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.

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:02:45

dh and I are equally dependant on his wage. We discuss large purchases as we did before I got pregnant, because that's what couple should do in our world. general stuff, I never ask it is our money. It has to start with saho and society as a whole valuing what the sahp does. A sahp shouldn't feel they are dependant on the earner any more than the earner is dependant on the sahp

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:06:13

meant to add that even with in feminism I see many disparaging attitudes towards sahp with leads to the idea that they don't "deserve" the money

Well, if one parent is going to be SAHP then the family income should be shared equally ie budget for bills, food, stuff DC need and then any surplus divided equally between adults as spending money. Really that should be agreed in writing before the first DC arrives, but people will wail about that being 'unromantic'... I've seen a few threads where the man pays lip service to the idea that he and his SAHM partner get equal 'spends'.... only hers fund the DCs' dinner money, new clothes, hobbies, treats while he spends his on himself and so she has no new clothes and is walking round in flipflops in the snow because her shoes have fallen apart etc.

TBH my opinion is that, given small children need to be cared for by an adult and every adult needs an income, child benefit should be raised to the level of the minimum wage for parents of DC under 10. I know perfectly well that isn't going to happen in the current climate so don't all start waa-ing and baa-ing about how impossible it is. It's something to aim for. that's all.

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:12:32

I agree with SGB

Rooble Thu 28-Mar-13 16:15:26

I find it really bizarre that either half of a couple would agree to share one salary without ensuring that they had the same understanding of the word "share".
Even before I was a SAHP we used to make a proportionate contribution to the household pot (DH suggestion. I suppose the pot would have been a lot smaller if we'd made an equal contribution) - and I really can't imagine him ever saying any part of our household income was his.
But have never heard of a charity which advises. Maybe you should establish one?

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:16:04

or just have joint accounts? it's we have and have never had any difficulties. The only people in thus family who have their "own money is the kids who we have savings accounts for in their names. hmm

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:23:28

actually I think this is interesting and bit shit.. dh set the kids savings accounts up on his lunch break so they have his name on them.. but you can only have one parents name on them? He asked me if I'd prefer to be the on them but I'm not worried about him, think it could be a problem for couples seperating though where financial abuse is a concern.

BlingLoving Thu 28-Mar-13 16:27:25

Rooble, I'm afraid you're in my list of women I'd be targeting. From what you say, i imagine that pre DC you earnt less than him? 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?

But... your overall point is a good one, and yes, I am seriously trying to think about how to lobby on this point because it's starting to get me down. I spoke to a woman I don't know well the other day and she was laughingly saying that as her DH hadn't gone to all of her fertility treatments with her, she had paid them all and was feeling a bit broke as a result so she'd told him he had to buy her a gift. I didn't really understand why she was responsible for funding fertility treatment.

BlingLoving Thu 28-Mar-13 16:30:11

SGB - absolutely. The more I think about it, the more I realise it's about more than just women having to ask for money. It's the deep seated assumptions that we see on here time and time again. The money is "shared" but then they each have responsibilities for seperate things? And inevitably, it's the women who has to worry about paying for the children. The follow on from that is that she can't even budget properly because who knows when children will suddenly need new clothes or whatever.

Or she has to use "her" money to pay for her bits and peices when she's out with the kids. Because naturally, that's a "treat" for her?!

SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 16:37:08

you know I hadn't thought but if something happened to dh I'd not be able to access the childrens accounts for a while (I'm a beneficiary). And I'd not have his wage after a month which would leave me totally fucked. I'll get myself put down as the person in charge of the account this week

notcitrus Thu 28-Mar-13 16:47:54

You raise some good points that most people don't think about - they agree to share, but don't spend time thinking about what fair sharing is, or set up a joint account to cover the 'bills' but don't consider all those little amounts in cash that seem to add up if you're the main school-handling parent of school-age kids.
It did astonish me how many utilities 'couldn't' have joint names on the bill when we moved house, and presumably MrNC isn't liable for the ones in my name and vice versa?

