Household Finances

Written by Sarah Davis

What expectations should we have about how much each should contribute to joint household budgets?

Our expectation may be that we contribute proportionately according to our income. This is potentially very fair and equitable, but it begs many questions about who decides what, when in reality one partner may be significantly dependent on the other!

Perhaps the smaller financial contributor also happens to be the partner who nevertheless tends to dominate spending decisions: how will the larger contributor feel about paying in the extra to support those decisions?

Alternatively, we might agree that each contributes the same amount; in which case, one partner inevitably is much worse off in terms of their remaining personal disposable income (probably the woman, who took on the major childcare role), with much opportunity to store up grievances. There will of course be those partners for whom money has never been a problem, or who are good at negotiating difficult issues. Most of us are not likely to be so lucky!

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