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Family Budget | Who should handle the family budget

Updated on April 5, 2014

The Family Budget, A Job for Women or Men?

A family budget also means living with boundaries. Should a mother or father handle the family budget? The parents of families nowadays are both working to earn a living, also both of them are now helping each other with household chores and raising the kids.

Sometimes, money and budgeting creates conflict in the family because the money they are earning cannot sustain the family needs. In my family, my mother received an allowance for food and other household items, the other money was left in my fathers account. When my mother needs money, she will ask my father and my father will decide if it can be provided immediately or they should wait for another month. My mother told me that she doesn't want to handle the whole budget because she cannot save money due to being an impulse buyer. Since I was young, I have never seen them argue about money, they have been together for almost 30 years.

Contrary to my mom, in my family, I handle the whole budget. I decide on everything, savings, investments, and payments. When my husband wants to buy something, he asks me if it is possible now or if he should wait till another month. We have been living together for 7 years and we don't have arguments about money.

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Male or Female

Who should handle the family budget?

Survey Says

A survey by American Express found the sexes largely in agreement that men deal with most of the financial chores in the household. Most men and women agree that men usually handle the grunt work like filing taxes, applying for loans, and making the credit card payments.

However, when it comes to managing the household budget, it appears both genders are taking credit. Nearly two in three women say they manage the budget, but more than half of the men surveyed claim that they do.

Who is better in budgeting

Family budgeting is critical, especially for newlyweds and those starting to have their own family. Financial mismanagement is one of the primary reasons why families are being breaking down. Money is very difficult to manage especially when you just starting to have your own source of income and learning to make your own budget. There are many person who have to be in debt before they learn how to properly budget their hard earned money. Before they have learned their lesson, it's often too late as the damage can be permanent.

Budgeting can be as simple as addition and subtraction, but it can seem like black magic when stretching money to the next paycheck. This is especially true if you don't know how to make the budget properly. Budgeting requires persistence and self discipline. You can't just say, "Whatever will be, will be," especially when you have your own family who depends on you to find ways to provide the essentials of life.

Regardless of whether the husband and wife are both working or only one of them is working, the responsibility of budgeting should be handled by who is best at the job. Four rules to help your family not just survive but thrive financially.

  1. The person who never forgets the due dates of payments. Paying bills like schedule payments for mortgage loans, personal loans, or credit cards are always on his or her mind. Late payments will result in additional unproductive expenses for the family.
  2. The person who can identify the daily needs of the family, from smallest things up to expensive tuition fees. Sometimes, we neglect small things but when sum up, it cost us too much.
  3. Impulsive buyers should not handle the family budget because they lack self control. When implusive buyers are in charge the budget will be broken.
  4. Those who can decide between needs and wants. Needs should be provided immediately, but wants can wait for when there is extra money.

Both Husband and Wife

Budgeting money has a very wide scope. There are numerous ways to structure the work and responsibility, an example might be one person budgets and the other person pays the bills.

In terms of buying things, ask permission first so both sides will know if there is enough money budgeted. Both partners should share their views whether the items is a need or want. By respecting each other's opinions you can show love and respect for your partner while avoiding being impulsive buyers.

Family Budgeting Books

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How could the number of children in a family exert pressure on the parents to determine household spending? I am looking for answers which might be counter-intuitive, possibly affecting fertility rates and also the calorific value of food purchases. A game theoretic approach might be helpful.

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      6 years ago

      Good lens; budgeting should be a joint effort.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice topic for a lens.

    • buttonhead lm profile image

      buttonhead lm 

      6 years ago

      Interesting article! It makes sense to me that both parents should be involved in making, reviewing, and revising the family budget.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I made my remark above in whether it should be the woman or the man, but I'll add it here too... I think both should work together to create a budget that fits their needs and goals as a family, and monthly keep track together and know whether their budget needs adjusting for any surprise thing that may crop up, but then only one person (the one who has the most business sense for spending/saving) take the responsibility to implement all the plans and follow that budget by paying the bills, setting money aside, etc. That way both people know where they stand financially at all times, and both are able to work together better as a team to meet their goals.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A relationship is a matter of two people and so should the budget handling be. Very interesting topic!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      The person that handles the finances the best is the one that needs to be in charge. I do feel that there needs to be constant communication about the budget and finances in any relationship. Great article!

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      The person that handles the finances the best is the one that needs to be in charge. I do feel that there needs to be constant communication about the budget and finances in any relationship. Great article!

    • wilfredpadilla profile image


      6 years ago

      I can handle my money well.

    • kerbev profile image


      6 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I think the person to do the budgeting is the person who can best resist money burning a hole in their pocket. Usually one or the other is naturally inclined to better take the bull by the horns and make certain financial discussions. I don't think it is a gender issue so much as a who spends more issue. Both should have a certain amount of discretionary money accessible to them so they don't feel as though they have to run each purchase by the other. That is an issue of control. There should also be a rule - neither spends more than $x.xx without talking to each other.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have worked in Finance for my whole career so I have always handled the money and done it well

    • Celticep profile image


      6 years ago from North Wales, UK

      I handle our family budget, but usually run it by my partner where larger expenses are concerned. Great lens idea :)

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      6 years ago from Albany New York

      Usually one or the other feels more comforable with handling the money. But both should know what is going on with the finances.

    • JEMArtistry profile image


      6 years ago

      I think it really depends on the couple and who is better at handling money and saving money. :)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Interesting subject. I think the budget should be handled by whomever is good at it -- but that the other spouse should be aware of the household finances, too.


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