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Differences Between Western and Chinese Culture: Dealing With Money

If you came this far, then chances are you have a Chinese wife or are at least considering to start a relationship with a Chinese woman. It is not new to anyone that Chinese culture greatly differs from western culture, but what are these differences exactly? In this article we will will focus on the way that these two distinct cultures handle the subject of finance.

One of the great things that differ Chinese from Westerners is the way both cultures deal with money. Westerners are natural spenders and prefer to live for the moment, while making little preparation for the future. This is especially true in large economies like the United States, where massive consumption has contributed to putting many families in debt. Chinese people are much more controlled when dealing with money and saving is part of their culture. The Chinese government takes little responsibility for the future of its people and it is up to each individual to secure their retirement through savings and investments. Due to the fact that Chinese people have gone through long periods of poverty in the past, they know how to value money and are accustomed to working hard in order to get it. A recent study has shown that the average US household debt is 136% of household income, compared to 17% for the Chinese.

This different approach to money and income plays a key role in relationships between Westerners and Chinese. This will be even more visible in the more usual case of a western man married to a Chinese woman. Although this has greatly changed over the last decades, it is still safe to say that in most western countries it is the man who is responsible for taking care of the bills and managing the money. In China; however, this is not really so. Although Chinese men are still the ones who are bringing in the doe, they are in many cases expected to hand in the money to their wives, who will in turn manage it and use it to keep all things in order around the house.

The struggle to decide who should have control over the family income is a problem that most Western men might face when married to a Chinese woman. Due to the fact that Chinese women were raised to believe that they should save as much as possible in order to secure their future, they might have trouble adapting to a Westerner’s way of living from pay-check to pay-check. If on one hand the Chinese wife will follow her instincts and try to control as much of the money as possible, in the other hand the Western husband might misinterpret this behavior and believe that his wife is only after his money. Unfortunately, many Westerners that involve themselves with Chinese women, due so without a minimum understanding of her cultural background. Most guys are just eager to hook up with an exotic and younger Asian girl, without ever considering the consequences of doing so.

If you are experiencing this type of trouble with your Chinese wife, the best solution will be no other than conversation. Finding a middle ground between these two mentalities will always be your best bet. Inter-cultural relationships are far from being easy, but it can be greatly beneficial if the couple manages to unite the best of the two worlds. Honestly, being controlled with money is a virtue, which both parts can benefit from. Perhaps one solution to the problem would be to establish an allowance. You could hand over a percentage of the income to your Chinese woman, while keeping the rest to spend as you please.

Don’t be surprised if a few months later you find out that your Chinese wife is actually doing better than you! As we have already discussed, Chinese are natural money savers and they know how to make every penny count. Westerners should be grateful for Chinese savings, as it is used to loan money to the United States, thus allowing us to continue down the road of debt, which our western nations have chosen.

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