Should a Wife Have to Ask for Money?

Sad wife complaining after break up in winter

Most marriages these days are between equals, which is how it should be. But sometimes, there are situations where the wife ends up feeling less than equal. And when it comes to finances, should a wife have to ask for money?

Here are my thoughts:

A wife should communicate with her husband about finances but should not have to ask or beg for an allowance; ideally with both spouses receiving a set amount of monthly spending money. Married couples should be open, honest, and view each other as equals when it comes to all aspects of marriage.

So, couples should combine finances, bank accounts and have an equal say in budgeting and spending. Married couples have equal rights to the bank accounts, whether one or both of them work.

But since you asked, I’ll assume that’s not happening in your marriage.

So, in this article, we’ll look at how to talk to your husband about money and get him to see you as an equal. It’s totally fine if he’s more the breadwinner or budget-nerd. But it’s not fine for him to treat you like a child and make you beg for spending money.

So don’t worry! There is a solution to this sticky subject. Just keep reading!

You CAN change your husband’s controlling behavior before it completely derails your marriage.

I’ve been in your shoes. You want to move beyond the feeling of being not seen as an equal. And you desperately want your marriage to have trust, mutual acceptance, and to feel like you are both on the same team. Ultimately, this isn’t a money problem; it’s a marriage problem.

Luckily, all hope is NOT lost, and there is something you can do, even if your spouse isn’t willing to talk about or work on the problem.

The website Marriage Helper has been helping tens of thousands of marriages for more than 2 decades. Their in-person 3-day event is legendary and has an unbelievable 77% success rate at saving marriages on the brink of divorce.

But you don’t have to pay for that workshop- especially if your husband isn’t even likely to be willing to attend.

CLICK HERE to book a virtual session with one of their marriage coaches. You can meet just you or with your husband, and get your marriage not only back on track, but better than it ever was!

You literally have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

Should a husband give his wife spending money even if she works?

A husband and wife should each have a set amount of spending money each month that is part of their monthly budget. Whether or not the wife works is irrelevant. And the most successful marriages are ones where all income and expenses are combined.

So, it’s no longer “his” and “hers”, but “ours”.

If you are both earning money, or if just one of you is earning money, the money earned belongs to both of you.

It would be incredibly inequitable if all of the wife’s wages go to take care of the household, but the husband gets to spend indiscriminately. The same would be true if the roles were reversed.

Ideally, you will consult each other before making large purchases, but all of your money and resources are shared equally.

So, no, your husband shouldn’t give you spending money. Your collective money is just as much yours to spend as it is his.

Marriage is a partnership. It is a mutual construct for support, love, and companionship. 

If a husband doesn’t give his wife money simply because she also works, in effect, it means he is making it clear that she is on her own. That she is not part of the team. It also means he doesn’t see her as an equal.

In that case, you don’t have a money problem as much as a marriage problem.

All of the collective money in the relationship belongs to both of you. His salary is also your salary, and vice versa.

But the key is to have a monthly budget you both agree to. Then on that budget, you each allocate yourselves spending money that is yours to spend as you please.

Does a husband have to give his wife money?

Yes, a husband is bound by law to provide money to his wife. Wives have a legal right to secure basic needs for herself and their children from her husband. 

(source)

If your husband is actively withholding money from you, or if he makes you itemize every little thing you purchase, that could be considered financial abuse. It is a way to control you and keep or gain power in your relationship.

Financial abuse is often the first sign of domestic abuse. 

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, where you are physically, emotionally, or financially abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233). They can help you, regardless of financial status.

If your husband is just being lazy, and you have to frequently remind him to give you money, following a budget may help.

And ideally, you both have access to the same debit and credit cards, so really, as long as the two of you have agreements about spending, there really shouldn’t be any asking on your part.

The exception, of course, would be for large purchases.

When you set up a budget, you’ll talk about what it takes to run a household. You’ll discuss future plans, like travel or retirement. You’ll also talk about paying off debt and even spending money on incidentals, like clothes, manicures, and the like.

Remind your husband that you are a team and that you should be handling money as such.

For some tips and tricks on how to talk to your husband about budgeting, just read this recent article. I also got into what to do if one of you has trouble sticking to the budget or routinely blows it.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Is it wrong that a husband makes his wife ask for money?

A wife should not have to remind or grovel to her husband for money for household or personal expenses. A husband and wife should have an equal say and access to bank accounts. And while there should be spending agreements, a wife should not have to seek permission.

If your husband makes you ask for money, it could lead to resentment. It could ultimately be the downfall of the relationship. Money problems and disagreements around finances are in the top three reasons for marriages ending in divorce.

Making you ask for money is also a way for him to exert control over you. 

