009 National Marriage Project report The State of Our Unions, Ronald T. Wilcox, faculty fellow at the National Marriage Project and professor of business administration at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, presents evidence that a non-traditional arrangement of a household’s finances might be best: That is, the woman invests and the man determines the day-to-day budgeting and spending.

According to Wilcox, we develop feelings of ownership over household tasks, from who empties the dishwasher to who pays the cable bill. Because of this, couples tend to settle into a routine of who-does-what without necessarily considering who might be more effective at what—and he finds that women would be more effective as the family investors for the following reasons:

1. Men Are Overconfident

“[Men] tend to trade stocks and bonds more actively because they are convinced they know what the next market movement will be,” writes Wilcox. “What is likely to go up, and what is likely to go down. In so doing, they incur a host of transaction costs associated with trading—from commissions and taxes to bid-ask spreads—but do not pick assets any better than women.”

But women, who are well-known to lack confidence around investing, make fewer active trades, so they’re able to generate “risk-adjusted returns,” meaning the returns they can’t get when someone won’t hold onto the stock long enough. In other words, by not trading all the time, their money tends to make more money.

2. Women Look at the Upfront Costs

Women are less likely to pay exorbitant fees with the confidence their investment will earn it back (or to pursue the expensive hot stock of the moment),  which means that they tend to select good, safe mutual and index funds with low fees. This is particularly important because the bulk of household retirement funds are invested in mutual and index funds, and we all know that retirement should be a core concern for women, who have an exclusive set of challenges.

3. Men Don’t Take Advice

If there’s a retirement planning seminar (or an introductory retirement article, for that matter), Wilcox writes that women are much more likely to take advantage. Because they don’t tend to have the same innate confidence in their own knowledge and abilities as their male counterparts, they’re more willing to both take and use investing advice.  

4. Men Make Better Budgeters

“Men lose money at the stockbroker’s office; women lose it at the shopping mall,” argues Wilcox. Thanks to their usual appetite for riskier financial tasks and disinclination toward household budgeting, he says, men might actually be more conscientious, effective holders of the purse strings.

“Even if they don’t enjoy doing it, it is that natural aversion to the activity that is likely to lead to stronger household balance sheets,” he explains. In other words, because they like to get in and out, men, for example, may not spring for a cute new sponge or fresh flowers at the grocery store, thereby driving down your bill.

(And he may have a point: Overspending is one of the seven mistakes women make more than men.)

So, Who Should Do What?

We’ve heard before that women could make the best investors, but the idea that men might be better-suited to household budgeting is a new one.

In the same report, Jeffrey Dew, faculty fellow at the National Marriage Project and assistant professor of Family, Consumer, and Human Development at Utah State University, writes that his new research shows disagreements about money to be the most accurate predictor of divorce, and when a spouse doesn’t believe his or her partner handles money well, reporting marital unhappiness is more likely.

In fact, one study showed that feeling like your partner spent money foolishly increased the likelihood of divorce 45% for both men and women.

But forget men, women and gender for a minute: It stands to reason that if each of us took on the financial tasks for which we’re best suited (and “none” is not an option) within our relationships, we would be happier overall.

What would you be best suited to doing—and what would you assign out to a partner?

Please do tell us in the comments.

  • JackieAU5

    This study is ridiculous and only reinforces gender stereotyping. Everyone is an individual neither men nor women can be put in such an unrealistic box. This is just another example of the importance of paying attention to the way we socialize one another. If we continue to view genders so narrowly, nothing will ever change.

    • Emma Frankart

      Well-said! My fiance doesn’t budget at all, while I track every single penny I spend. Needless to say, we have both agreed that I should manage our dual-income budget post-wedding.

  • KM

    If I left budgeting up to my ex, bills would never get paid on time.  He had a “so what if it’s a few days late” attitude which left me panicked.  The best person to deal with my money is me.

