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November 30, 2021

Does husband or wife make the money decisions in your home?

In Canada, at least over the past 30 years, women are becoming more and more educated than men.

Today, 34 per cent of women aged 25-34 hold a university degree, compared to just 26 per cent of men. That rate for women is up significantly from the 1980s.

While a higher level of education for women may not do much to close the gender wage gap, it does plenty to the dynamic of Canadian inter-home economics.

Because, after all, who's best-suited to manage the money in your home: the man, or the woman?

Certainly, few issues could be as delicate as the finances of a traditional family. What goes on behind your closed doors, with your money, is your business.

*Bing: What education savings plans are right for your kids?

But let’s use the anonymity of the Internet to drum up a conversation on familial money management in 2012.

The correlation with education and the ability to balance a family’s chequebook may not be ironclad, but it’s nonetheless relevant, especially so at a time when education patterns among men and women are changing.

(According to Stats Canada data, just 38 per cent of university-educated men had an equally well-educated wife in 1981. By 2006, that number had jumped to 67 per cent.)

Research from Italy shows such a similar decrease in the education gap between men and women has led to a shift in Italian homes, where an increased number of women are being counted on to be the chief bankers and money managers of their family.

In your home, how do you decide who pays the bills, manages the accounts and makes the financial decisions? If you live in a traditional household, is it the man, the woman, or both?



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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...