Who should keep the money in a marriage: husband or wife?

By Thanh Le   March 26, 2023 | 04:47 pm PT
How should we manage our finances as a married couple? Should each partner keep their own, give all of the money to the other partner, or should they keep separate and joint accounts?

These are the questions that newlywed couples often struggle to find an answer to. VnExpress readers weigh in on the debate.

"My husband and I have the same humble beginnings: we came from nothing and received no support from our families. We studied in the same class and graduated together. Therefore, we decided to give all the money to one partner to save money for a house and to raise our child.

Our child was born with a congenital disease, so my husband persuaded me to cut down on my workload to take care of our child. He said he would take care of our finances. I agreed and my income suffered a great blow, becoming much lower than that of my husband and my friends. He knew this, so he willingly gave all of his salary to me. Even though I am an independent woman with a burning passion for making my own money, I still chose to trust my husband. My husband knew how I felt so he gave me everything he earned, even his bonuses.

My initial plan was to try to earn my own living and contribute my share as I do not want to be called a leech. Later on, my husband taught me how to invest to show that I could make my own money too. So I think it all depends on the circumstance; if my husband and I had been dead-set on separating our finances, my son might not have lived. Meanwhile, keeping separate accounts is another popular way of managing finances for many young married couples. Each partner can manage his or her own income and contribute to the family’s joint expenses."

"My husband and I keep our money separate. My husband has his own business so I do not know how much he makes. He never asks about my salary or bonuses either. However, ever since we got married, we have accrued some debt: home loans, loans to build a house, and loans to buy more land. My husband spent most of his money on paying off those loans and the rest was for his personal expenses. I spent my money on our children’s education and food for the family and on myself. Sometimes, if my husband is making quite a bit of money, I ask him to pay for our children’s studies. If he is not doing well financially, I pay for everything and cut down on non-essential items.

When either of us runs out of money, we would happily ask the other for money but we still state the purpose for our spending. Of course, we do not have to pay it back, but we still try to be transparent with each other to show each each other that we respect them. That is why our family has been doing very well so far. My husband and I understand that we make and keep our own money because to be honest, I think each of us has our own lives to live and if we are too controlling of our spouses, marriage would be unbearable."
Hoai Trang

"I would like to show you how my wife and I have been managing our finances for many years now. Our incomes are divided into three categories: joint living expenses, personal expenses, and savings and investment funds.

Living expenses (groceries, water and electricity bills): This is a joint expense. We contribute an amount that is proportionate to our individual incomes and we spend just enough to pay for our living expenses.

Personal expenses: We keep and spend our own money but we need to be transparent about it. For example, my wife can check my account balance anytime and she would know what and who I spend my money on. If she sees that I have been overspending, she would caution me right away and vice versa. With that being said, I am rather lazy so I rarely check her account balance. We would only spend a moderate amount on our personal expenses every month.

Savings and investment funds: The same rule above also applies here; we keep our own money and are transparent with each other about it. I have more knowledge about financial investment than my wife so I often teach her how to invest in stocks or real estate. If she is investing in something high-risk, I would caution her about it immediately. We keep our investment accounts separate from the account for our living expenses to avoid risk. In a worst case scenario where one partner loses his or her entire investment, the other would still have his or her own investment funds and the money for our living expenses would still be safe."
Travis Nguyen

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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