  • Lehman4

    I don’t think this article stereotypes AT ALL.  I have been in control of the finances all my life and really I HATE IT!….Now being divorced, I have no choice BUT to take it care of it all myself again.  I make MUCH better decisions when I talk to my boyfriend about finances than I do on my own.  If I could give him all my money, bills, etc. and get an allowance from him, I would do that in a heartbeat!!….And not because I’m a poor little ole woman, it’s because HE makes way better financial decisions and choices than I do

  • Elihu Root

    Seems out-and-out ridiculous to me.  I have known men who were tightfisted with money, and women who were positively worthless with it, and just as many who were the polar opposites of those stereotypes.  The person in a relationship who is best suited to the budgeting and investing should do it.  Full stop.  Anatomy doesn’t matter in the checkbook.

    If you really want to examine the preposterousness of this “controversy”, simply re-read the article and replace “female” with “white” and “male” with “black” (or the races of your preference, I don’t care):

    “Blacks lose money at the stockbroker’s office; Whites lose it at the shopping mall,”

    Sure sounds like something we’re all supposed to be beyond by now, doesn’t it?  How come it’s ok to say it about Gender?

  • SarahP

    I agree that this study reinforces socialized gender stereotypes. The idea that men should control the budget and spending isn’t new, and its an idea that men have used to control their wives. This is dangerous research that supports the idea that women can’t be in control of finances. Women should never completely hand over their finances to anyone. Actively sharing responsibilities for budgeting and investing seems like a much more open and honest way for a couple to deal with money.

  • stam487

    While I don’t think this adds anything of import to the conversation, topics about couples managing money couldn’t come at a better time. My significant other and I just moved into together and are trying to navigate the waters of managing mutual money for bills, groceries, etc. while still tackling our own responsibilities, ie. student and credit card loans, spending money, etc. It’s definitely really difficult, especially when one is a spender (me) and the other is a saver (him).

  • outlawmom

    Good point, but it doesn’t fit for every couple. For example I hate shopping while my husband will wander through every aisle in the grocery store even when we are there just to pick up some milk.

  • hmbl31

    Women will “spring for a cute new sponge”?!?!?! Are you kidding? This article restates some well-known generalizations, but that statement is downright sexist.

    • Lcgregg

       That statement also came from the author of the article (Libby Kane) and NOT from the study. I clicked on the link to the study and read the section that is being reported here. I found that the study was not as “offensive” as the representation in the article.

  • Amanda

    It’s a total wash when it comes to budgeting – people are going to spend money on what they want to spend it on. My boyfriend will spend thousands on a new computer while I’ll spend hundreds on clothes….and I think his spending is stupid and he thinks my spending is stupid. It’s good to just set aside money in separate accounts for free spending and saving….and make decisions together on joint bills such as housing, utilities, groceries, etc. And to make decisions on investing together. That’s my philosophy. If he wants to buy a new computer for $2,000 – go for it out of his own pocket, not mine!

  • Kahart723

    My boyfriend and I just moved in together a few months back and as we’re settling in this is a topic frequently on my mind. One way or another, at least in our household, this research rings pretty true (I’m definitely the one to splurge on flowers!). He’s not a strong investor so he tends to be wary of that aspect anyway but I think this post will help me as a bit of a base as we work on these conversations and our budgeting together.

  • Guest

    I’m really upset to see the title of today’s email “Why a man should control your budget.” This site is meant to empower women to be financially independent, having a title like that only enforces the negative stereotype for women. I haven’t been happy with last few features and this just pushes it over the edge. I’m going to unsubscribe.

    • Mercurialis Sky

      I’m not going to unsubscribe, I’m sure that people thought it was just a “witty” headline while being unintentionally offensive, most likely because the author probably has it worked out this way in their own personal life. But I will say that just because the stereotype is “true” for YOUR relationship (replying to some posters here) it doesn’t make it any less wrong of a statement to make.

