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Couple: how you can handle cash with out penalizing ladies?

Couple: how you can handle cash with out penalizing ladies?

Once we love, we do not depend. And that could be the issue. Do you discuss cash in your relationship? Have you learnt the precise earnings of your associate, how a lot your monetary contribution to the family – purchasing, youngsters’s enterprise -, what’s your house responsibilities value or what’s your share of the automobile?

After Liberated. The feminist combat is received in entrance of the basket of soiled laundry (Ed. Fayard, 2017) and The Nice Forgotten Ones. Why historical past erased ladies (ed. L’Iconoclaste, 2021), the essayist Titiou Lecoq dissects the nonetheless taboo theme of cash within the couple. First in his podcast Give again the cashthen with The couple and the cash. Why males are richer than ladies (Éd. L’Iconoclaste), revealed on October 13, 2022.

Classes from Gwendoline, a lady like some other

The author traces the lifetime of a fictional heroine, Gwendoline, from childhood to retirement. “She represents all of us,” says Titiou Lecoq. And certainly, Gwendoline has a life just like these of many straight ladies, in Switzerland as elsewhere: she consumes merchandise topic to the pink tax, she strikes in with a person, she is paid lower than him, she workout routines the bulk home work, she lowers your work charge when the youngsters arrive, she separates from her partner, finds herself a caregiver and receives a measly pension. His life is punctuated with happiness, in addition to misfortune. And sure choices, mixed with a socio-cultural heritage, in addition to institutional injustices, take part in widening the financial hole between her and her companion.

Via Gwendoline’s life and the teachings she attracts from her experiences, Titiou Lecoq’s essay – full of educational references, explanations of the functioning of French establishments, latest research and conferences with researchers feminists – reads like a sensible information for many who wish to take higher management of their financial future, and thus get well a type of energy inside their couple. Do their half at their degree, whereas ready for extra egalitarian political and social reforms to be carried out (in Switzerland, a number of initiatives geared toward decriminalizing marriage from taxation are below dialogue, for instance).

Gendered pocket cash practices, pink tax on cosmetics and companies, wage hole (19% on common between men and women in Switzerland, in 2018), financial violence, partial work of moms, financial savings, taxes, unpaid work , alimony, gendered inheritance, care seniors, penalties on retirement, but in addition the collective historical past that has lengthy excluded ladies from the economic system (prohibition to open an account and train an impartial exercise with out the approval of her husband till 1988 (!) in Switzerland), marriage and cash offers with small and huge mechanisms taking part within the precariousness of ladies and the enrichment of males. Concretely, listed below are 5 ideas from Titiou Lecoq for a extra egalitarian household economic system.


1. De-taboo the cash

40% of {couples} by no means discuss their monetary group, in response to the work of sociologist Hélène Belleau. Issues fall into place, naturally, and no member of the family questions them. It is that diving into budgets and payments is extra like a chore than a titillating one-on-one together with your associate. “All of us have a private relationship with cash,” says Titiou Lecoq.

“There may be the concept the economic system is a part of the world of labor, whereas we’re financial brokers in our non-public lives.”

Discovering the “cash freak” within the couple is already a primary step in discussing one another’s fears and desires.

Some acquired concepts additionally stand in the best way of discussions about cash. We have a tendency, for instance, to oppose like to revenue. “Caring about your private curiosity additionally means contemplating a possible breakup, continues Titiou Lecoq, whereas the best of the couple is to be collectively endlessly”. Love is sharing, so we do not depend. Because the creator factors out, many {couples} proceed to share all their earnings as within the time of marriages of comfort, whereas by marrying for love, there’s a a lot higher probability that the union will break down alongside the best way and that one of many spouses is destitute. “We may flip the concept the opposite method, thus proposes Titiou Lecoq: I really like you, subsequently I would like you to be financially safe.”

If speaking about cash continues to be typically taboo, in Switzerland or in France, in the US, the tradition is totally totally different, notes the creator in her ebook: “there are a plethora of feminine monetary websites, with photographs of espresso macchiato whose foam varieties a sublime “$”. […] There are even “feminist” finance coaches […] and “feminist” monetary summits”.

2. Take into consideration your monetary group

If Titiou Lecoq doesn’t imagine in a common organizational mannequin, she however units herself up as a counter-example in her ebook. “In a strategy of independence, I made a decision to not get married, and to not have a joint account with my partner. Nonetheless, if I knew that there have been financial penalties to marriage, I didn’t assume that by refusing to marry, I used to be additionally going to endure financial penalties. Provisions are made to guard ladies within the occasion of divorce or widowhood.

