What If My Spouse Gives Me an Allowance or House Money?

Peter Cade/The Image Bank/Getty Images

There are a lot of different ways to handle money, and different couples will work on a different system. Often one person will do most of the budgeting, pay the bills and handle the majority of the day-to-day tasks that comes with managing your money. This is common. However, there may be situations where one part of the couple is using money to manipulate or control another person. If you are not the primary bread winner or if you stay at home while your spouse works, you may find yourself in a situation where you are vulnerable to this happening to you.

This may be referred to house money or an allowance. Alternately, you and your spouse may agree to give each other allowance, which can also be referred to as Mad Money, or pocket money. Working as a team can help prevent money from ruining your marriage.

Why an Allowance May Help Our Budget? 

If you are using an allowance category to give each partner spending money then it is really not a bad thing. It is important to have a bit of money that you can spend on fun things without being accountable to your spouse or partner. The key is to give a reasonable limit within your budget and to give each partner the same amount. This is not to cover things like normal daily expenses with the allowance. This makes it fair for both partners.

How Can I Tell If My Situation Is Bad?

The easiest way is to tell is how the situation makes you feel. If you and your spouse both have an equal allowance that you agreed on to spend on things you enjoy like clothes shopping or video games, it should not be an issue.

You may want more money, but you should agree on the amount while keeping  all of the other financial goals that you are working toward in mind. If your spouse just told you the amount, you may need to work on the budget together to come up with a solution.

You may be dealing with more serious problems if you are given a tight allowance, and then expected to account for how you spend all of your money.

If your spouse does not share financial information with you, you may be in a situation where you are being controlled by the money. It is important each spouse participates in the budgeting and financial planning. Often this happens when one spouse does not work outside of the home. Other warning signs include not being a signer on the bank accounts or on the home that you own. You may not know all of the bank accounts that your spouse has or even what all the bills are. this one of the more serious signs of financial issues in your marriage.

How Can I Fix the Situation?

If your spouse gives each of you an equal allowance, but you feel that the amount is too low, you may want to work through the budget together. It may be that your spouse knows more about the financial situation you are in, and is giving the amount that you can truly afford. Before you get angry, sit down and work on your budget. You may be in this situation because at the beginning of your relationship you chose not to take an active role in your finances. It may take some effort to prove that you are sincere in becoming more involved with your finances. However, over time this extra work will help you both stay on the same financial page.

If your spouse refuses to include you in the planning, you may need to seek marriage counseling. If there are other warning signs like verbal or physical abuse, you need to seek help immediately. It can be difficult to end a relationship when the other spouse is controlling the finances, and you will need to begin to save money secretly so that you have an exit strategy. If you are a stay at home spouse, this means you will likely need to look for work outside of the home in case you do need to leave. In a volatile situation, you should seek professional counseling either as a couple or for yourself before you make any decisions. They can help you create a solid plan and to communicate your concerns in a way that will keep you safe.