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October 01, 2021

Does your spouse give you an allowance each month?

In Japan, where husbands regularly hand over their entire salary to their wives, roughly three quarters of family finances are controlled by women who give their mates an allowance, BBC News reports.

Change47-year-old Taisaku Kubo, for instance, has been getting 50,000 yen a month (roughly $535) from his wife Yuriko for the past 15 years.

He's tried to negotiate a raise from time to time, but his wife isn't very sympasthtic: "She draws a pie chart of our household budget to explain why I can't get more pocket money," says Taisaku, whose stipend accounts for about 9% of the family's monthly budget.

And he's actually not doing that badly. According to Shinsei Bank which has been researching the trend for years, the average salaryman's monthly pocket money was 39,600 yen last year, down sharply from about 80,000 yen 20 years ago when Japan's economy was booming.

But the idea of either spouse living off an allowance doesn't sit well with most North Americans. 

"I have met a surprising number of women who tell me their husbands give them an allowance, says one wife of 14 years. "This really rubs me the wrong way and ranks right up there with husbands “babysitting” their children."

"To me an allowance is something you give your children as you teach them to be responsible with money, not something you give your wife," she adds.

Then, of course, there's the husband who's thinking of determining his wife's allowance by putting a $$ value on specific chores.

How do things work in your house? Other than kids, is anyone working off an allowance?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...