How to Survive on One Paycheck–1950’s style

How to Survive on One Paycheck

(Note!  This Part 1 is for women who want to not only want to know how to survive on one paycheck but also who want to live like a 1950’s housewife. Meaning you want to live in a male-lead home.  If that’s not you and you are just looking for tips to surviving on one paycheck, skip to Part 2.)

If you want to live like a 1950s housewife, and you want to know how to survive on one paycheck, where you stay at home keeping house and tending the kids while your husband goes to work, you can. To be able to live and survive on one pay check is possible.

Today we are going to talk about the two big things you must do first to make it possible. Tomorrow we’ll get to all the little details of the “step by step.” But you must be able to do these two first before any of the rest can succeed. First and foremost is that you have to hand over care of the finances to your husband. Why? First, because if he is going to be solely responsible for bringing in enough money to pay all the expenses and keep a roof over your heads, he needs to see first hand where the family finances stand on a weekly basis. He needs to pay the bills. He needs to budget for the groceries. He needs to see it and experience it so that he knows if he is doing enough.

If you are controlling everything and paying all the bills, and you tell him there isn’t enough money, it is possible he will suspect that you aren’t spending wisely. He may even think that you are stashing money and not telling him. He sees plenty coming in, and he will believe there is plenty to cover everything. He will likely get angry, dig in and refuse to make changes. But if he is doing the finances himself, he will know, and he will know how to survive on one paycheck.

The second reason you need to turn over the finances to your husband is because if you want to live the life of a 1950’s housewife, you have to live all of it. It doesn’t work half way. If you want to live the gender role of a traditional woman, you have to let your man be the man. You have to step back and let him lead his home, and doing the finances is a huge part of that.

Back in the day, this is how it worked in most but not all families, and men woke every day with just a few things on their minds. After they got that first one out of the way, <wink> his focus shifted to his duty to provide for his family. It has been a man’s instinct to think this way for thousands of years. It’s only been since the 1970s that gender roles became foggy, but rest assured, his instincts to lead and provide are still strong. He is just waiting to take the reins.

Before you start to back-peddle, let me add this. You have nothing to fear. Just as it was back then, it is the same now. A man not only feels compelled to provide, but he feels compelled to keep his family in the highest social status that he can afford. (The man with the most toys wins!) He will keep you in the very best house that he can afford. He will want to insure that his wife looks as pretty and is wearing the best fashions as he can afford. He will insure that his children are dressed as well as and can participate in as many sports and activities that he can afford. He is not going to short change you or his kids. Why? Because it’s his instinct.

I like that idea of providing. Instead of making a man’s identity and worth based on his paycheck, his ability to provide hinges on whether he has a vision for his life, leads his family with that vision, and is able to look ahead and prepare for the storms of life.  –”

One of the things I was most shocked to learn about is the secret life of men. Secret to women, that is. It’s a brutal, stressful world that they live in—far worse than anything a woman can imagine, simply because our brains and our thoughts don’t work the same way as theirs. But since all men wake thinking the same thing—keep my family at the top!–theirs is a world of fierce competition. They wake up ready to fight. Men spend their entire existence comparing themselves to each other and fighting for position. They fight to win women. They fight to win and then to keep their jobs. They fight for social status. They fight for admiration and acclaim. Sometimes they fight for their own (and our) lives. No matter where you look in a man’s world, there is a fierce battle going on, hence the constant need to look and feel “manly.”

One of the most stressful places for a man is in his work place.

how to survive on one paycheckThere is almost never peace and there is always a lot of back-stabbing there. There has to be. The guy on top gets paid the most. The guy on the bottom gets near nothing. To allow a fall to the bottom is not only financially disastrous, it is humiliating to a man.

And to add to the humiliation is the constant, nagging fear that for most families, a fall to the bottom of the social status ladder is often a fall that will last for many generations. Once beaten down, it is nearly impossible to recover and pull out. Some families never do. The emotional burden and stress of knowing that his children, grandchildren and even his great grandchildren will be effected by how he performs today is enormous.

