Sharing the Duties in the Home

When both partners work and earn money, running a home is tricky. It gets even more difficult when it is time to decide whose money will be spent, when it will be spent and how it will be spent.

Each couple is different but, sharing money and duties is a sore point in many a home. And it need not be. Here is why

You can be realistic

One of you will earn more than the other, always. So be realistic about this. It is realistic to accept that there is a heavy hitter in the home and it is the one that earns the most. However, this does not mean that they must have all the control.

Being realistic also means accepting that you both decided to be a couple, so do things as a couple. In simple terms, it means bundle your income and goals and decide together where the money goes. For example, even if the higher earning partner is paying for the purchase of a car or for a new furniture set, it’s not fair for that partner to get to choose the type of car or the furniture style without any input from the other.

Do not hide your feelings

If one of you, whether or not are the high income earner or not, are behaving in a way that makes the other feel insignificant; this is not the moment to hide these feelings. Take the time to share with your partner how it makes you feel.

Sometimes it could be that your partner doesn’t realize that making decisions without you is hurting your feelings. In this case, a reminder that you are both working together, even if your incomes aren’t in the same league can be very helpful.

Divide and conquer

School pick-ups, paying the bills, domestic workers, grocery shopping and family gatherings are part of the list of many things that need someone to manage. Besides the actual house to run and the children to bring up. Add the extended family to appease and manage. So, divide and conquer.

If one of you is at home and the other away from home divide the work. So, the partner who works outside of the home and is the higher income earner need not contribute as much to the housework as the stay-at-home parent or spouse but, even if one of you works and the other doesn’t, it’s not fair for any single person to do all the household chores or handle all of the home maintenance issues. A partner who has to care for a home alone, without help or support from a spouse, can start to feel angry and resentful.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo