Rockhampton wife Kylie Shields, out shopping with her 16-month-old daughter Caitlyn, wears the financial pants in her family.
Rockhampton wife Kylie Shields, out shopping with her 16-month-old daughter Caitlyn, wears the financial pants in her family. Sharyn Oneill

Why women rule Rocky budgets

YESTERDAY was Kylie Shields’ birthday, but she wasn’t expecting any presents to celebrate her big day.

The stay-at-home mum had already told her husband the household purse would be kept firmly closed to help the family save for a new home.

And Kylie is not the only Rockhampton wife who rules the roost when it comes to family finances.

A survey by Suncorp of married couples living in the Beef Capital has revealed 41% of wives control the family finances and 38% of couples share the task.

Husbands may be recognised as the head of the family, but only 21% maintain their position as head of the household budget.

The findings came as no surprise to Kylie.

“He earns the money and I spend it,” she said.

Kylie explained making the big budget decisions came naturally to her after she and her partner Glen were married.

With Glen spending four days of his week working out of town as a boilermaker and Kylie caring full-time for their four-year-old son, Nathaniel, and 16-month-old daughter, Caitlyn, it was inevitable.

“Most of the money is spent on the kids and I’m always with them, so I control the money,” Kylie said.

The spiralling costs of electricity, gas and food has put cash conscious wives accustomed to searching for bargains in the driver’s seat for the household budget.

Suncorp’s CQ manager Greg Leahy described today’s multi-tasking, super-organised wives as a consumer force to be reckoned with.

“We’re going without a lot of things these days,” Kylie said.

“We don’t have a computer or Austar, we’ve decided that’s a luxury.”

Mr Leahy said Australia was witnessing many couples shrug-off traditional roles and prefer to do what worked best for them as a team.



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