I almost can’t bear to even think about the pressure, yet men are designed in such a way that they have the emotional strength and physical ability to fend off the stress that comes with this responsibility. They tend to think more logically and less emotionally. Their bodies are more rugged, more prepared to take on stress.  Those amazing creatures happily take on the full social and economic responsibility for their wives and children, and they will likely never speak of it as a burden because it feels natural. It feels right.

To have the responsibility to be the sole provider, however, could not be bearable or even possible unless your husband has control over decision-making. He has to have the freedom to be able to decide what job to take that will best provide, where to live, how to live, and he needs to have your 100% cooperation in allowing him to be the decision-maker.

Okay brace yourself for this next part.  It’s my biggest source of hate mail.

Remember that word “obey” that was taken out of the marriage vows? This is where it comes in. It didn’t have anything to do with being a slave to your husband. It had to do with respecting his decisions about how he was going to lead his family and obeying his instructions regarding those matters. You get input, of course, but whatever he decides is final. Welcome back to “obey.” If you can’t accept this, then you can try to live like a 1950’s housewife, but odds are that it will not work for long—not without a whole lot of relationship-damaging suspicion, resentment, and arguing.

“Why would it be degrading to be in a happy marriage where your husband feels manly and treats you like a lady and where your children feel protected and happy? What has happened to our thinking? We as women have got to stop seeing everything as a fight for equality.”

how to survive on one paycheck - 1950s style

Besides, why would it be so bad to just let go and let your husband be the head of the house? If you see that as degrading, ask yourself why. Why would it be degrading to be in a happy marriage where your husband feels manly and treats you like a lady and where your children feel protected and happy? What has happened to our thinking? We as women have got to stop seeing everything as a fight for equality. Despite what our generation was taught, we are not meant to be equal in all things. We, as women, are designed to excel at certain things and men are designed to excel at others. Why can’t we honor that?

Tonight sit your husband down and tell him that you want him to take over care of the finances. Tell him that you feel like he is better at that type of thing than you are and that it’s just too stressful for you to deal with. If you must, show him this post. Do what you need to do to get him on the same page. And then step away. Resist the urge to show him how to do it. Resist the urge to remind him what to do. And do not check up on him. He is capable. Let him step up to the challenge. He may shock you with his abilities. And yes, he may occasionally mess up, but so what. Haven’t you occasionally messed up? Let him be. Remember when we talked about accepting him completely, just as he is?

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Part 2–Preparation and Why that 2nd Income wasn’t helping as much as you think.

Part 3– Money Saving ideas

Part 4–15 Ways to Earn Money from Home.

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  1. I love this! We are about to do this ourselves and merge my bank accounts into his joint one, as I stay home all winter, and he works! Great post Holly 🙂

    • Thanks Alex. I look forward to watching as you progress. I know for me, getting back to basics has been one of the most rewarding, profound experiences of my life. It will effect you in ways you never imagined!

  2. Sometimes I wish it worked like that in my household! But I’ve learned to accept that not all men are financially minded. I’ve found that I am the one who is most interested in how our budget is going, saving for the future, tracking expenditures, and such. We make decisions together and if we disagree after discussion I go with his way – but “letting” him do the finances just results in a lack of financial planning altogether. Sometimes if it’s important to you, you have to be the one to put in the effort I guess. It’s alright though, I’ve learned that everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses and we are in a marriage to support each other, even if you are strong in an area you didn’t think you’d need to be.

    • You may be right. I hear that same story often, so you are not alone in that frustration. I think that often times when a man refuses to take over the financial responsibilities there is an underlying reason for it. Some might be afraid of making mistakes. Others don’t believe they will have it for long before the wife snatches it back anyway, so why bother? And then, like it sounds like in your situation, some are just happy with it the way it is.

      When I asked my husband to take over the finances 20 years ago he didn’t want to either. I had to explain to him how important it was to me and then I had to step away 100%. To this day I have no idea what’s going on with our day-to-day bills, and that’s okay with me. If I had continued to watch, participate, worry and plan, or to hover over him “guiding”, he would have just stopped doing it. I AM aware of planning for long-term and for retirement because I sit in on those meetings and participate in planning.

