Why You and Your Spouse Should Have Financial Chores

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Financial chores aren't just for kids. Couples who have them work together better and manage their budget in a way that benefits the entire family.

A few weeks ago, I was totally overwhelmed by the mail on my desk. I had a lot of important paperwork in there including checks that had to be deposited, license and car registration renewal forms, and a few pieces of paperwork that had to be scanned to send to my accountant as well.

Every time I tried to do one thing, it seemed like it took way longer than it should have. Eventually, I came to the realization that I had to ask my husband for help. I’ve always taken care of paperwork and bills ever since the first month we were married and he forgot to pay the water bill, which has been and will forevermore be called “The Water Bill Incident.”

Limited Time Makes Chores Difficult


Yet, now, after adding two kids and an increasingly busy business to run, I just couldn’t do all the financial chores anymore. You would think I could, given that I’m employed as a personal finance writer, but things were starting to slip.

Despite my husband’s busy schedule and impending board exams for medical school, I asked him to take on a few of these financial chores in addition to his chores around the house (we both have a list of cleaning chores we have to do every day to keep our marriage and house intact.)

Once he realized that I was drowning in bank letters and an endless list of financial chores, he was more than happy to step in and help. Unfortunately, I waited until I was at a breaking point when things had really piled up when I should have started asking for help a long time ago.

Asking For Help


It’s hard for me to ask for help. I’ve mentioned before that I’m stubborn and fiercely independent. I like to be able to do it all and take care of things like financial chores for my family. However, I underestimated just how much having children would affect my ability to do the smallest task, like scanning a document to send to my accountant.

My son can actually reach my printer now and spends several minutes a day opening and closing the top of it as if it’s the most fascinating thing in the world. Needless to say, not much scanning gets done while he is awake.

The Result


Stubborn as I am, help is what I needed. Interestingly enough, the more involved my husband became in our day to day finances, the more he was aware of our budget, our bank balances, and our overall financial heath. There were so many times in the past when I’d ask him if we could afford something and he’d just say, “You would know. You’re in charge of our money.” But now, I feel like we are both in charge of it.

Now, he knows the answer. He still comes in the door at the end of the day and hands me all the mail, but now I feel comfortable asking him to drop a check in the mail, when before I’d put both kids in the stroller and walk to the post office.

Financial chores aren't just for kids. Couples who have them work together better and manage their budget in a way that benefits the entire family.

It’s hard to break an independent streak, but I would encourage anyone who does the majority of the financial chores to get their partner involved. I never wanted to bother my husband or make him break away from his studies. My thought was that anything I could do for him, even if it was dropping off a piece of mail, was a few more minutes he could study.

Now I realize that we are a team and he actually doesn’t mind helping at all. My attempt to “save” him from the financial chores only created more work and stress for me.

So, the moral of the story is that you and your significant other should both have financial chores. If you work together, you might be surprised at the positive results. Not only will they realize how much work it is to keep a family’s finances straight, but they actually might adjust their mindset or spending patterns once they realize where you stand financially.


Who does the financial chores in your house? How much time do you spend every day or week taking care of paying bills or managing your/your family’s finances? How would letting your partner help out change things? 

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Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for parents who want to better their finances and take on a more active financial role in their families.


  • Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says:

    I am glad that my wife is taking care of the task (paying bills). Honestly, I cannot imagine how I can make time to pay those build because of work and side hustles. Every Saturday is the day when I and my wife discuss expenses, budget, meal planning, etc.

  • Fervent Finance says:

    Just like any other chore I think divvying up the financial chores is a great idea. I’ve mostly got my finances on auto pilot, but I probably spend 10 to 15 minutes a day on my finances. Seems like a lot if you add it up, but I like to know where everything is on a daily basis.

  • Hannah says:

    I think that it’s particularly important for each spouse to be able to do all the financial stuff (access accounts, pay bills, invest, etc.), but the division of labor should probably fall more on the lines of willingness and competency.

    I have a few funny (now, at the time they were infuriating) stories about asking my husband to organize things, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just to picky to have his help on that.

    • Cat says:

      Ha we all have stories like that! And I agree. Just for the safety of everyone I feel like everyone should have knowledge of all accounts.

  • Kathy says:

    I handle all the bill paying and entering things on Quicken. My husband tracks our investments and does a monthly budget report based on my Quicken report. Once a week, we have a brief sit-down and discuss what happened to our investments that week…..lately it’s been bleak….and once a month we do a longer budget meeting and discuss the successes and failures in the categories we have set up. All together, we meet for maybe an hour a month but the time we spend on maintenance of the accounts and on investment research is more.

  • Shannon @ Financially Blonde says:

    It’s weird because up until about two years ago, my hubby managed the household finances mostly by himself and I always thought that I was just too busy making money to concern myself with it. However, once I chose to get involved in our home, I think my hubby really appreciated my participation because it took some slack off of him, but now we are both watching the money and not much gets through the cracks with both of us on it rather than just one of us.

    • Cat says:

      Yeah that’s actually really cool. I would have thought you always did the finances so that’s interesting!

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

    I’m a big fan of dividing and conquering on our chores. Thankfully, we’ve got a pretty good system worked out, but, we’re also OK with asking the other one for help if needed. Mr. FW pays the bills, but then I file them, so I suppose we’re both involved in that process to an extent. But, we’re mostly pretty clearly divided on our roles–I never cook and he never does laundry so we kind of need each other to get through the day ;).

  • Travis @enemyofdebt says:

    I do the heavy lifting….BUT my wife and I talk about our finances every week. Basically, I make sure the bills are paid,and we decide together how to spend what’s left over. It works for us!

  • Deacon says:

    We have most of our bills on auto-draft, but we did recently get the Every Dollar app and Kim is starting to help categorize everything.

  • Mrs. Budgets @MrandMrsBudgets says:

    I do all the financials in my household. Mr. Budgets is extremely busy, he has his full time job and a fine jewelry business he is trying to grow. I even do the books for our side business. I think we make a great team though. He’s so creative but doesn’t like dealing with money. I can spend all day making financial spreadsheets but don’t have an artistic bone in my body. Though, I make sure he knows how were doing financially and where all our money is for both business and personal accounts.

  • Tre says:

    I used to do all the financial stuff, but a couple years ago we split up the chores. It made a huge difference in our marriage and opened up the conversation on finances.

  • Jefferson says:

    Nice post, and a good thought.

    It’s important for both sides in the relationship to have a clear understanding of the couple’s finances.

  • Dane Hinson says:

    It really is a good idea to “divide and conquer”. For the longest time I’ve handled 100% of our household’s financial chores. My wife and I have always been on the same page as far as goals are concerned but we didn’t divvy up the chores. Recently we’ve started balance the work load which has balanced the burden as well. Definitely a good step to take with your significant other.

  • Gary @ Super Saving Tips says:

    My wife used to do all the financial chores, but we’d always go over everything together. Last year, I decided to take on the day-to-day tasks, while she still creates the monthly report on how we’re doing versus budget, etc., and of course, we still go over them together. We use Quicken so we both have easy access to our records at any time, and it’s always good to have two sets of eyes looking it over, especially when we have multiple checking and saving accounts, and multiple credit cards to churn.

  • Kristi says:

    I am trying really hard to become more involved in the finances. My husband is a lot like you, Cat. He’s fiercely independent and doesn’t like asking for help with anything.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Great post, Cat 🙂 I handle most of the bill-paying and such but you are absolutely right; finances work better when both partners are involved!

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