Women and financial dependency

(74 Posts)
BlingLoving Thu 28-Mar-13 15:54:07

In the last few days I have seen thread after thread from women asking about what to do about money as they're not earning any on ML or as SAHM and so they have to ask their DP for money whenever they need anything. Many of them make the point that DP pays for everything else so they feel bad asking him for money for anything else.

I want to both cry and scream simultaneously.

Please point me to some kind of charitable organisation or lobbying group or something that is working to address this issue. Because if there isn't one, I think I am actually going to have to start one myself.

rustybusty Fri 29-Mar-13 08:32:05

Just get all the money you earn and put it in to one account with no individual accounts from early on. We have had one account since age 18 together, and it never causes arguments.

The reason I think the ideal would be a minimum wage level child benefit paid to the person looking after the DC is that a wealthy husband doesn't always mean that the SAHM has enough money. Wealthy men can be financially abusive too.

As to 'wages for housework', I'm a bit less sure about that one, as everyone, whether married, a parent, sharing with friends or living alone, has to do housework or pay someone to do it - or live in a tip, but it's up to them.

However, small children need to be cared for by an adult, and the adult caring for the small children needs an income. If the children you care for are not your own, you get paid for it. It's work. It should be waged.

Mandytm Fri 29-Mar-13 11:08:32

It is work but it is also the responsibility of the parents to fund the bringing up of their own children. It's not the responsibility of the state or tax payer.

I shouldn't subsidise the financial abuse within the parental partnership if my neighbours.

biryani Fri 29-Mar-13 13:58:08

Op:I'm not sure what your point is. Please clarify!

Personally, I find it sad because I would expect women to have a degree of financial independence regardless of whether she's in a relationship. Is this what you mean?

BlingLoving Fri 29-Mar-13 15:16:14

Sgb. That is exactly my point. I am outraged that in a relationship o w person, usually the woman, can have so much less wealth than the other. It's not the state tht should fix this. Rather couples Shoukd take a more collaborative approach.

SatsukiKusukabe Fri 29-Mar-13 16:08:12

I don't believe in a financialy abusive relationship the sahp would have access to the money given to them anyway. it would just increase the wealth of the abuser.

Darkesteyes Fri 29-Mar-13 21:31:27

There is a long running thread on the relationships board which is a good example of financial abuse.

WidowWadman Fri 29-Mar-13 22:47:12

"Yes in an ideal world work, child care etc. would be shared 50/50 we don't live in an ideal world. "

Well, I do, so speak for yourself.

And yes, I'm aware that a lot of women are in financial dependency, and that uneven splits are the status quo. It doesn't have to be that way. The answer to this is not the insisting on a joint account, to which (apart from cb) he is the sole contributor. Even if she's got full free access, she's still 100% dependent on his earnings, which always will make her weaker.

BlingLoving Sat 30-Mar-13 08:03:21

Widow, that is a fair point but falls outside of the scope of what I am thinking about. I am currently just concerned with the financial inequality within marriage .

I have been thinking about this a lot since I originally posted. It comes down to a continuing deep seated misogyny in that he assumption is that the man does the "important" things (work etc) while the woman and children are just another "cost centre".

I have been that SAHM
Joint account. But he had savings that came out first. And I had none. And he had spreadsheets for every penny. And I used to be questioned on what I spent. Endlessly.

Now I earn my own money, have a DP/BF but he doesn't live with me. My choice. I worked too hard for my independence to give it up.

(Current DP has never given an hint he might be financially abusive or in any way not fair with money. It's me. Not him. )

Andro Sat 30-Mar-13 16:58:07

DH and I have a joint account into which we each put the same amount (salaries are roughly the same), that covers all bills plus some - including child related necessities. Combining our finances completely would have been a headache of mammoth proportions and really not worth the hassle. With that said, if we ever found ourselves in the position of both being completely dependent on one salary the split would be equal NQA.

BeeBawBabbity Sat 30-Mar-13 18:28:03

So if you both put money in proportionately, that also meant that he had more spending money than you? As you were married and livign together and sharing your lives, did you think it was fair that he had more money for general spending than you did?

I hadn't really considered that this arrangement wasn't fair, it's what we've done for years. Admittedly the discrepancy in wages wasn't huge, and was due to me working part time. So I guess as he was working longer hours it seemed reasonable that he had a bit more spending money. I could have worked more hours if I wanted, but I didn't (free childcare from grandparents).

What about when the kids are older (high school) and the SAHP still doesn't work? Should they still be entitled to exactly the same financial benefit as the wage earner then, when the staying at home is more of a choice than a necessity? I appreciate the years out will have affected their earning potential a great deal.

