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My Husband May Be the Head of Household but I am the Chief Financial Officer

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Call me “old-fashion” but I believe the man is the head of the home, I don’t think submission to his leadership makes a woman weak, and I believe that honor for your spouse keeps marriages strong. So when it comes to managing the finances of the home; while my husband is Chief Executive Officer (CEO), I’m Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The days of the man controlling all the finances in the home and the woman being oblivious to household business are over! As wives and mothers, you need to have access to the bank accounts, life insurance policies, real estate, etc. There should be no secrets and you should have a voice in the affairs of the home. It breaks my heart when I hear that a husband has passed away and the woman has no idea what to do next.

Finances can cause strife in marriages. We must have open and honest communication about money with our spouse. We also have to recognize that we come from different backgrounds and have different ideas about money. One person is usually the nerd and the other is the free spirit. You and your spouse just need to understand who is who. The nerd needs the free spirit or they will never have any fun. The free spirit needs the nerd or the family would go broke. If you and your spouse are both nerds, find a couple of free spirits and become each others’ accountability partners.

When a company makes a decision that will require a financial commitment, one of the key players involved in the decision making process is the CFO. This person’s job is to know all the numbers and approve or deny requests based on the financial data. This is exactly what should be done with the household budget.

If your marriage was a business, who would be the CFO? Who does your spouse believe is the CFO? That’s just as important if not more important than what you think you are.


I was having a conversation with my mother today. It’s been awhile since she looked at her budget and she decided to commit to it again. She wanted to make sure she was on track with spending and that she wasn’t wasting money each month. She knew there may be areas where she could cut expenses so she could save more.

How do you know if you should pull back and tighten up your spending or when you can get that new iPhone or go on a fancy dinner or vacation without feeling guilty if you don’t know the numbers?

If you don’t take responsibility for knowing your financial reality it can only hurt you. I say reality because many choose to stay in the fantasy of oblivion about their finances. No good can come from being in the dark when it comes to your net worth and bank account. It’s only more frustrating for the spouse who does look at the finances to talk about money with the spouse who does not understand the finances.

Now, I’m not assuming it’s always the man who understands the money and the woman who goes out and spends unnecessarily. In fact, I am the nerd in our home and I take care of our finances. As the “CFO spouse,” I explain the financial position to my husband but I also put the ball back in his court. It is his responsibility to make sure he understands our situation. If you are the nerd, you don’t have to do everything. Your spouse has a responsibility to you and your children to make sure he understands your financial position.

Businesses look at their numbers constantly. If they didn’t consider the numbers in all their decisions they would not be around long. I call it “counting the cost.” When I coach someone in a crisis financial situation, I make sure that they understand that they should be looking at their bank accounts daily to ensure they are on track with their budget. If not, I help guide them in adjustments that can be made so they get to where they need to be financially. It’s always their final decision on what those adjustments look like.

Business people have to be comfortable talking about money. It is just as important for couples. Make sure you set up a regular “date” with your spouse at least once a month to go through the credit card statements and bank statements. My husband and I do this bi-weekly but I review our budget twice a week. Yes, it’s the nerd in me. Calculate your monthly expenditures and create a budget you can both agree upon so you know what you can and can’t do before you have to consult each other on money issues and purchases.

Couples who work together as a team when it comes to money are much less likely to argue about money. Money is one of the most common things people argue about so talk about it regularly and ensure there are no surprises by planning, budgeting and setting goals, just like any business would naturally do.

It’s much easier to make good financial decisions for the family when the CEO and CFO of the marriage understand the balance sheet.

So…if your marriage was a business, who would be the CFO?

Kesha Holloway

The author Kesha Holloway

Kesha Holloway is the founder of Living in Your Sweet Spot. She is passionate about being a wife and mother and desires to align herself with women equally passionate about their families. She believes the woman is the backbone of the family unit and it's her mission to help lift women to achieve their purpose.

26 Comments

  1. I think its important both parts take a role in finanaces, I’d be happy letting a partner take care of finances mostly if I really trusted him but I also think its good to not be oblivious to whats going out or in, I think you two must work very well together.

  2. I am quite traditional when it comes to my marriage as well. That said, we have realmy an othorodox financial situation where we are still responsible for our own expenses rather than having a family budget. We definitely need to revisit that

    1. Thanks Margaret! I definitely believe this is a decision that a couple makes together. You have to do what’s best for both and do a lot of compromising.

