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The financial practices and perceptions behind separate systems of household financial management

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Title: The financial practices and perceptions behind separate systems of household financial management Author: Katherine Ashby Last modified by – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The financial practices and perceptions behind separate systems of household financial management


1
The financial practices and perceptions behind
separate systems of household financial
management
  • Dr Katherine Ashby,
  • Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, SOAS,
    University of London.

2
Overview
  • Why investigate money management
  • Money management of cohabiting couples
  • Qualitative findings
  • Survey study findings
  • Conclusions
  • Directions for future research

3
Why investigate the household financial
management of unmarried cohabitants?
  • 25 of all unmarried heterosexuals in the UK aged
    16-59 yrs were cohabiting in 2002 (National
    Statistics, 2004)
  • Current policy debates surrounding the legal
    financial rights and obligations of cohabitants
  • How money management fits in
  • Stack versus Dowden (2007)

4
Money management of cohabiting couples
  • Cohabitants are more likely to use separate
    systems of money management (Elizabeth, 2001
    Vogler, 2005).
  • Independent management - no joint sources of
    money
  • Partial pooling - income paid into separate
    accounts, joint pool for household expenses
  • Qualitative study with 18 cohabiting couples
    explored meanings and practices behind separate
    systems

5
Behind the category labels Meanings and practices
  • Three ownership groups
  • Shared
  • Blurred
  • Distinct
  • 14/18 used IM
  • 3/18 used PP
  • Potential for variation in financial practices
  • Money held in separate accounts could be seen as
    belonging to both partners

6

Ownership perceptions
DISTINCT
  • Separate financial entities
  • Viewed and treated money in an independent way
  • Paid back any money they borrowed
  • Own responsibility to pay for joint expenses
  • Less clear sense of who owned the money
  • Viewed money as really there for their partner
    and for the relationship
  • Give versus loan money
  • More flexible about paying for joint expenses
  • Expressed a very strong view that all (or nearly
    all) of the money coming into the household was
    jointly owned
  • Joint decision how the money in each account was
    used
  • Separate accounts were not private

BLURRED
COLLECTIVE
7
Summary and implications of qualitative findings
  • Diversity hidden under category labels of IM and
    PP
  • Imply a level of separateness many couples do not
    have
  • Moving beyond typology to include perceptions of
    ownership

8
Survey study
  • Conducted online
  • 190 cohabitants
  • Divided into 11 sections, including detailed look
    at financial arrangements and perceptions of
    ownership
  • Female viewpoint
  • Dual earners, without children

9
Ownership perceptions in the survey study
  • I would say that overall I see the money that I
    earn as money for the relationship, rather than
    just my money
  • I would say my partner and I usually just give
    rather than loan each other money
  • We see ourselves as separate from each other
    financially
  • 8 items averaged to create a measure of ownership
    perceptions (a .88)
  • Categorical variable also created by dividing the
    scale into 3 categories Shared, blurred and
    distinct

10
Money management system by ownership perceptions
11
Regression
  • First step - children
    under 18 years (yes/no)
    - earning disparity (one partner earns a
    great deal more, one partner earns slightly more,
    earn roughly the same)
  • Second step - ownership
    perceptions (scores 1-5)
  • Hierarchical logistic regression analyses
  • Predictors of cohabitants using separate systems
    making equal or different contributions to joint
    household expenses

12
Regression
13
Predicting equal (compared to different)
contributions
  • Cohabitants who earn roughly the same amount as
    their partner, and perceive money as more
    distinctly (separately) owned are more likely to
    make equal contributions towards household
    expenses.
  • When one partner earns a great deal more than the
    other and money is perceived as more shared,
    cohabitants are more likely to make different
    contributions.

14
Meanings and practices behind separate systems
  • Vogler et al (2008) - separate systems reflecting
    a desire by higher earner to retain greater
    access to and control over money?
  • Looking at practices and perceptions behind
    category labels in detail indicates this is not
    always the case
  • Earning disparity and different contributions
  • Extent partners feel they have separate control
    seems to depends on how they perceive ownership
    of money

15
Summary and conclusions
  • Limitations
  • Strength - detailed financial information
  • Typology not always able to capture how those
    using separate systems perceive and handle money
  • Qualitative study provided rich base of data from
    which to develop survey study

16
Directions for the future
  • Rigorous testing in future research
  • Fruitful and novel way of capturing detailed
    financial information that researchers have not
    previously been able to capture in quantitative
    research
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