The questionnaire below is for a research for a newspaper article. How would you answer these questions?
1) Do you talk openly about money in your family? So, for example, do you know roughly how much each member of the family makes, what their typical monthly expenditure is, and what they contribute to the joint family expenses pool (if there is such an arrangement in the home)?
2) Are you happy with the financial arrangement(s) in your family set-up, in terms of dividing up responsibilities and taking on expenditures, as well as enjoying the benefits of living in a joint family set-up? Details and examples of what works and what doesn’t would be welcome here.
3) Do you sometimes find it difficult to tell other (especially older) family members that you can’t afford something they’re asking for immediately? Are you able to talk to them openly in case they have exceeded the limit for the agreed-on expenditure from the family pool, or spent on something you think frivolous?
4) Are big investment decisions discussed with everyone, or do one or two people in the home take a call and the rest have to live with their choice?
5) Do you feel there is interference from other family members in how you spend your/your spouse’s money?
6) Are you able to put money aside to invest in, say, a retirement plan or to buy a property of your choice?
7) If you have siblings or brothers/sisters-in-law sharing a home with you; do you find the financial arrangement satisfactory? How do you divide up taking on household expenses, and taking care of older members in the family?
8) Do you find that money issues sometimes turn into ego battles? Are simple issues of not being able to afford something immediately turned into a “you don’t respect us or our wishes” scenarios sometimes?
9) If you could share your experiences of the first few months of settling in after marriage; for the women, how they made room for themselves to also assert their economic rights within the home; and for the men, of bringing a new person into their homes and helping the household adjust to their needs as much as helping them settle down in the current family arrangement.