      Ultimately for us I think it came down to a stand off in the beginning. He sort of did nothing to see what I would do. I had to be willing to let all go to pot and then trust that he wouldn’t actually allow it to happen. And I’m assuming it didn’t because we aren’t penniless and homeless. 🙂

  3. I am so offended by this article. I pity your dehumanizing view of women. You should be ashamed of yourself ; “… he is better at that type of thing than you are and that it’s just too stressful for you to deal with” and “It’s a brutal, stressful world that they live in—far worse than anything a woman can imagine”. Do you know most women I know earn more than their husbands? That their husbands are not up to the challenge of “controlling the family’s finances”? That women have extensive educations and degrees? That women love their jobs and having incredible financial autonomy? That they do not want to spend their days at home wiping dirty asses and reading smut like you just posted?
    I guess you wouldn’t know of women’s real successes and challenges because you’re too busy being a subservient doormat. Shame!

    • Leah, Thanks for taking the time to write in. I see you feel very strongly about your opinion. I hope you feel just as strongly that in this country we ALL have a right to choose how we want to live and not just those who enjoy living a Modern Day woman’s role. That is what it’s all about right? Feminism and women’s rights are about giving us the right to choose. Well, for some of us, this is what we choose. I wish you success in any endeavor that you choose for your life.

      • Good response and done with such grace. Women should support each other no matter what they CHOOSE to do or not do.

          • It’s interesting how women will tear each other down simply because we don’t all work outside the home or have advanced degrees or stay at home and take care of the children. Men and women are not the same. We are not equal in everything. I have college degrees and worked outside the home for several years. But, when our daughter was born, we decided I would stay home with her. Sometimes I loved it and sometimes It drove me crazy. But, I would give my life to do it all again. My sixteen year old daughter died in a car accident five years ago. I am glad that we had all that time together…I took her to school in the morning and picked her up. I made her a snack and helped with homework. I drove her to singing lessons and to band practice. I helped when extra “moms” were needed at her school. She loved having me around.

            I am most proud of being Alex’s mother. The night before she died, I tucked her into bed and sang “Soft Kitty” to her. I never had to ask to leave work to pick her up. When she was sick, I would pick her up and bring her home. She got lots of love and my undivided attention.

            I have never regretted leaving the outside workforce to be an inside workforce. My home, my family, and our well being were my priorities. I am not subservient to my husband. We discuss issues and decide together what will be done. He takes care of the finances. He has a Masters in Finance. It’s logical. I make sure his clothes are clean, our house is clean, and there is dinner on the table. We’ve been married twenty four years. And here’s the biggest thing I’ve learned…there are not two people in charge. One will always step back and let the other lead in his or her field of expertise.

            When two people are always trying to be in charge…you will be looking at divorce at some point. I call it the wallpaper situation. You need one person calling the shots when putting up wallpaper. The other person knows exactly what’s going on and can put the wallpaper up too. BUT, the first person is leading and knows when to ask for certain things to make sure the wallpaper is going up correctly. I could start in a different corner of the room and hope we meet at the right place or we could work together to start in the same place and move around the room together. That’s marriage…moving together toward the goal of a successful life.

  4. Great post! I totally agree, with one exception. Not all husbands paid the bills in the 50’s. My mom was a 50’s housewife. She was a stay at home mom, cooked all the meals, cleaned the house, etc… My father went to work. He had a stressful job and worked long hours to take care of his wife and five children. The last thing my mom wanted to do was add another stressful responsibility for my Dad. She paid the bills, shopped the bargains and did her duty to her husband and family. I am also a stay at home mom and my husband also has a stressful job. He appreciates that I pay the bills. He isn’t in the dark and we do discuss finances, but I have the time and the fortitude to shop the bargains, research and save money where we can. Here’s to the 50’s wives everywhere!!!