      • SC Oster

        I fail to see the harm in reporting the findings of a study….  Does anybody else think that some people might be taking this a little too seriously?

        • i’mokyou’reok

           I agree. Don’t shoot the messenger. It seems some have selectively forgotten that the first word of the subject line and the first paragraph of the article stated that this is a controversy. Yeah, Wilcox didn’t wield his report with much grace or sensitivity; a lot of people don’t. Controversial statements have a tendency to offend, but that doesn’t immediately and totally negate all potential benefits of the piece, nor the positives of LearnVest.

        • jean23bean

          but you can “shoot the messenger” because LearnVest chose to report on this study. There are plenty of studies out there on financial management, etc, yet they picked this one …

    • Kgal1298

      LOL it must have changed mine was secret to managing money as a couple. : / either that or they ran an A/B test on the email…oy this was a bad move considering most of the audience they have is women. 

  • SC Oster

    All of us may decry “stereotypes,” but these findings actually match my husband and I perfectly.  For me, at least, this is one generalization that’s based on truth! 

    Of course, it would be foolish to assume that these findings are appropriate for ALL couples in ALL circumstances.  I think the point is to assess your financial role in your relationship and determine whether your contributions are congruent with your  strengths…

  • Mercurialis Sky

    I have to be in charge of the budgeting because he is the heavy spender at malls, on tv infomercials, on food and on the internet. If it were up to him we’d have about ten gaming systems, a collection of hobby items (weaponry, camping gear and motorcycles) as well as two new vehicles that we can hardly afford. I have to keep one of our savings account in SECRET because if he knew that there were any extra money he would want to go spend it right away.

  • Kcorcoran77

    BIG generalizations here.  Couples are no longer male-female, no one is all male or all female.  Someone needs to come up with another kind of labeling, cuz I know a lot of “females” who love risks and NEVER take advice.  Interesting ideas, but 50 year old labeling at work.

  • FinancialEducatorSince99

    This is absurd and condescending to both men and women.  I’ve been a financial education consultant in a not-for-profit capacity since the 90s and even then this kind of generalizing was considered old hat and offensive back then.  We worked hard to throw out the, ‘A Man is Not A Plan’ idea to get women thinking about becoming savvy in all departments of financial management.  Thanks (not so much) for starting my day off with a lame trip back in time to a place where women were deemed in capable of daily budgeting.  I’m sure single mothers, ladies on their own, and female-female couples around the world who have no choice but to manage all the finances in the house are feeling really empowered by this article (not so much, that was sarcasm).

  • breadwinner

    I control the budget for the most part.  My husband is not interested in money management. I have to beg him to go through the budget with me and when he does, I’ve got five minutes to discuss it. I may also control our investing, once we are able to invest.  I doubt I will be springing for a “new sponge” or flowers.  We have a very basic lifestyle and only spend extra when we have it.  Not every woman is the typical “Shopaholic” the book series wrongly portrays.  Some of us actually know what is in our bank account and what bills we owe!  I do think this article is a little too stereotypical and outdated, and I am not sure that this study included non-stereotypical female and male subjects.

  • janet

    Oh, please. If I let my husband handle the budgeting (or investing, for that matter) we’d be out on the street. He’s just not good with money or thinking long term. So, this theory certainly doesn’t hold true for my relationship.

  • SP

    I think this article was trying to get at this but came up short: people should not stick to common gender roles when managing finances, but should instead focus on their financial strengths, risk-taking habits,  and shopping habits. The article would be a lot more effective if it was framed this way instead of showing what men and women should do, but then including a short sentence at the end about how we should do what we’re best at.

    Lately, I find that LV is trying to be a bit too attention-grabbing with their headlines and emails, sacrificing content and outraging readers.

    • Jenna

      I feel exactly the same way about both the article and the email headlines!

