Couples: Who Does The Money Chores?

Who does the money chores at your house? For many healthy couples chores in general get divided. One does the yard. One does the laundry. One got the kids ready for school. The other picked them up. One may balance the checkbook and pay the bills. The other may handle investments and insurance.

However, it’s not uncommon for all the money chores to gravitate toward one partner. Some partners don’t even think of it as a chore. They enjoy watching the accounts, keeping track of spending and saving, and making investment and insurance decisions. How does this evolve?

Money Chore Dynamics

Sometimes, as with other chores like, say, cleaning the pool, if one actually enjoys it, the other is happy to let them do it. Other times, though, the other partner has money avoidance. Money is more than a chore to them. It’s a heavy burden. They gladly hand it off to their willing partner. They say, “Thank you for handling this. I will never understand money stuff.”

Yet, as we all know, what happens if illness, divorce, or death enters this couple’s picture? Now the other partner is doing all the chores. To compound the grief, she or he can feel clueless and vulnerable. Is the new pool service a rip-off? Is the new housekeeper trustworthy? What’s the password to the brokerage account? Heck, how much money do we have and where the &^(*! is it?? What if there’s a bill due and I miss it? Overwhelmed becomes an understatement.

Questions to Ask

How would a couple know if they have a mutual, open understanding about money? Try asking yourselves questions like: Do you both know where the money is and how much? The safe deposit box key? Have you shared passwords to all the accounts? Have you both met with the accountant, the banker, the lawyer, and the financial advisor?

Both of you don’t have to understand investment intricacies and legal mumbo jumbo. But it helps if you both understand your household’s money system, and the professionals who will support you in your potential time of need.

Resources

Not sure if you have covered all your bases? Take the Self-Assessment at the end of The Mindful Money Mentality: How To Find Balance in Your Financial Future. Also, for more information on money avoidance, see Chapter 2.

Want a template to help you get started? One tool developed to help couples map out their financial life is available at: http://www.authenticvisibility.com/roadmap or The Beneficiary Book at:https://amzn.to/2UZ3uat

Holly Donaldson

Holly P. Donaldson, CFP® writes and consults on the psychology of money. Her fee-only, product-free financial planning practice focuses on increasing financial self-efficacy for those seeking a financial navigator to help them make good decisions. She is the author of The Mindful Money Mentality: How to Find Balance in Your Financial Future (Porchview Publishing, 2013) and publisher of the award-winning monthly e-letter, "The View From the Porch." With a fully virtual practice in Seminole, Florida, she primarily serves clients located in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas. Holly will also work with clients who are a good fit located elsewhere in the United States.

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