  5. This seems both lazy and historically inaccurate, it’s been common practice for hundreds of years for the wife to manage the finances. Both in the West (I can testify for Britain and Ireland) and the East (certainly it’s traditional in Japan).

    My partner says he works all day with numbers and computers and doesn’t want to worry about bills and budgets. I love the chance to worry about bills and budgets and look for ways to save so I think that its great that I get to do those things.

    We use the same account anyway, if he cares he can see what is going on.

    • You are certainly entitled to do things how you would like in your own home, and I promise to respect your choices and to never call YOUR ideas and ways of living nasty, insulting names.

      In our home, there’s nothing commonplace about the wife doing the finances, and I’m comfortable with our arrangement. Most men I know concur. And I can’t think of a single finance guy out there that I have ever met that doesn’t insist on handling his own finances. I, personally, find the idea of a finance expert trusting his finances to someone else rather…er… lazy. But thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      Have a wonderful day!

  6. Agree with and applaud much of what you say. It’s time our society finally grasps that things will only be “equal” when we acknowledge and celebrate that men and women DO have different strengths and are wired differently. A woman can NOT do well everything a man can do just as a man can NOT do well everything a woman can do. So let’s stop insulting each other and start offering up some respect to each other instead. Glad to see someone address the issue of the one great fear that all true men face: to be discovered to be a poser who can’t make the grade. It’s why the number one thing a man wants from his wife is respect. To them it is the embodiment of “love”.

    Marriage is a partnership. To be successful each person has to move in the realm where they have been created and gifted to move. My husband is head of our home…but not a dictator. My job as “helpmeet” sometimes means I must lovingly confront him when I believe he is considering taking us in a bad direction. Just as he sometimes jus confront me if I’m getting off track. He wants my input and respects me for my own intelligence and listens. I have always handled the daily finances, a choice he applauds because I am much better at the job. In general he handles the more long range finances because he’s better at that. We each keep the other informed of what’s happening. It’s the method that has been working for us for more than 40 years. I’ve never worked outside the home. Money has been really tight at times. But we both have realized the advantage of having one person who has taken care of the mundane details: shopping, cooking, cleaning during the day so that when hubby gets home we BOTH share the load of what little simply couldn’t be accomplished and BOTH ended up with more time to relax at the end of the day. It has been so much more peaceful living this way!

      • In the past 8 years hubby and I have been through several experiences that showed us it was important for both of us to be well informed on our finances. I stayed out of state with my elderly mother for a total of 6 months, hubby endured 5 major surgeries along with a couple weeks pain and grogginess from pain Meds following 3 of those, then the hospitalizing/nursing home stay/ death of my mother. When stressful patches of life hit you at a moments notice it is essential that you BOTH know the state of the finances. The spouse struggling with the life situation is then spared the extra stress of keeping up with the numbers. So I would encourage you to add a bit of attention to your plan on handling finances even if hubby usually handles things. Each spouse needs to be aware of the system used to handle the finances, who is owed what when, etc.

    • I completely agree with Dell. Marriage is a partnership.

      I am not a stay at home mom, but rather a housewife (no kids yet), and I handle all of the cooking, cleaning and shopping. We had discussed me moving into this position as soon as we could afford it before we ever got married. It was important to him to have someone stay at home and watch our (future) kids and make sure that they weren’t raised by a nanny or sitter. It was important to us to make sure our (future) kids were raised the way our parents were – dad is the scary one (because his spankings were way scarier than mom’s) and mom was the soft one. When my brother and I were kids, we laughed and joked with my mom (including some at her expense) but if we ever went too far then my dad was the threat we had. You can’t scare your kids into thinking that you live with Hitler and his clone by making both parent the scary disciplinarian but at the same time, they can’t be running a muck either.

