One problem I have in my marriage is that my husband sometimes tells me that I tend to “think like a man.” And honestly, sometimes I can’t tell if it’s the best compliment I’ve ever received or a downright insult.
You see, he tends to be practical and frugal, whereas I’m the risk-taker. He over-analyzes every financial scenario while I lack the patience in weighing my pros and cons. It takes months for him to make a purchase while I tend to go with my gut instinct and sign on the dotted line before the deal is even done.
But yet, our individual pros and cons tend to balance the ying and yang in our marriage. Multiple times it was me who pulled the trigger when it came to buying and selling our homes at the right time, while he was the one spending endless hours researching loans, mortgage rates, and insurance options. Same goes with our day-to-day finances. I tend to make our everyday purchases (like groceries, household items, and clothes) while he balances our credit card bills and manages our cash flow on his apps.
If I relied on him to go grocery shopping, he would end up taking up more time and buying what we don’t need. If he relied on me to pay the bills, I would probably end up throwing my hands in despair and calling it a day.
Yet, new research says that moms are better at handling money than dads. How so? According to The New York Times, fathers tend to be confident about financial matters while mothers are more interested in organizing the day-to-day aspects of money management. They also tend to impart their financial wisdom in ways they see best, making better investors, while dads tend to embrace risks and focus on the results they have.
But that’s not always the case, especially in my own marriage.
What’s more, several studies have found that parents talk to girls less about money than they do with boys. In her book, Smart Mom, Rich Mom, author Kimberly Palmer says that when mothers are the money leaders at home, children tend to take notice. Her advice for heterosexual women in two-parent households I simple: Moms should always be in charge of the management of household finances. She says that traditionally seen gender roles — such as always seeing dad as the earner — can be a problem for girls who are used to seeing men in the driver’s seat. Moms who manage their household finances can counteract some of these stereotypes early, simply by defying them themselves.
Keeping this all in mind, I’m sure a lot of couples won’t agree that assigning certain tasks based on whether or not you have ovaries or testicles is a smart idea. Honestly, I’d rather have my husband flippantly tell me that I make decisions “like a man” than have him assign one of those tasks to me.
In my own household, both my husband and I generate incomes that help bring food to our table. We know our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing the almighty dollar and have never encouraged certain gender roles in our daily tasks. It’s like doing the dishes — one person loads the dirty plates in the dishwasher while the other puts them away. As long as our kids see that it’s a collaborative effort, that’s all that should really matter.
But then again, regardless of gender, I tend to think that the one who wants to do the task or the one who does it better, should do it. Your credit scores (and your marriage for that matter) will benefit more when two people focus on their strengths and skill sets. And wouldn’t that be the best lesson of all?More On