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Wednesday, February 27, 2013


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By Barr Godson Nwachukwu

There're men who collect their wives' salaries as soon as they are paid. In this situation, it is expected that the man should disburse all the monies to be expanded in family budgets, contingencies and exigencies. However, this has proved not to be a very reliable and advisable system because it is not always that the man is available to provide for everything his family may need. Moreover, it is not always good for the wife to keep asking for money to buy kerosene today and money to buy matches tomorrow. This frequent asking for money by wives has known to be one of the commonest causes of matrimonial misunderstanding.

There are also men who open up joint account with their wives. These men agree with their wives as to what amount each of them will pay into the account every month. Once that is done, the man does not care what the woman does with the extra- as long as the wife does not spend beyond the extra! This system works if both of them must sign before withdrawal, otherwise, the man may, anytime the devil jumps into him, withdraw the whole money and squanders the whole things and leaves the family starving.

Some men too share out responsibilities in the family with their wives. The man may be responsible for instance, for food purchase, clothing and school fees while the woman is responsible for electricity bills and house rents. This depends on how much the woman earns!

My advice is, KEEP YOUR FINANCES SEPARATE. I know lots of people may argue me, but just remember this isn't about what I think you ought to do, it's about what works. I've seen lots of couples argue about money - in many cases it's contributes to break-ups - but I've never seen it happen in a relationship where the finances were separate. I'm only telling you what I've observed.

There is one aspect I want to touch. If one of you is working all day in the home and with the kids, and therefore not earning anything, the other partner needs to give them a fair share of the money that's left over after the bills are paid( personally I'd suggest half of it). This is not a generous gift, or a favour, but is fair payment for the contribution the non-working partner makes to the partnership. One of you earns the money; one of you looks after the house. You're swapping a share of the earnings for a share in the meals, the clean house and the kids. If one partner wasn't pulling their weight in the house, the other couldn't have earned that money, so it's joint income and should be divided up accordingly. Once that has been done, you can keep your share in a separate bank account.

Finally, if your partner wants to blow all their savings on something you consider a frippery, that's their business.

Barr Godson Nwachukwu can be reached via email:

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