Financial affairs? Money management in same-sex relationships

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Burns, M. ; Burgoyne, C. ; Clarke, V. (2008)

The present paper offers a qualitative analysis of how 22 co-habiting same-sex couples manage and think about their finances. Results show that partial-pooling and independent management are the most popular systems with emphasis placed on egalitarianism and devising a fair money management strategy. Significant income disparities between most partners necessitated the adoption of a system of proportional contributions to joint expenses. Despite attempts to equalise outcomes, an underlying norm of equality (characterised by equal contributions) paradoxically (re)produced the status and control of the higher earner in most cases. A degree of financial autonomy was an important ideal highlighting a valuing of co-independence rather than financial ‘merging’ for lesbian and gay couples.
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