      I’ve always wanted to be a housewife and never really wanted to be in the workforce – dreams do come true! The only thing that’s different (just like Dell) is that I handle our finances. My husband is in the process of transitioning to a different career and works two jobs at the moment. Sometimes, I’m lucky if I see him when I wake up but I know it’s difficult, and he’s exhausted. When he comes home, he doesn’t care what’s for dinner because he’s that hungry and if he’s at work and needs to buy a small snack or forgot his lunch at home then he’d rather just expect there to be money in the account for him to buy those things. Handling the finances is actually pretty fun, for someone who hates math! I also feel like I’m taking a larger load off his back. When he’s fully transitioned, he wants me to continue to do so because it is a stress that he doesn’t have to worry about. If he ever had questions or concerns then he can just ask me because being able to trust each other is another extremely important part of marriage.

      Also, on the note of men and women being equal… if that’s true, then why can’t men give birth? Just a thought.

  7. My hubby took over the finances in our home about 6 months ago…before that it was me. I tend to be a saver/worrier/budgeter so it was reallly hard to let go! But now we’re seeing how it was the best decision we could’ve made! He’s started budgeting because now he KNOWS where the money goes and sees how fast it goes. And I no longer freak out about how we’ll pay our bills…as long as I keep my sticky fingers out of it. 😉 I honestly think it’s the best way to go.:) And hey, my needs are a lot better met with him in charge! True story. 🙂

  8. Hi Holly! I am new to your site as of today (Feb. 27, 2015), and I have to say how much I appreciate your writings. I have learned so much from you- like a breath of fresh air! I am a stay-at-home mother and all that I read today completely fit for me. I have added you in my “favorites” bar and look forward to reading more. We are like-minded, to be sure. 🙂

  9. I have found this and have found it interesting. I do agree with all of it. As for the finances. We do it together. Not because I don’t want him to have it, but because he is very bad at budgeting. Ha ha. I am very good at it. I don’t want him to be in the dark and if , heaven forbid, something were to happen to me or him we know what is going on with our finances, I will continue to check your posts for more info.

  10. I enjoyed reading this and I agree with most things, but I also agreed with one post that historically women did, or at least had to know, the finances. Right now I’m living on my own so its just me, but I’m hoping that one day I can live this way 🙂

  11. This is simply not possible in all relationships. I took over my husband’s finances when we were still dating and I owned the house we live in before I ever met him. He is self admittedly awful with money. I am awesome with money. Why not let the person best suited for the job take on the responsibility. Likewise it logically seems unnecessarily confusing to have one person make a budget, while another is left to implement it with no input. Actually it seems like most large corporations, and we know how wasteful they are. Husbands and wives are meant to be partners and work as a team for the good of the family. In our family the best suited person for whatever task is at hand takes the lead. And yes we do live on his paycheck.

  12. I … do not even know how I ended up here, but this is… weird to me. Despite how old my parents are, my father stayed at home, cooked and cleaned. My mother and him managed the finances together, and taught me how to be indipendent. I know how to cook and clean, and I also trust myself to handle finances and decisions. If this floats your boat, great for you, but I think you should acknowledge that men and women are the same, that feminism was a great thing and gender equality is needed in our society. Men are not wired in one way or another, neither women are made to “obey”. A dude can be a great stay-at-home parent, and even if he makes no money, he should not allow his wife to have the last word on everything, and vice versa. I feel like that would set the path for misery and not feeling fulfilled, even for a lack of identity except the role of a stay-at-home man/woman. Of course, this is just my opinion.

    I do not mean to insult, this is your life choice, and I will keep reading. As a psychology enthusiast this is incredibly fascinating and interesting.

    • You are also welcome to your opinion, and I will never say that feminism was a great thing. I believe it has done more harm than good. But, as you say, that’s my thing! Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy!

  13. I admire your honesty in writing. I have found that most of your assertions are still true today. Our world has changed very little at it’s core. Language changes – we say “things are better!” and proclaim our progress, but woe to the man who is sloppy in finances, or the woman who is terrible at cleaning. Just because people “don’t want it to be that way” sure doesn’t mean that the wider world doesn’t still have those viewpoints. We can pretend all we want, but those social pressures will still be there, and gender roles will still be there. In the 50’s they simply accepted the way things were. Some things are better, but it is very, very difficult to change gender roles because we are products of many generations of thinking – not all of which are easily called to the surface of our minds. Much is ingrained!

