My husband and I have been married for eleven years and have two children…. He is a technician; I am a professional. The economic and educational burden for the children is mine. I also pay the mortgage and for our housekeeper. Since my husband earns less than I do, there are less things that he is responsible for. At times I feel frustrated because nothing is left for me personally and I don’t know how to bring this up to him because I don’t want him to feel badly. He is a good husband and father.

Dear Friend,

Money is the subject of many marital arguments and the cause of the breakup of many marriages. It is very difficult when the two spouses have different views about money and have different spending priorities…. However, there is no right or wrong way to divide up economic responsibility, so every couple must find what works best for them. Your way of handling the bills is not wrong, but it isn’t working for you as well as it should. The Bible does not address this subject, so we can only offer some suggestions based on our own experiences.

Rather than say that you pay for some things and that your husband pays for other things, we believe that it would be better to say “we pay” the household bills. To accomplish this, we suggest that you open a joint bank account and decide on what percentage of income that each of you should transfer into the joint account every time that you are paid. For example, you could transfer in ninety or ninety-five percent of your income and your husband could do the same. Then all bills would be paid from the joint account, and each of you would still have personal money left over in your personal accounts with which to buy gifts and clothing, as well as for other expenses. The amount that went into the joint account from each of you would be different, but the percentage would be the same.

An alternative you might prefer is for each of you to deposit all your money into the joint account and then come to an agreement on an equal amount for each of you to spend personally. By so doing, what you would each get to spend personally would be the same amount rather than an amount based on a percentage.

With regard to your husband earning less money than you do (as we discuss in Case 397), a man can be respected as the spiritual leader of the home no matter how much money he earns. As a spiritual leader, he is responsible for wisely motivating his children to serve God in an appropriate way for their ages. He should make sure that the family faithfully attends a church where the people’s lives reflect that they have been changed by God’s love. And most importantly, he should be the right example to his family in his personal service to God and in his treatment of his wife and children. Any man who does these things deserves his wife’s respect no matter how much money he makes.

We wish you the best,