BY ESTHER AKPOTOHWO
Women have been known overtime to be home makers. Any woman that has not learnt and developed home management skills may be unable to manage a home.
In the home, school, and church, women are given the necessary training on how to make a home. Having a strong financial management skill is the engine that steers the wheel of the home. This is true, as no home can survive without money. However, some women are unable to plan and put money to good use. Some women engage in wasteful spending. This overtime has wretched many homes, taking them to the cleaners.
From the foregoing, a question that has the ability to generate a debate is on “who should be in charge of the financial management of the home.” Should a woman be in total control of the finance of the home? Should the husband be in custody of the money and give to the woman as needs arise?
There are many schools of thought to this issue. One school of thought advocates that since the man is the head of the home and in tandem with Biblical principles and African culture, the man should be in charge of how money is spent in the home. To this school of thought, if the woman is earning, all her money should be submitted at the feet of the man being the lord of the house.
Many women have described this method as a bitter pill to swallow. This is because, if the man is irresponsible, having vices of drunkenness and womanizing; the woman will have to go through hell as the finance of the home will be unaccounted for, throwing the weight of the expenditure of the home on the shoulder of the woman.
When it becomes unbearable and interventions of various third parties fail, a woman who is self sufficient will have to declare the man unfit and continue to shoulder the finance of the home solo while praying that the man will turn a new leaf. On the other hand some wise and God-fearing men who have this principle have successfully managed the finance of the home without throwing any dust of incapability into the air.
Another school of thought advocates that the woman should be in charge of the finance of the home. This is based on the fact that women are in charge of meeting the basic needs of the home and are expected to make decisions on the go and as such need access to the finance to fast track decisions that will benefit the home. To this school of thought the man may apportion to himself what he needs for his personal expenditure while the bulk of the money should be in the hands of the woman.
Another school of thought strongly advocates that the issue of financial management is relative. This presupposes that financial management is not gender based as some men have been able to learn and develop effective financial management skill better than some women and vice versa. This school of thought advocates that couples take their time to study each other and find out who has a better financial management skill. Whoever is better in managing the finance of the home and can help the home to reach set goals should be in charge of the financial management of the home irrespective of the gender of the person.
For some people, the house should be run on a budget and the duties shared between the couple. Of course taking the lion share of the budget will have to go to the highest paid between the couple. This has worked for some family as it has given the husband and wife the leverage to spend outside the budget of the home if need be as long as the needs of the home has been met. Whatever school of thought you belong to, it is important that you study yourselves and do whatever works for you.