Before the coronavirus, Tara Beier and her husband, Dennis, rarely discussed money. They kept separate bank accounts and divided their household responsibilities. Her husband, 42, covered the mortgage on the two properties they own, while Ms. Beier, 38, managed and took care of a rental home. It worked fine for their 12 years of marriage.
And then the world shut down, and his job as a producer in the film industry evaporated. Suddenly, the mortgage fell on Ms. Beier’s shoulders. A singer-songwriter, she is in now responsible for covering mortgage, food, everyday expenses and rent. She doesn’t mind: “I felt like he’s relying on me more as a woman,” said Ms. Beier, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif.
But it has also been a challenge. Ms. Beier didn’t really know much about their financial situation, and she had always been reluctant to ask. “I grew up in a family where if you talked about money it ended up heated or a dangerous situation, or uncomfortable,” she said. “My dad had the financial control.”
Once the coronavirus pandemic hit, she wanted to know specifics. Because what if her husband got sick? Where were their important documents, or passwords for bank accounts? Did he have any debt? Together in isolation for three months, the couple had lots of time to talk. And talk they did, about their dreams, their goals, and their finances.
It’s a conversation that’s echoing in households across the country, as many women, who have often let their husbands deal with fiscal matters, recognize that they can no longer bury their heads in