Taking Control of the Family Finances: The Role Moms Now Play in Modern Life

Taking Control of the Family Finances: The Role Moms Now Play in Modern Life


The financial ascendance of the female half of the population began with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that made it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of gender. Since women earned only 60% what men did at the time, women only managed to head 10% of households.


Today, a half-century later, the position of women in the workplace and in the home has changed dramatically. Women make between 84% and 93% of what men do. In nearly half of all households now, it is wife or mother who is the primary earner. Equality has been achieved in some measure. Nevertheless, there still are challenges that women face in their new role.


Domestic responsibilities still aren’t equally shared


More millennial women earn advanced college degrees than millennial men and find highly paid employment. In about 40% of families, it’s the wife who makes more than the husband. It isn’t a role that women are happy about. Much talk of emasculation of the husband occurs. Yet, much of the responsibility of running the household and raising children still falls to wives. Men still contribute 30% less to housework and childcare responsibilities than women.


Research done by the Families and Work Institute has found that 53% of young fathers who belong to the millennial generation believe in the traditional role — that men should take care of work outside, and women should take care of domestic responsibilities. Only 8% of millennial men with children actually take on more than half of the childcare responsibilities in the home.


Breadwinner mothers make financial decisions for the family


If it’s women making most of the money, it stands to reason that she would pay for most of the family budget and make the financial decisions. This often leads to friction, because the men don’t really know what their income is good for.


Often, it is necessary for both spouses to sit down to a conversation to determine who pays for what valuable necessity, so that both feel validated.


Mothers don’t take an active financial role


Saving and investing for the future tends to be a challenge when women are in charge. Financial planners have been seeing that women breadwinners did not want to deal with managing the family finances once the money was in the bank. Confidence in an unfamiliar role is usually the reason. If there is any active financial management at all, usually, it is the father who does it.


Women need to take note that this isn’t a very smart choice. Spouses do need to take an active role managing their finances. It’s important to learn how to fix your credit, invest in retirement plans, buy insurance and save for the possibility of a divorce. Women need to learn to be active.


A societal change does take time. It does take time for families to adjust. Working hard for change can smooth the process, however.

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