  • Nancysonjajacobs

    The idea of the man’s propensity to quick in and out at the grocery store works well only if the man is also cooking. It backfires when he omits dinner ingredients (couldn’t find it, didn’t like it, too expensive, forgot it), the food cannot be adequately prepared as a result, and the family has to eat out as a result. If he also has to cook and get creative in the kitchen to compensate for his grocery omission, perhaps it’s a good balance. Otherwise inordinate extra stress on the relationship and the budget, bottom line. Is he ready to be responsible from start to finish, and are you ready to eat his mistakes (all puns intended)?

  • Disgusted

    “Men lose money at the stockbroker’s office; women lose it at the shopping mall,”

    Are you effing kidding me??  These are the most ridiculous generalizations and perpetuation of stereotypes that women have worked so hard to overcome – we are not all silly little girls who throw away our money on the first pair of designer shoes or handbags we see.  Please. We’re smart, intelligent, and we know how to splurge while managing our finances – I thought *this* was what LearnVest was about.  But if LearnVest is actually about treating us like airheads instead of instilling real money managing values, I think I’d rather unsubscribe.  Gross.

  • Laura H

    Gee, my husband does spend a great deal less at the grocery store because he never buys anything for dinners or lunches…and going out to eat costs a lot more than that fancy new sponge I may pick up.. he doesn’t check prices, just buys, while I am very budget conscious and figure out cost per oz, buy when items we use are on sale,etc. He goes through money like it grows on trees, and I save, save, save and invest. Your sterotypes are ridiculous to me, each person needs to be considered regardless of gender.

  • shadow_angel79

    “none” is an option when the other individual in the relationship has zero respect for money. In my case my husband is the one who always says “I need new pants, shoes, shirt etc…” and left to his own devices spends $100 on a pair of jeans that he ruins in 3 months or less. He’s the one that invested $500 (because that’s all he had) into a stock he was convinced was going to go far and it ended up crashing to 0.

    He willingly gives me the reigns on the finances because he knows that he will put us in the hole if he so much as looks at budgeting or investing. He has no real respect for money and doesn’t understand how to save; sometimes in a relationship “none” does apply in certain cases and this is one of them.

  • nickdico

    My wife hates budgeting, and looks to me to take charge in approaching most of our financial decisions before we make them (jointly). However, there is little harm in this article pointing out that men and women ARE in fact DIFFERENT (its called DNA people) in a non-stereotypical tone. People calm down, and quit thinking every news story is directly about you.

    When looking at budgeting its way better to make one together, and not rely just on your partner (be man/woman). I find it fascinating to know more about what my gender typically does, because its knowledge about my potential future behavior!

  • nancymanyhats

    For decades now, most couples fight and divorce over money. I’ve always managed the money, investing, taxes, etc. and would never turn this over to any man.

  • Cheryl in CC NV

    As it happens, my husband and I actually do follow the advice in the article.  We collaborate and discuss everything, but he is more involved than is stereo-typical in day to day stuff, and I am more involved than is stereo-typical in investing.

    It really is a matter of stepping back from doing things automatically because of tradition, and taking the time to figure out what would really work best.

  • Elissa

    my husband definitely is the spender and I’m the saver.  Luckily I make more money and he’s not allowed to touch mine, so we’re doing fine :)

    neither one of us invests though. Well, I have a 401k, but I don’t know what the money’s in. That’s probably not a good thing…

  • RobD

    Men and women are different, and these differences do affect how they feel about handling money.  However, these are still generalizations and have no bearing on how responsible people manage finances.

    If a budget is not made in advance and adhered to fiercely, it does not exist. Spending plans should be done cooperatively.  Investing should be done using a properly qualified financial planner or advisor. This alleviates the issues associated with lack of knowledge and confidence issues. Many if not most advisors will perform such basic financial plans at little or no cost.

    Rob Drury
    Executive Director,
    Association of Christian Financial Advisors

    • Kmacdoula

       Going through FPU (Financial Peace University) has helped my family immeasurably. In about 10 months time we will have gotten out from under $45,000+ in debt. Let me tell you, if you are willing to stick to a budget and cut the frivolous spending, you CAN get your debt, and your life under control.