“My concept of ​​independence disadvantaged me of that, and I did not notice it,” says the essayist.

“Because of this, every couple should make their selections, however knowingly. The thought is already to speak about it and are available to an settlement. First, you must notice the earnings of the opposite, then how we’re going to distribute the family bills.

Concretely, the creator recommends both conserving separate financial institution accounts (however calculating all bills to stability them, as a result of the guesswork is rarely egalitarian) or opening a joint account, whereas conserving particular person accounts. On this case, it’s as much as {couples} to decide on equality (every particular person transfers the identical quantity to the family account) or the precept of fairness (make investments an quantity proportional to their earnings).

It’s added that along with the part-time work regime, there are penalties when ladies attain retirement age. In Switzerland, the folks accepted in September 2022 the equalization of the retirement age for all at 65 years previous. A defeat for feminist circles. As we noticed throughout the marketing campaign for this vote, the inequality of pensions is discovered particularly in occupational pensions, the LPP, which is within the strategy of being revised by Parliament. Eager about the monetary group of the couple subsequently means taking into consideration the implications of our selection in the long run, particularly eager about the retirement of ladies who decrease their work charge to hold out home and parental duties.

3. Take home work under consideration

As underlined in his ebook Titiou Lecoq, “the vast majority of financial analyzes will not be interested by ladies nor within the free work they supply”. Even when the unequal distribution of home and parental duties inside {couples} is more and more denounced, society as a complete nonetheless finds it pure that this unpaid work ought to fall totally on ladies. It’s that femininity is constructed within the present, because the creator reminds us many instances, quoting the feminist historian Michelle Perrot.


In one of many chapters, Titiou Lecoq dissects at size the implications of free labor. She (re)explains that the hours of cleansing or childcare carried out by the lady whereas the person works, permits the latter to avoid wasting his share of the prices of crèche or the wage of an employee- e family for instance, and on prime of that, to earn a further share of wage. The one who works 100% whereas his or her associate performs home chores free of charge is thus a double winner. The essayist subsequently means that the one that does the vast majority of the family chores be paid (or compensated) in a technique or one other by his or her associate. It’s a query of calculating what number of francs of financial savings these unpaid working hours symbolize, as a way to worth the contribution of ladies within the couple.

4. Take part in huge bills

That is counter-intuitive recommendation, however one that’s near Titiou Lecoq’s coronary heart. She has even developed a exact idea concerning the distribution of bills within the couple: that of pots of yogurt (or yogurt if you happen to store in French-speaking Switzerland). “We get married much less and fewer. This additionally implies that {couples} are pooling their cash much less and fewer, notes the creator. The bills are then apportioned. As typically the person earns higher his residing, it’s he who will deal with the massive bills, for instance the automobile. Many individuals do that as a result of it is sensible. In return, the extra modest wage – typically the spouse – will compensate with each day bills, for instance meals purchasing. Nonetheless, develops Titiou Lecoq, the massive bills are these which create heritage.

“If the couple separates, the person leaves with the automobile and the lady solely has her empty yoghurt pots.”

“Thus, the small wage should completely take part within the huge bills, so far as its means, to construct up a heritage on its aspect.”

5. It is by no means too sophisticated

The creator hammers it out all through her ebook: data of all these mechanisms that contribute to the impoverishment of ladies is the important thing. “Ladies haven’t acquired an financial training. We’re taught to spend our cash, even to handle a finances. However to not enrich us”, she remembers. Nonetheless, she needs to qualify: “there isn’t a conspiracy towards ladies, it’s merely that they’ve lengthy been disadvantaged of their monetary independence”.

“Even when we’re dangerous at math, we will all handle to know how our family works, says Titiou Lecoq. Lastly, there are few figures within the household economic system. It is about speaking about how we distribute the bills.”

To raised perceive these financial mechanisms, there’s nothing like speaking about them round you. Together with her associates, to coach, as the author recommends, then along with her colleagues to raised perceive their wage state of affairs – and ours – or along with her household, her dad and mom, who might have recommendation to provide us. Having an outline of family bills, one another’s financial savings, your personal finances can also be necessary, as is conserving monitor of those payments.

Lastly, many assets exist to raised familiarize your self with the monetary world, corresponding to subscribing to the Plan Money e-newsletter, following the contents of the weblog ladies’s wealth of UBS financial institution, but in addition learn what ladies are valueby Sarah Genequand Miche, or the analysis of Laurence Bachmann (Cash to your self) and Caroline Henchoz (The couple, love and cash).

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