  14. I just really thank God for you . You are truly an answer to a prayer . I have not ask my husband yet but this has shown me how to approach him. We might be a year away from this because we need to pay off some bills but you have given me a wonderful idea of living on one now and use the other to pay off these bills.again God Bless you richly there are more for you than what you think so keep going

  15. Thanks for making this post, as I would have loved to have heard this message thirty years ago. And it still means a lot today in the year 2015. Keep your head up as this is something that needs to be said no matter how others may feel.

    I have just started doing this now, and I am in my fifties. I would love to see more of your thoughts in this section. But then again I just started to read the four posts.

  16. Sooo many things wrong with this and I’m gonna tell you why. Not even the blatant disregard for women ingeneral, acting like they are weak, emotional babies, that can’t handle stress, are the only ones who promise to “Obey” in their vows, that their work and input regardless of in or out of the home isn’t as important as a mans. Or acting like 50s women are this magical thing, when the majority of those women were used, abused, and turned into the 60s, and 70s women who fought for feminism. Oh no, the major issue with this whole thing, is you don’t practice what you preach! You say women belong in the home, taking care of the kids, house, and husband. That women should leave the financial stuff and work to the men. However you yourself are making money by blogging, and talking about financial savings, etc…which if you truly believed everything should only be up to the men, you would leave it up to them and not talk about it on a public forum. If you want to be a stay at home mom and blog fine, many women do it. But preaching how the roles of men and women should be, and not following them yourself is hypocritical to say the least. If you truly practiced what you’d preached you’d be a “good girl”, work on “woman” things, then let the men do the work, and talk about the money issues. Now back to the kitchen with you, because you say that’s where you belong.

  17. I enjoyed reading your Blog. I grew up on the 50’s and my parents are the couple you are talking about . I don’t remember much about money at that age. I do recall feeling like my Dad was the Head of our house. My parents were a team for all the 65 years they were married. They must have done something right!

    Thanks, Jackie

  18. I let my husband handle the bills for over 5 years with this year being the last. He always had problems paying bills on time or bouncing checks and our credit was a complete mess until I took it upon myself to clean both of ours up. We were doing good or so I thought. Within the past year he cost us over $500 in bank fees because of not doing what he was supposed to. Clearly, handling money is not his thing. I’ve realized he will never be good at managing finances and that this is something he needs help doing. Lucky for those that have a husband that cares enough about their financial future.

  19. My husband handle the finances. I don’t know how much money we have in the bank. I trust in him. I haven’t a credit card, and I don’t know the secret number of his card. He bought the flat where we live before we met. He finish to pay the mortage three years ago. He allways come with me when i shop groceries, and I am very frugal, I look for low prices. So he said that he has learned of me to handle finances, observing how I buy groceries. I only handle taxes, because he sometimes forgot it, and because I worked on a taxes office of the goverment before my older son birth.

  20. My husband and I have ALWAYS lived on one income. FROM DAY ONE. We both had agreed me being home was not only best for our children But the most affordable way to live. We have been married 26 years and I do DO the financial side. BUT he is not a numbers person.. WE DO HOWEVER 100 % BOTH know what and here the money has gone or is going or is being put. Now mind you we also raised 4 children on this ONE income… we never felt deprived or like we had gone with out. I have ALWAYS felt I am in the wrong generation. My values are VERY MUCH that of a 50’s wife. I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing these posts. I have now shared this and your FB page with my daughter who has a family of her own now….

  21. I am in the process of finding a goof solution whilst I am a stay at home mother. is a joint account a must? are you given a budget or spend what you think is best? I have a weekly budget but its all the clothes for kids, small treats and things that are causing issues. how do you organise this?

    • Well. Let me start with this. I think you and your spouse have to figure out what works for you. My post is strictly for those who want to live in a very old-fashioned, traditional type of marriage. It’s not for everyone. It takes a leap of faith and patience. You have to be prepared to give your spouse space to make mistakes, to learn, and to grow just as you are doing the same with your own responsibilities. And I am sure you want room to make and correct mistakes without nagging from him as well. No?