      • RobD

        You won’t find too many bigger fans of FPU than me (I coordinated the program for two years), but it lacks the key element I mentioned above. What Dave does well, he does better than anyone I know of; and that is budgeting, debt reduction, and motivating folks to be proactive in getting control of their money. Beyond that, most of his advice ranges from generic to downright harmful. Get an advisor, preferably not a Dave Ramsey endorsed one.

        • Kmacdoula

           Rob, I have to adamantly disagree with you! Reducing your debt and setting up a budget TOGETHER as a TEAM, can NEVER be “downright harmful” which is what he’s all about!

          Call me crazy..

          • RobD

            Hmmm, you apparently didn’t read my post very carefully. I stated that in my opinion, Dave is absolutely second-to-none at those things that you claim he’s “all about” (budgeting, debt). I was referring to other areas of the program, particularly his views on insurance and investment. In these areas, he is, at best, terribly ignorant. His highly generalized advice in these areas is correct for most people most of the time, but could be absolutely devastating for certain scenarios.

          • Kmacdoula

             Like fall off a cliff “devastating”? Come On! He doesn’t really go into much on either of those topics and admits to not doing so and tells his people to seek out a GOOD financial adviser… So throwing Dave over the cliff is over doing it a bit too much.. :)

          • RobD

            No; like “destroying the possibility of an acceptable lifestyle devastating.”  Would you prefer I use a milder word to describe that?

  • ATurner

    It seems to me that the majority of these comments are from women (and men) who are concerned with investing AND daily budgets, which doesn’t surprise me as we are subscribers to a sight directed toward those interested in bettering their money habits or gaining knowledge in money matters. While I too was concerned when reading statements such as
    “Men lose money at the stockbroker’s office; women lose it at the shopping mall,” I think the message is that THIS is a stereotype. And each couple should look beyond common gender roles and find the combination that works for them.Personally, I know that while it is neccessary that I do the grocery shopping so that I end up with all the crucial ingredients necessary to fix an edible dinner; I am less likely to shop for unnecessary items when my boyfriend is with me because he is both budget concious and impatient.

  • Kmacdoula

    A fact that I have found among the many couples that I have known over the years, is that one is ALWAYS more frugal and the other one ALWAYS more of a free spirited spender. We are just wired, I believe, to get together with the opposite of ourselves. The frugal type is often also more serious and more introverted, while the spender is more outgoing and more extroverted. We tend to gravitate to what we don’t have in ourselves… Ain’t life grand!

    That being said, if you know you are the more frugal one (male or female), I think that you should handle the bookkeeping…
    NOT the purse strings, the bookkeeping! Each person should have some discretionary fun $$ that the other person can’t have ANY opinion on… :)

    Remember that money is the #1 reason for divorce! So if we can realize that we are wired differently and NOT NECESSARILY WRONG, we will get along so much better!

    • Cheryl in CC NV

      fantastic, yes!

  • Courtneykristen06

    This sounds just like my husband and I! He does investments and I do everything else. I love to shop, so I know that if he controlled household spending we would save a ton of $$ every month. I have always wished he would let me do the investments-I was top of my class with my stock portfolio! Maybe I can show him this and convince him it really is a good idea :)

  • SwissMiss06

    As per usual your gem of a writer, Libby Kane, knocks it out of the park. I am in a serious relationship with an incredibly wealthy lawyer and I know he will enjoy this article just as much as me. Thank you Ms. Kane for doing the research so I don’t have to!

