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Any standard / reference for wife pocket allowance?

Man struggles with financial burden of wife's allowances, seeks fairer approach to marriage finances.

Picture: Boggi Milano

Man struggles with financial burden of wife's allowances, seeks fairer approach to marriage finances.

Question from Mr. A (real name is undisclosed):

Evening GC, Wish to get your opinion on women having read some of your articles on them. May I know if there is such a thing as a standard rate for allowances given to a wife? For example, we are all paid based on market rate but what about wifes? How can we determine if what they want from us is based on what is being practiced out there? My first marriage was in turmoil because of monetary matters. I gave her a pocket allowance of RM 5,000 (that was her asking price) every month for 1 year before we called it quits as she wanted more because her excuse was inflation. I was dumb at the time to agree to giving her 5,000 every month without thinking and ended up having nothing for myself. I even had to sell some of my clothes and collectibles and change my car to an affordable brand. Mind you, this figure does not include dates, groceries etc. This is for her own expense on top of her monthly salary that she receives from her company. I had to stop my hobby of travelling because I don't have the money anymore to do the things I enjoy doing before I got married. It took a hefty toll on me.

Now I am dating a new person, and I am having dejavu again because she is asking for RM 5,500 if I marry her, which makes me wonder if there is any standard practice of how much a woman can ask a man. Or do they simply pluck these figures out from the sky? This is something GC might want to look at because this information would be very helpful for men when they determine their marriage decision. I don't think I can go through such an ordeal anymore because it is depressing not being able to enjoy the things I love to do just because a chunk of my money goes to my wife's allowance ONLY (I have my car, house etc to pay too). Women that I dated seem to have a lack of empathy when it comes to men and money. I would rather be single and spend that money on things I love doing. I used to take marriage for granted thinking it can't be that hard to live with a female but having gone through the first marriage, it is not an easy feat. Marriage does not guarantee happiness. That is a strong fact.

Just to share with you guys, I have a European friend who is married but he and his wife would split the bill for everything 50-50 (utilities. House, etc)....pretty much anything that is shared would be split in half. Even on dates where they would go for a meal they would split all in half. They only pay full amount for the things they don't share like their own cars, hp allowance etc. This is a very rare situation but I find this very ideal because it gives both parties a fair deal. This is what you call compromising and could be a good example on how a marriage should be (unless she is not working). Maybe it is a western thing but in Malaysia, it is pretty much we men doing almost all the paying and the ladies would probably compromise 5% if we are lucky. . I am sure your female readers would not agree because they have been so used to being paid for almost everything but circumstances today can no longer tolerate such luxury anymore. There needs to be a CHECK & BALANCE.

There are also issues with mothers. They seem to have a disdain / jealousy when it comes to treating mothers. My ex wife loves to compare how I would treat my mom against how I would treat her like some kind of competition. She would question my financial assistance to my own mom. Who should take precedence here? As a son, I think you would agree that mothers certainly take precedence over wifes. They are old, they can't work due to age, they are our own flesh and blood, they need some support, why must they be seen as a competitor when they are our own mother? I just don't get it.

With inflation and rising cost of living which seems impossible to catch up on top of women being more demanding, it's just a matter of time before marriage becomes a relic of the past and people become more accustomed to being single and independent. I agree that the solution is to find new jobs and finding alternate sources of income but if we continue to do that then women will never cease to demand because they think we men can find alternatives to meet their demands. They fail to see our inner struggles. Outside we may look fine but we are suffering inside trying to make ends meet. 

A food for thought.

Answer by The Gentleman:

Hey there, Mr. A!

Thanks for venting about your relationship drama. Money troubles in your first marriage sound rough, no wonder you're worried! Forget the whole "allowance" thing, finances with a partner should be more like a civilised chit-chat, not a business deal.

Here's the thing: there's no magic "wife price." Finances in a relationship are more like a team tackling a project together. You gotta figure out a system that works for both of you, considering your income, bills, and some fun money on the side (gotta have that!).

Honest talk is key, Mr. A. Tell your new boo about the money issues you faced before and any anxieties you have now. Chat openly about your net salary inflow and outflow,savings goals, spending habits, the whole financial shebang. Remember, you're a team – transparency and shared goals are your best friends here.

As for splitting costs, there's no one-size-fits-all approach. Here are some ideas that ditch the allowance concept:

  • Go Dutch: Split everything 50/50 based on your income. Works well if you earn roughly the same.

  • Fair Share Split: Divide bills proportionally based on your income. Good if there's a big difference in what you earn.

  • Need-Based Split: Maybe one of you has childcare costs. Figure out how to handle those situations fairly.

Talk it out and find a system that feels balanced for both of you. Finances should be a joint project, not a fight over who pays for what. Working together on a budget you're both happy with builds trust and saves stress in the long run.

Now, about those specific battles:

  • Mom vs. Wife: They shouldn't be in competition! Talk to your partner about supporting your mom. Maybe set a fixed amount to contribute and involve your partner in the decision-making process.

  • Keeping Some "Me" Money: Having some financial independence is healthy. Discuss separate accounts for personal spending, alongside a joint account for shared needs. This gives you some breathing room for hobbies or personal stuff.

Look for someone who vibes with your financial style and can chat openly about money. Someone who's down to compromise and build a future you both want. For example, premarital counseling can also be a great idea. It lets you discuss financial expectations before getting hitched.

The bottom line? Building a strong financial partnership takes time, honest conversations, and teamwork. Focus on finding a partner who's on the same page, willing to work with you, and shares your vision for a happy and secure future. A great marriage isn't about finding someone to support you financially, but about finding someone to build a life with, where finances are a team effort, not a source of stress.

You've got this!


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