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 16:49:14

The same sort of people who don't share money, also seem to be the sort where childcare is the responsibility of only one half of the couple.

Funnily enough, it never seems to be that the half which controls the dosh, also controls the childcare.

PiHigh Thu 28-Mar-13 16:53:28

Agree with SGB.

I wonder how much of the disparity pre-kids comes from just continuing as things were pre-marriage. I wouldn't expect someone I'm dating to share their income and perhaps it doesn't get considered upon marriage for some people.

It wasn't really considered in my situation because when we first got married we'd just finished uni and it wasn't long until we were both working on pretty much equal salaries (they only differed by tiny amounts and a little between pay-rise months)

We have equal amounts to spend and we split costs for the kids pretty much equally (though we don't sort it to the last penny iykwim) so swimming lessons I pay the first couple of weeks, he pays the last couple every month. Bits that are needed as and when are either split (if it's a big amount) or we roughly take turns for smaller amounts.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 28-Mar-13 16:58:25

I remember the Wages for Housework campaign back in the 1980's.
Will google it.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 28-Mar-13 17:12:51

From what I recall (if I am correct,and someone please correct me if I am not)the Wages for Housework campaign was based on the belief that womens' unpaid work at home (and outside the home) underpins much paid work outside the home,and ,as such, womens' unpaid work should receive a state funded 'wage'.

Darkesteyes Thu 28-Mar-13 17:19:39
SatsukiKusukabe Thu 28-Mar-13 17:43:10

that is shocking. shock

elastamum Thu 28-Mar-13 17:54:46

There is a huge leap from sharing resources as a couple to a state funded wage for SAHMs. As a LP, I am responsible for earnng the money that keeps us and organising / doing housework and childcare. I cant see how it is fair that I should then fund through tax, a state funded wage to pay other women to do their own housework?

FWIW, I share our childrens expenses 50:50 with my ex.

snowshapes Thu 28-Mar-13 19:29:26

Well, no, elastamum, you would get the child benefit at minimum wage level too as a lone parent. The unpaid work of childcare does not go away if you are a working single parent, you just have less time and 50% less adults to do it.

SGB, you just described the financial sitution of my last marriage, except it was worse than that!

exoticfruits Thu 28-Mar-13 19:33:19

Just have a joint account and 'our' money-you are both earning it.

specialsubject Thu 28-Mar-13 19:50:49

how are you going to 'address' unequal marriages?

finances should be discussed in a mature fashion between equal partners. I can't believe so many men are Victorian wife-beaters. Marriage should be a team effort. If it isn't, the problem is within the marriage.

wages for housework will never happen.

FucktidiaBollockberry Thu 28-Mar-13 23:09:18

Well, 1 in 4 women experience DV during their adult life, so a surprising number of men are in fact, "Victorian wife-beaters" specialsubject.

Although maybe not Victorian...

Family allowance was introduced to acknowledge the fact that childcare was a valuable thing and unfortunately, the way our society shows it values something, is by paying for it.

Obviously it never valued it all that much.

Mandytm Fri 29-Mar-13 00:00:44

A state funded salary for the SAHMs should not be funded by the tax payers - especially if their OH earns enough to support a family but is just keeping it to himself.

Even if the OH didn't make a huge salary, surely if we had a state minimum wage salary for parents we'd be in a situation where people do not reproduce within their financial means but instead make it a full time career ad lifestyle choice?

The solution must be a cultural shift and greater awareness of parental equality.

Before kids, my husband and I always split the financial responsibilities equally. When I stopped working to have a baby we opened a joint account and now everything comes out of there off just his salary. He didn't need to have the situation explained to him but I'm sure a lot of working parents do. I wonder if household and parental finance could play a much larger part of prenatal education via the NHS and NCT?

Startail Fri 29-Mar-13 00:20:38

Don't have DCs with a man you don't have a joint bank account with, simples.

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

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