A survey conducted by Shinsei Bank showed that the budget men get from their wives is at a 31 year low, with the average allowance at $386 per month, which is down 3% from the previous year and the lowest since 1982. This may be another side effect of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics“, which encourages big spending from both the private and public sectors.
The okozukai system has long been part of Japanese financial culture, and one aspect of this is that the husbands turn over the budgeting and management of the household finances to the wives. The wives then allocate part of the husbands’ salary for spending money (including mobile phone bills, vices like alcohol and cigarettes, or entertainment), which is known as okozukai, or the husband’s allowance for Friday nights out. Almost half of Japanese households still practice this, with families able to save huge amounts of money, especially in times of crisis. However, this has an adverse effect on the country as less spending results in a bad over-all economy.
Abenomics has had mixed results and reactions, both from international and domestic markets and consumers. The fact that okozukai is at a low point means that housewives are not confident enough to release more spending money, and so it is a show of no confidence over the economic stimulus implemented by the government. In the smaller picture, this makes for a lot of sad Friday nights for most married men.
[ via Quartz ]