      In our house, we have all shared accounts. I have a debit card and freedom to use it unless he asks me to avoid doing so for whatever reason. He also insures that I have a “petty cash” fund in the house for odds and ends that I may need to pick up. I have never felt the need for separate bank accounts.

      Do what feels right to both of you. What would make you feel bonded in your journey? What would help you both work toward shared goals? Do that.

  22. He has been taking all responsibility for finances for more than a year now, and it is wonderful. After 4 years of being a single parent and having to make all those decisions myself it has been a huge relief; I really needed the break.

    I haven’t nagged him, checked up on him or anything like that. BUT I realised I have been ungrateful for what he has provided, always talking about all the things I’d like (often things just like clothes for the kids, or new curtains etc) and complaining that it’s hard to feed us on all our budget. I am working on being grateful to him.

    I was refused by the bank to be added on to his account, and he doesn’t seem keen to switch everything over to make my account a joint account.

    We have been discussing it over the last few days as I have felt although it’s right that he is in charge, it’s still not quite right. Today I just decided to let him decide how it’s all organised and told him I am happy with whatever he thinks best.

    Thank you for this blog, it is exactly what I have been looking for for many years now! xx

  23. I’m so sorry, but that is the most horrid thing I’ve heard in quite a while. Why should we as women cow tow to a man just because he’s a man? I work, and don’t have to. I did the stay at home thing, and never had any respect or equality. It fell on me for all the household chores, he would come home and expected to be waited on hand and foot. Now that I have a job, making just a such as he does, I am actually treated better by my husband than I was. I mean if that’s your cup of tea, go for ut, but not this chick, not anymore.

    • Well Victoria, dear, since you were so forward, let me be the same. (1) I warned you in the very first paragraph not to proceed if you did not want to live in a male-lead home. (2) Why are you reading a blog about living on one paycheck if you are happy working? (3) Nobody that I know cow tow’s to a man, whatever that means. We are treated like queens. (4) It sounds like you and your husband didn’t like the old you but have it all worked out. Good. So, again, why are you here? and lastly, (5) if you didn’t like that post, hold on to your hat. There are about three months worth of male-lead home posts coming up. This might not be the blog for you. It might be a good time to hit that delete button if you haven’t already.

      It is my cup of tea. Thank you. And it is the cup of tea for hundreds of thousands of women around the world, so mind your manners. Don’t go into someone else’s house and criticize the drapes. We don’t do that to you.

  24. My husband works long hours and doesn’t want to be in control of the finances. I am the one who stays home so it is easier for me to handle the money. I am the one who budgets for groceries and all household needs and I am the one who pays all the bills. That makes sense to me. When one person works outside the home to make the money the other person should be doing most of the other stuff that needs to be done to run an efficient household.

    • You have to do what works for you in your house. My husband also works long hours, but he needs to be in control so he knows how many hours he needs to work. 🙂 Glad you found what is good for you and your husband!

  25. I support any woman’s decision to remain at home with her children. I caution, however, to remember this is not a time when divorce was rare. I was once a stay-at-home mother and then, divorce happened. It’s not easy to adjust when you haven’t used your education and the financial support is pulled from beneath you. I would never advocate my daughter’s not avail themselves of continuous training and maintaining their own savings and checking accounts. If a woman chooses to give a man 100% control over the finances, it is certainly her choice. After a devastating divorce in mid-life that left me 283,000 in debt and a house in foreclosure, I will never give anyone such control, nor would I advise my daughter’s to do so. I now have a good job in civil service and can support myself and the children~ and I have women coming into my office EVERY day seeking assistance for scenarios just as described. Some of them are young with children. Others have been married for decades and are cast off like old an old pet at the city pound with no job skills and no money. Again, I support your decision, but I pray my daughter’s are never so dependent on a man. That is WHY feminism happened to begin with.