  3. I think in any household there should be different roles, there is nothing wrong about it esp if makes your lives easier and boosts your stronger sides

  4. I must say that I don’t necessarily believe a man should be a head of a household or vice versa OR that both should share equal responsibilities and duties and decision making abilities, etc. I think every marriage/long-term relationship has its own best way of functioning. For some people, that means that one person makes more decisions or runs the day to day household stuff. It may mean one does more finances and the other gets an “allowance” of those finances which both agree on (great for couples where one is a terrible spender and is very aware of it). It may mean that everything is 50/50 and every decision is made together. OR it could be some weird combination of all those things, depending on your unique situation.

    My spouse and I share many responsibilities and make a lot of decisions together (especially the big ones). But, he makes most of the childrearing decisions since they are his biological children, not mine. I make a lot more of the financial decisions but we also have a certain amount of our money that we keep separate so we can easily make small spontaneous purchases without worrying about the other’s thoughts AND so we can get that sense of gratification from buying something for the other person.

    I think its all about balance. Who is best at which tasks? Who has time for certain things? How big are the decisions being made? etc. etc.

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  5. Thanks for your comments Amy! I agree it’s about balance but it’s also about agreement. My husband being the head of the household doesn’t diminish me, my role or my value. I also believe that any decisions about children, regardless of whether they are yours or not, can be made by both parents. Even if the other biological parent is in the picture, everyone can parent and co-parent. It works best when everyone is on the same page. The ultimate goal is to do what is in the best interest of the children. I consider it an honor to have a husband who loves God and loves us out of his love for God. It makes it easy to call him the head of our home. 😉

  6. I’m not married, BUT if I were, I would definitely be the CFO. I think wanting control over the finances stems from my poor financial decisions in my early 20s, which have since turned me into a money monster (in the savings way, not the spending way). I agree that it’s really important for both parties to understand the family’s finances to ensure that the best financial decisions are made! <3

    1. Hey! I totally understand! You want to make sure you stay in a good financial position. This is something I communicated with my husband about on the first date. I wanted to make sure he was committed to our finances. I encourage you to be that monster! LOL! I’m certain you will meet someone who will appreciate it.

  7. This is such a great post. I am engaged to my long-term boyfriends and I think I need this post and you really gave me some awesome advice about marriage. I think when it comes to household chores it should be for women and for a financial is for men, I believe that men can save and budget the monthly finances.

    1. Hi Agnes! It is totally up to you and your spouse. I believe if you agree on the roles, it will make your marriage run much smoother. Everyone’s needs should be considered.

  8. This is always the way I think to, the man is the head of the home but its mostly the spouse who is the CFO! I am all for joint everything though

  9. You make a good point, though in my case I really don’t use titles. Sometimes that confuses us more, instead we have a silent agreement about our responsibilities and duties while still maintaining the balance in the family.

    1. If it works for you! That’s great! I don’t do well with silence. It makes me a bit crazy! LOL! My husband and I communicate about everything – the good, the bad and the ugly. 😉

  10. I see marriage in the traditional way as well. Very insightful post. I have been thinking about marriage lately and this was one of my concerns. I will check out the rest of the blog.

  11. Haha I totally hear you on this one! I am deffo chief financial officer also. It is so important to keep an eye on the finances in any relationship xx

  12. This is such realistic and great perspective. I have recently made my husband the CFO, yes I was taking care of my part of the responsibilities and expenses towards family and kids. Working full time, kids and responsibilities at home were draining me so much that I was not able to think and plan of saving, investing or spending which is pretty much under control now as my husband is managing everything. Even I am mentally relieved and focus more on kids and home. I agree couples who work together as a team when it comes to money are much less likely to argue about money.

  13. Love the mentality of teamwork. A couple that works together in all aspects, grow together. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?

  14. I love this and I love how you work together as well. My husband and I each have our own income but we make sure that we stay withing the budget so we can go on trips and even help out those in need if we can. It’s important to identify roles and know which one can handle the finances better and in a way that it will help your income grow. I have so much appreciation for this post!

  15. I agree. Spouses should be respected most with feel of belonging and deep connect. And there should be mutual understanding on decision making roles.

  16. I admit, I’m the spouse that likes to spend and my husband is the one who is fiscally responsible. Being in my second marriage, I am skiddish about certain things. Glad you and your partners are able to comingle your finances; as it should be.

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