In Discussions, Money

Are all men just looking for sugar mommas?

I must not be the ONLY woman who has ever fronted the bills and lifestyle for a boyfriend before.. I mean, I was a complete idiot about love & money, which is what made me change into being a militant 50/50 shared resources and responsibility kind of woman even while I am not working, but it seems to be a common thing amongst my friends.

I was talking to a friend the other day, and she said that she was a sugar momma for quite a while, until she “wised up” and said: never again!

What’s funny is that now she’s ended up with someone who wants her to be a sugar momma again so he can stay at home and chill out, but she is not having any of it and has told him so.


When I talked to my other male colleagues about this kind of ‘sugar momma’ behaviour, it made me wonder how really different it was from men who pay for everything for their girlfriends or wives because they enjoy being the Hunter and taking care of them.

Pretty much every guy I know except for my own partner and a few others (not including my fellow die-hard personal finance bloggers), who has been willing to open up about their money and shared fiscal responsibilities, have said that they do any or all of the following:

  • Pay all the bills
  • Provide a credit card which they clear each month to their partner
  • Cover vacations
  • Save for retirement for both couples
  • Pay for the house and/or cars (to buy used or new)

…and find it completely normal to do so and to be THE MAN to take care of their partner completely and they are happy to do so.


I wonder how much of that behaviour is nature and how much of it is nurture, if we also see examples of guys who just want someone else to take care of all that stuff.

For me, it’d be great if someone else paid the bills 100% all the time, I won’t lie.. but if that means that I can’t work and I am completely dependent on them for money or independence, I’ll take the 50/50 structure I have any day.

Though come to think of it, even if I could work, it would be kind of strange to not chip in…

MEN: Are you happy to be the sole breadwinner? Why or why not?

WOMEN: Are you happy to be taken care of? Why or why not?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Jaime

    No. In life there are two golden rules. The first golden rule is to treat others as you would like them to treat you. The second golden rule is whoever makes the gold makes the rules.

    I find that in many of these relationships where one person makes the living that the other spouse is often reduced to a child. There is often a power play. Also a lot of times men that want women to stay at home are using it as a means of control. I do not trust such men and stay far away from them.

    One of our old neighbors actually had to start over financially and enter the workforce after 25 years of marriage. I don’t want that to be me. Another couple of my parents, the husband was an engineer and the wife stayed at home, all was well until he needed a kidney transplant and then a second one, he was often sick.

    His wife had to figure out a way to earn money. My mom taught me that even if I meet Mr. Wonderful, I should always be independent. I agree with that.


      What good anecdotes. I do agree that if you don’t pay half, you end up being treated as a child. I see that a lot and I also see women friends of mine KILLING themselves to be “worthy” of that money. Cooking gourmet, cleaning like a freak, raising their kids perfectly and nourishing their brains…. It is exhausting and not worth the money, frankly. I’d rather pay half or contribute somehow financially and feel like an equal so that my partner also is an equal in the home and childcare.

  2. SP

    I don’t know many sole breadwinner households, especially ones who don’t have any kids (a SAHM is something a little different, unless you can afford a slew of household help).

    It seems totally weird to me, but I try really hard not to judge. I wouldn’t mind not “needing” to work financially, but it would be hard to have an equal partnership in that setup. I couldn’t be taken care of – I need to be an equal.


      That’s what I am wondering. Could I be taken care of? Would I enjoy it? I have never done it or have been offered that choice but just observing my friends, I am seeing that they’re not that pleased with the situation no matter how ideal it seems. Like golden handcuffs.

  3. Taylor Lee @ Yuppie Millennial

    Grew up in a female-led household so this idea that “men must provide” or whatever is just so alien to my own life as to be laughable. I could never be fully dependent on my spouse.


      It is funny but apparently this is a common thing many women aspire to, particularly here where I live.. I had no idea.

  4. raluca

    I would not agree to be taken care of. My parents have used the “we’ll only give you money if you do what we say” card a lot when I was a teenager, it has soured me for life for depending on anyone else for my needs and wants. That’s why I held on a full time job during my last 2 years of university and that’s why I will always have my savings.

    I say if you are a woman and you want to be treated as an equal, then you also need to embrace half of the responsibilities. It doesn’t necesarily mean making half the money, but at least be at least prepared to earn your keep. If you are covering your necesities out of your own pocket, then you will always have a safety net to fall on too.

    And also as a partner in a marriage, you need to be prepared to be the sole breadwinner. Your significant other can become ill and you might need to take care of the familly for the rest of your life. If you would want him/her to do the same for you, then you need to be prepared to do the same for him. I don’t mean a sugar mama type of situation, where being jobless is a lifestyle choice, but being an equal partner in the marriage, with the same rights and responsibilities. If you value a person enough to hitch you life to him/her, then you must value them enough even when they are not producing money, through no fault of their own.


      I think the key for me is being prepared to be on your own. You’ve done it once, you can do it again, and you aren’t scared, you know?


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