  • Knowledge is power

    As a man, as odd as this might sound, I actually signed up with LV BECAUSE it appeared to be aimed at women, and in my experience, women have become more and more savvy about finances as well as other aspects of life because they seek out such information.  Granted, guys seek out this information typically about sports, cars, tools, or the latest toys (oh yeah!), but women (again IMHO), tend to seek out ‘advice’ sources about practical, recurring issues that affect daily and long-term security and happiness.  If there is a gender bias here, chalk it up to women’s nature of sharing and seeking opinions.  More recently (and long overdue) there are finally some men’s sources that are beginning to let men in on this type of ‘resource/information’ acquisition in ways that appeal to us.  Kudos to both sides.  Let’s get together and whip this thing (be it budget, investing, etc.).

  • J K Pelc

    In our home ‘none’ has to be my partner’s money responsibility. He knows nothing about investing and spends without thinking. He’s been bankrupt and if I ever give him spending money it’s gone the next day – no delayed gratification here. If I let him be responsibile for the budgeting we would run out of money pretty quick – and probably have a huge debt. How would you suggest we divide the financial responsibilites?

    • Angel

      My partner and I dont divide the responsibilities. We make a list of groceries and what needs paid. We agree on what we need, and no matter who does what, we stick to the list. This might be a good way to teach your partner without insulting him

  • Rockstar_chick87

    Me and my boyfriend, we just split the bills in half. The only one who is investing or saving anything is me. He pretty much spends all his money, either on bills, or on extra stuff for himself. But I would say he is a good budgeter, he’s always keeping track of his money, knowing how much he has left for what. Unlike me, who is always scared to look at my bank. I try to take a more instinctive approach with my money. I don’t know the specifics of how much I have left, but I have a feeling of how much I have left. But then I tend to spend more than I want to if I don’t watch it. But I can easily take a whole paycheck and put it into my savings without thinking too much into it.

  • Rock

    My wife and I live in  China, and that is being ok.  We are both frugal, but not stingy. I confess I tend to spend more on “things”, that we then share, and I shop carefully for quality that will last.

    We both cook, but I do most, but not all of the shopping. It is a convenience thing, I am more willing to sit 1/2 an hour on a crowded public bus with a couple heavy bags of groceries than she is.  It isn’t that she isn’t good at it.

    In the last ten years I have gradually become our money manager.  It isn’t that I am better at it, we have both tried it in the past and we have both lost money. 

    We are good at saving money, but neither of us is good at figuring out what to do with it after we have saved it.  It sure isn’t growing sitting in the bank these days, even if it is safe.

    Our retirement is really a question these days since we are both in our 50′s, (her early, me late, hahaha).  I have traditionally invested in real estate, and it is ok, but not growing much these days either.  Her investments have been more liquid, in mutual funds and such, but the same has held true.  It is all static these days.

    What do you do when neither of you are good at the long term investments.  We have been using a couple different financial planners, but they aren’t hitting any great marks either?

  • CleoBarker

    I agree with this article. There are always exceptions to the rules, granted. My husband is amazingly good with money and budgeting, while I was a horribly impulsive spender until he helped me, and I started seeking out help in every corner so I could keep improving. Every month I just tell him how much I was paid, and what bills we have coming up and how much I’m putting in savings that paycheck, mostly out of habit- but partially out of reassurance and trust that I’m doing things right. :) We also both go grocery shopping together and he pretty much picks everything out and I pay for them. He also cooks, so its easier that way.
    I invest in a mutual fund and retirement account, but always with his knowledge. My husband doesn’t have these things yet, but my investing beyond my retirement account is not just for me. Its our money and money for our future children. (I also make the bulk of the money in our relationship, so I pay for everything besides car insurance and his cell phone.) He saves every bit of money he doesn’t spend on bills or food or entertainment in his savings once he decides its time to invest as well. Plus of course were saving for the costs that come with a first child. I’ve found that having separate checking accounts but joint savings has really helped. It avoids fights, and since we are aware of how much each other has saved and paid there’s no friction there either.

