Publication Date

8-2012

Abstract

[Excerpt] This article examines weekday resource allocation decisions of married couples with a husband employed full time and with children under 18. These decisions relate, among other things, to working for pay; doing unpaid household work; purchasing services such as childcare, laundry and drycleaning, and food away from home; and eating out. Information about spending decisions was obtained from the 2009 Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) and information about time use was obtained from the 2009 American Time Use Survey (ATUS).

Results show that,

  • Regardless of employment status, wives were more likely than husbands to spend time in household activities.
  • On an average weekday, married fathers spent more time working than married mothers did, even married mothers employed full time.
  • The proportion of families reporting childcare expenses and the average amount spent by those reporting were highest for families with full-time working wives and lowest for families with wives not employed for pay.
  • Consistent with other research, working-wife families did not spend more on housekeeping and laundry services than did families with wives not employed for pay.
  • Families with full-time working wives spent the greatest dollar amount on food away from home, but there was no significant difference in spending between families with part-time working wives and families with wives not employed for pay.

Comments

Suggested Citation
Foster, A. C., Kreisler, C. J. (2012). How parents use time and money. Beyond the Numbers (Vol. 1, No. 11). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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