It’s reassuring to see more headlines about the growing trend where wives (or women) are earning more about their husbands…since this is the situation in our household. I have been comfortable with it from day one, but it is even better to see that there are so many families in a similar situation. USA Today’s Weekend edition (thanks Bruce) took on this topic head on offering specific advice for men, for women, and for the couple in situations When Wives Earn More. Finding A New Balance: A growing percentage of wives earn more than their spouse, and their families are doing just fine, by Jean Chatzky.
I thought the article offered some sound advice for families (like ours) in this situation, such as accepting your spouse’s parenting skills and banking online to even the money/power playing field in the home.
Accept your spouse’s parenting skills.
Even as she amped up her work hours, Tara Dai had trouble letting go of some child-related tasks that mothers were “supposed” to do, such as taking the kids to the pediatrician and helping them with their homework. In fact, Meers says, it’s in these areas that entertaining a new perspective can be the most enlightening. “The style differences can be really helpful,” she says. “When one parent is about to go bananas because a child won’t eat or something, the other parent will have another way of dealing with it.”
Research has shown that for two-thirds of people, money represents power. The more you share this belief, the better the likelihood that changing income dynamics will wreak havoc at home. Why? Because it puts the higher earner in charge — and marriages work best when power is balanced. To even the playing field, take a step back from the paycheck. Have it direct-deposited into a bank account that you both can access online so you both can keep track of your money in real time. If you maintain individual accounts as well (more below on why this is a good idea), decide together how much money will be transferred from the main joint account into those accounts and how often such transfers will be made. Finally, have those transfers executed automatically every time you get paid.
If you found the advice in the article to be trivial or nothing special, please feel free to share your helpful tip for families where the wife is the breadwinner…