  • Sandi

    I beg to differ. I think that the traits that you’ve attached to each sex should be attached to each PERSONALITY. Case in point: My father was a dreamer, while my mother was the realist. That meant mom handled household finances but only did the books for dad’s business-dad handled that mess. My ex-husband should never have money-he managed to bankrupt me at age 26, and currently couldn’t help pay for our daughter’s cell phone ($37-50 a month), though he brings home more than double my salary! My current fiance is willing to learn but first he’s had to learn about budgeting. None of them knew a thing about investing-I taught myself and my mother.

  • Sarah M

    As the major foodie in my relationship, and the one who is less likely to stick to a plan, schedule or list, I make the grocery list (since I do most of the cooking) but my boyfriend is the one who GOES to the grocery store! Even if I do stick to the list (which I often don’t), he manages to save me at least 10 bucks by going instead, he finds deals I somehow miss, and I avoid the temptation of all the delicious things I want when I go myself. Anything that’s not on my list, I can go without, and my wallet is happy. Besides, he doesn’t mind and likes doing this nice favor for me! 

  • Samantha

    I appreciate the intention, but I can’t help feeling that this article is totally ridiculous. I am grateful that such broad gender statements are being picked apart and discussed in the comments – and, as many others have expressed, the claims made in this study do not reflect my family at all. I do all of the grocery and household shopping, and my boyfriend and I both acknowledge that it’s for the best. If I even bring him with me on a shopping trip to the market, he finds it EXTREMELY difficult to resist the urge to “impulse buy” (Do we need these cookies? Oh, don’t these chips look so good?! Can we try this juice?) Similarly, I rarely shop for clothes and personal items (let alone visit “the mall”). I think it’s less a matter of which gender is better suited to which task, but more about playing to strengths and weaknesses within the relationship…

    • RobD

      First of all, I agree that individuals are different and a couple should examine the strengths and weaknesses of each partner. However, I find it ridiculous that people are so offended by this discussion. Genders GENERALLY view things differently, and these generalizations exist because they are generally accurate most of the time. Recognize that the man in a relationship is usually more rational and the woman is usually more emotional; then examine where each of you differs from both these “stereotypes” and from each other. Above all else, quit crying “sexism” every time someone notices that there are differences between men and women.

      • Rabbit7954

        Talk about hitting a nail on the head. I will say I have a hard time not buying a pair of shoes or a new outfit also. So I don’t fit all the way into the stereotype they set for a man but I aint going to sit here and cry bout how this article is dribble. Lmao. Which takes us back to what Rob said. Now, wonder if the females can see your point, Rob? LOL

        • RobD

          Well, the rational one will!

  • Myvirtualadvisor

    Holy cow… this article was so poorly executed. I took this statement, “It stands to reason that if each of us took on the financial tasks for which we’re best suited (and “none” is not an option) within our relationships, we would be happier overall” as the thesis of the article.  Did the article really spell this out or just the opposite?

    I do have a question, though…  Sooo, what is exactly the “secret” to managing money as a couple?  Did anyone gather it from the essay? 

    Was it to consider gender-specific proclivities outlined in a study conduct many years prior to 2009 and see if it applies to our situtation?  If they don’t apply then do we just assess which tasks we “ought” to assign ourselves… Wow!  What absolute dribble.  

  • Jennifer Megan Varnadore

    My fiance and I have a tendency to look at money the same way. Neither of us are willing to just go and all out spend the money earned on frivility. We both try to carefully see where money should go to what, and when. We’re not financially secure in the least, but with a sporadic job as a contractor (and odd jobs) and my earning from side stuff like surveys and other things here and there, while taking care of cleaning and cooking and school isn’t much. We’ve learned that we can live on very little money a week, and we still keep going. We’ve been together for two years next month and three days. I think that our financial outlook is compatible, and our views on other things is compatible. I am the one more interested in finance education than he is, but he’s go interests that have thee ability to generate more money than my selling ebooks that I wrote. I was just commenting this on the comment of women spending more at the mall, spending all the money away like it was nothing. I’ve still got clothes that I wore several years ago. I have a tendency to wear things until I cannot do so anymore. I also go to thrift stores, yard sales, etc for my clothing. 2.00 for a pinstripe suit. 1.00 for a dress. It’s much better than a mall, and it costs less. I also take advantage of the clothes others don’t want anymore. I don’t make much money, but I don’t spend much either.

