The Pros for Dual-Earner Marriages

by Al Bondigas
With two-paycheck couples, both partners feel they have more say in family finances.

More than half of all married couples bring in two paychecks, and this is becoming more a necessity in today's world. Both partners pulling in a paycheck will equalize the marriage, as household chores will be split among them and both will feel they have more say in setting the family budget. If both work outside the home, both will feel more fulfilled at day's end.

Equal Partners

While all couples should have an equal say in money issues, this becomes real for a two-paycheck couple. Both bring home the bacon, and expenses are truly shared. Both partners realize where money comes from and can be on the same page when setting a household budget.

Additional Income

Earning two paychecks brings more income into the house, and a couple can save more money. They can both contribute to the family emergency fund, pay off debts or buy something they want. Both can meet a family goal, with each partner feeling like they had a real part in it.

Handling Emergencies

When each partner draws a paycheck, this provides backup for when things go wrong. If one has his hours cut or loses his job, his spouse can pick up the slack. Even if you need to make drastic budget changes to make up for any income shortfall, both partners know what action to take. The unemployed partner can feel better about looking for another job knowing the family's needs are met. If a partner dies or becomes incapacitated, the spouse can continue to meet financial needs. This also holds true if the marriage ends in divorce. If she's used to working a job, the transition from stay-at-home spouse to the workforce isn't as great. While widowhood or divorce is a heavy enough transition, financial matters need not fall by the wayside.

Shared Involvement in Family Matters

With both partners earning money, many household duties can be shared. Either one can go grocery shopping, clean the laundry and take turns cooking dinner. Many of these duties can be negotiated, a practice which brings a stronger sense of cooperation into the marriage. Shared household duties will prevent one partner from resenting all this responsibility being dumped on her. This brings a new sense of cooperation and helps make the marriage closer.

Emotional Factors

A working spouse is happier and more fulfilled than one who stays at home all day. She will be depressed less and enjoy better health. In a dual-income family, both partners share in raising their children. When both bond with the children, this results in the youngsters having a more-rounded upbringing.

About the Author

Al Bondigas is an award-winning newspaperman who started writing professionally in 1985. His print credits include the "Mohave Valley Daily News" and "The Mohave County Standard." Bondigas studied journalism at San Bernardino Valley College in California.

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