Marriage should bring about financial stability for the less wealthy spouse, not make it harder. After all, assets accumulated during the marriage will be divided equally in a divorce.

When your spouse dies, you will get all of their assets, barring some state laws. Furthermore, you will get your husband’s Social Security benefits when he dies.

A separate bank account in your name could help alleviate the need for your husband to be reminded. When his paycheck goes into the joint account, he could have a certain amount of money go directly into your account.

Alternatively, you could consider doing a cash envelope system. 

Once you and/or your husband gets paid, pull out whatever cash you’ll need to get through the week. Have an envelope for incidentals for him and an envelope for you. Then, you’ll have what you need, and you won’t have to ask for money.

Want more tips on how to make the cash envelope system work?

I don’t do that now, but I did for years while I got our financial house in order. And I wrote a detailed guide to the cash envelope system to help you get started with it. I covered the 1 tip that is crucial to actually making it work.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

If you are both financially responsible enough, consider having a joint credit card. Put all of your expenses on the card, including personal expenses. Then, when the bill comes, just pay it off all at once.

Then nobody has to ask anyone for money, and with the right card, you can earn cashback. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Should married couples keep their finances separate?

It’s better for married couples to share bank accounts. Fights about money and problems with money are often one of the top three reasons for divorce. Combining finances is one of the best ways to minimize that.

In fact, over 50% of married couples share bank accounts. It keeps couples aware of each other’s spending habits and makes it easier for both of you to pay bills.

When you get married, you join together.

But when you keep your finances separate from one another, you are essentially keeping a big part of your life separate, too.

When you combine income, bills, and debt, you are agreeing to join together with your spouse to take on those things together. If you came into the marriage with college debt, that debt becomes your husband’s debt, too. You work together to pay it off.

But there are many more reasons to share bank accounts.

In this recent article, I go into depth about all of the reasons to share bank accounts, how to get it set up if you’re separate now, and the 1 disaster you absolutely want to avoid.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Should non-married couples keep finances separate?

While married couples should keep finances combined, couples that are not married should keep their finances separate. This is because, unlike an official divorce decree, non-married couples have no official process of separating assets in the event of a breakup.

And I know; no one plans to break up. But stuff happens.

Trust me. I once bought a house with a (now ex) girlfriend. When we broke up after she decided she liked the married brother of my best friend better, I had NO legal recourse to sell the house.

I couldn’t sell it or even refinance it without her signature.

And guess what she wanted? That’s right. A large amount of cash. In fact, if memory serves, she wanted about twice her half of the actual equity in the house. I eventually caved and gave it to her as I had no other options and wanted to not be tethered to her anymore.

So breaking up with someone you aren’t married to, you will have to figure out whose money is whose. 

It will be very hard to prove who put what money in, especially if you both work and pay the bills. You won’t have any protections if the other party just decides to clean out the account.

Remember too that when a married couple breaks up, there is a legal document that spells out exactly who gets what. When a non-married couple breaks up, no such document exists.

That means it’s up to the two of you to figure it out and agree.

And guess what? Breakups are often messy. And sometimes angry. And depending on how much money or assets we’re talking about, you could find yourself in a lawsuit.

But if you are in a long-term committed relationship, and you feel like it’s the best thing for you, then go for it. Just keep in mind that it is a big risk, no matter how long you’ve been together.

You should also consider using a budget app to keep track of expenses, savings, and investing. 

Just read this recent article where I go over nine of the best budgeting apps for couples. There are some really great budgeting apps out there.

There are simple ones that just focus on budgeting. There are more complex ones that do everything and incorporate spending, saving, and investing along with budgeting.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Final thoughts

You should never have to ask your husband for spending money, especially if he is the sole provider.

As the breadwinner in the family, it is his job to provide for and support the family. This means making sure you have what you need, too.

A good way to ensure that everyone is having their needs met, is to set up a family budget. That way everyone can see where the money is going and how much you are putting into savings.

You CAN change your husband’s controlling behavior before it completely derails your marriage.

I’ve been in your shoes. You want to move beyond the feeling of being not seen as an equal. And you desperately want your marriage to have trust, mutual acceptance, and to feel like you are both on the same team. Ultimately, this isn’t a money problem; it’s a marriage problem.

Luckily, all hope is NOT lost, and there is something you can do, even if your spouse isn’t willing to talk about or work on the problem.

The website Marriage Helper has been helping tens of thousands of marriages for more than 2 decades. Their in-person 3-day event is legendary and has an unbelievable 77% success rate at saving marriages on the brink of divorce.

But you don’t have to pay for that workshop- especially if your husband isn’t even likely to be willing to attend.

CLICK HERE to book a virtual session with one of their marriage coaches. You can meet just you or with your husband, and get your marriage not only back on track, but better than it ever was!

You literally have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.

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