  • deskplant

    As a female orientated finance site I’m disappointed when sexism rears
    its ugly head here. To fall back on ‘all women’ and ‘all men’ as a
    stereotype is surely what suffrage and equal rights is all about: to be
    taken as an individual. Tagging a throwaway comment on the end that we’re all individual is
    puerile: break down the skills without gender and let the reader decide
    who should do what in their own relationship. And if your skills are poor, find a way to train them or tools to help you track the money… This is a ‘turn your back’ article.

    I have extreme issues with the ideas just dangled here too: that ‘women
    lack innate confidence in their own knowledge’ and skills? Why
    precisely? Is is because we are consistently stereotyped and suffer
    poor developmental supports in leadership and confidence which men
    ‘innately’ seem to have. Men don’t have confidence any more than women,
    what they have is bravado and that’s bullishness not real confidence
    and the two should not be confused. Bullying your opinion forward is
    not the same as knowing it’s right.

    The ‘confidence’ link is bizarre and very unhelpful suggesting women’s poor finances are all in their head. Dreadfully wrong. Women are poorer than men by a mile. This is because it’s women who take part time / flexible hours to cope with children – not men. Women will have career breaks to look after kids or ailing parents – not men. Women do not get equal pay and face a glass ceiling – men seldom suffer this way. Moving from the bottom to the top, far fewer women hold executive/CEO posisitons or positions in Government etc.

    What was needed here is how to develop innate confidence in themselves. How to grow skills and plan for yourself. I’m not impressed with this second rate journalism at all.

  • Laura

    I wish my husband would care more about our finance, I do all the monthly bills and am pretty good at it, while he doesnt care what goes in or out until he wants to make a purchase, then its where is all our money? Makes me feel as if I am not budgeting well enough when the truth is we live really well for the money me make.

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  • mariya

    Accurate information is key to developing and implementing any good strategy. Given the above advice you should be a bit more prepared to go after your personal finance goals and attain some peace of mind. Hire James Gerrard Advisors for the same..

  • Different 4everybody

    The secret to managing money as a couple is figuring out what works best for the both of you. My boyfriend never had any savings before he met me. Once we started dating and becoming serious I expressed to him that savings was important to me and he needed to work on managing his money better especially if he wanted to to do all the things he was talking about like buy me an engagement ring and a house together. 1 year later and he is doing great. He says he’s never had this kind of savings before. I feel good about being able to help him with that. With my own savings and what he’s bringing in we are on the right track to reaching our goals. He’s also helped me in that’s I’m less impulsive I don’t have to buy the $350 dollar purse anymore when I go to the mall because I’d rather save that money for my future with him. I feel that we complement each other financially. We have the same goals and incentives to save so it works. We’ve discussed that I will fully manage finances once we are married. He hates keeping up with bills and paperwork and I love it. He gets bored when I talk 401k, Roth IRA and what we need to contribute to max out. He sees my enthusiasm and let’s me roll with it. It feels good to pay all my bills on time, have zero debt and add to my bank account every month. I like to see where every penny goes and be in control of my money. I don’t mind that he’s giving me the responsibility. He will still have his separate account apart from our joint account in which he will have the freedoms to make purchases without going through me. I will also keep my personal checking/savings apart from our joint account. This works for us but not every couple is the same. I happen to be better at both the budgeting and investing. He’s great at hustling and making money. He works 2 jobs and does little side jobs for extra income. I work a lot less than him – 40 hours a week is enough for me. We’re good at what we’re good at. He’s great at providing and I’m great at managing. I appreciate my hardworking man.