    • Thank you for commenting! Your concerns are valid. It is very difficult to strike a delicate balance between “going all in with your heart, mind, and soul” and keeping one foot outside of the marriage for self preservation. I think, for me, I am willing to risk it in exchange for the level of intimacy I seek. Each must make that decision for herself. Thank you for your very respectful input!

  26. If this way of handling your finances works for you and your husband that’s wonderful for you. But I must say that everytime I’ve seen a documentary about the 50’s (that talks about home finance dealings) or seen clips from the era that talk about finances it’s always been the housewife who has dealt with the budgeting as she is the one who does the shopping for groceries, clothes etc. She is the one who makes everything work as she is the one who knows where the money is most needed. I’m sure that there were homes where the husband would be the one to handle this but the majority seems to have been the housewives.
    From one household guide from the era it also says that one of the duties of the housewife is to “Handle the household income as economically as possible”
    I’m not saying that your way of doing it is wrong it’s just that it does not seem like the 1950s way to do it 🙂

    • I suppose it’s a matter of interpretation. To have my husband do the finances then give me a food budget, clothing budget, and “extras” budget to live within matches both of our interpretation of what I’m saying. I think we are both correct. 🙂

  27. I’ve read that men show less emotion, but feel as much or nearly as much, but there are differences – they feed more anger, and girls more sadness, etc. Details aside, I think some women are like men in this matters (it’s not a general tendency, but there are). Me, for instant, I’m a woman and I seek all of that that men seek. And it’s really hard. I don’t try to, it just comes naturaly since I was very very young (I’m 25 now). I sometimes wish it didn’t honestly.

      • How can I reconcile that I wanna be a researcher and maybe a teacher at the university and also wanna have a more traditional role at home when I get married?

          • My husband handles all of our finances, he always has. I’m just not good at it, and he does finance for a living. He tells me what’s going on, our long term plans, and he’s great at it. He shows me his excel sheets with everything and it’s ridiculous how detailed it is. I love not having to worry about it. He sets the budgets and I follow them & just save the receipts so he can track what was spent in each catagory. I kind of need that since if I didn’t have a set plan I’d just be out spending as much as I want. Maybe it’s lazy but I’m happy not caring about it.

  28. Let me start by saying that I give all my support to individual women who choose to be a housewife and stay at home mother. It is a completely valid choice. It was my mother’s choice for which I was deeply grateful as it played a key role in making me who I am today and I resent the emotional damage I witnessed in her from having to deal with other women telling her she had “betrayed feminism” by exercising her freedom of choice.

    However, I feel that is it just as wrong and damaging to portray the path of the housewife as the only valid choice or more valid than other choices as to portray it as invalid or lesser and, unfortunately, I feel that is actually what this article is doing, despite the author’s claims about choice. Claims that men and women are just inherently good at different things may be true as a general statement but stigmatizes women who, because of genetic/hormonal variation or other reasons, simply lack feminine inclinations or abilities. The housewife role was right for my mother and she should not have been criticized for choosing it but it is utterly wrong for me and I should not be criticized for that fact. For example being asked “What’s wrong with my thinking?” because I happen to have a natural inclination to be a leader rather than a follower.

    Now it may be true that marriages, at least most marriages, need clearly defined roles to function effectively. I am certainly in agreement on that point. The only issue I have is the idea that these roles MUST be determined by gender. The reason I came to this site, looking for advice on 50s marriage is that I am in a 50s marriage. It’s just a gender flipped one. I, as a biological female, am the sole breadwinner and provider, including handling all the finances and making the big decisions, and, yes, the stress is extreme, but I can live with it as long as my stay-at-home male partner does all the cooking and cleaning and makes a serene refuge for me to escape to. And yes, I do feel inspired to care for and protect him, just like you say a man is supposed to feel. I came here because he was having some trouble with the house cleaning burnout you mention with repetitive tasks so I thought the material might help him. The question is, do you think it’s great that we’ve found a structure that works for us and that much of your 50s wisdom is valid and helpful to us or do you think we’re horrible messed up people because, having a relationship with clearly set roles that allow each of us to use our own strengths and support the other, we don’t have the “right” gender roles?

7 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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