I am disgusted by some of the financial abuse I read about on mn.

WidowWadman Sat 30-Mar-13 18:54:20

blingloving how can it be out of scope? How the income is earned and by who surely is central to this?

NotMostPeople Sat 30-Mar-13 19:07:04

BeeBawBabbity my dc's are older, one leaves primary school this year then the youngest leaves next year. It is a choice to be a Sahm, a joint choice. Can you explain why I should be penalised financially for us both making this choice? What's left over after bills is split equally in our marriage. I honestly don't know what circumstances would dictate that this should change.

NotMostPeople Sat 30-Mar-13 19:09:22

And yes being out of the workplace does seriously affect your earnings. When I stopped work fourteen years ago I earned 50k, I applied recently for a job earning 6k and I didn't get an interview.

BlingLoving Sat 30-Mar-13 20:32:25

Widow, for me, how/who earns should be irrelevant. My point is that if you are a partnership, how the money comes in and who earns it should not affect the spending power of one partner over the other.

So, in my case, I earn 100% of the money but dh and I have equal spending power. The fact that I earn it does not give me additional financial freedom.

BeeBawBabbity Sat 30-Mar-13 21:14:02

Notmostpeople, I guess it just seems like the person who doesn't work and has older kids will have a much easier life. For many years. If that's what you've agreed then fine. But I can understand that it might not work as well for everyone.

NotMostPeople Sat 30-Mar-13 23:09:25

If we are feminists then we believe that both partners should have equal say in any decisions that includes the decision that one partner stays at home. Is it right that the working partner says "we'll I think it's best for our family that you stay at home, but because I worker harder than you I should have more money". Really?

BeeBawBabbity Sat 30-Mar-13 23:38:48

No, I agree of course that both partners should be involved in making the right decision for them. But staying home in the later years when childcare is significantly easier is in itself a privilege. An alternative to work and wages.

I'm not knocking your choices, it must be hard having your career affected by time out doing an important job raising your kids. And if both parents work similar hours I agree it is fairest to split leftover money regardless of wages earned. But if one works longer hours than the other I don't see the problem with the harder worker having a bit more cash. That's why I never questioned contributing proportionally to the bills, as mentioned upthread, which left me with a bit less cash than my partner. My time at home was worth more to me than the money I would have had if I'd been working.

I guess a lot of it comes down to whether it is still actually a choice for the sahp, or whether they just cant find work after being out of the job market for a long time.

Snazzynewyear Sat 30-Mar-13 23:46:36

I didn't read Rooble's post as meaning they put the same flat amount in. I read 'proportionately' as meaning they both put the same proportion of their earnings in, ie the higher earner contributes proportionately more.

Also, thinking about Bollockberry's point re family allowance, wasn't it set up because it was tacitly recognised that many women didn't get given money by their partners and so the state had to step in to at least give them something? Annoyingly, then, what the state effectively said, then, is ' a man's money is his own and even we won't interfere with that, but we will throw women who are left penniless as a result a few crumbs and hope that solves things'.

scottishmummy Sat 30-Mar-13 23:56:14

There no charity will give money to housewife with a waged partner,because she unwaged
And to an extent why should they?it's a private arrangement between two partners
Its a precarious financial position To be in but I cannot see what the lobbying issue is tbh?

scottishmummy Sun 31-Mar-13 00:05:22

Are you seriously suggesting the state pay allowance to housewives with git dh?
An individual for benefits purpose can submit their individual claim,paid to them
Tbh if relationship is so fraught then the state paying housewives isn't the answer

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 31-Mar-13 00:31:45

This here is a really interesting article on how couples share finances.

I would say that at least 3 of the women and 1 of the men are being financially abused.

I was surprised by the article - surprised that the only couple who shared finances in a similar way to us, were the happy clappy christian couple (we are both vehement atheists).

We have aways shared finances completely from (and even before) moving in together. We both are completely transparent with regard to money and spending - discuss large purchases - but as a SAHM I have complete control/access to all our finances.

I never realised, before reading this article, how unusual this was.

People who look after children (other than their own) get paid a wage. They get paid the minimum wage. When DS was little and at nursery, his first keyworker left the nursery to go and work on a supermarket checkout because that would pay her more. Basically, looking after little children is seen as women's work and women are seen as not people. Women exist as service appliances.

scottishmummy Sun 31-Mar-13 00:54:37

did you think that was v clever and post modern as you typed it?women as appliances
Its about different market rates for different jobs?that's a legitimate discussion

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