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The fine line between freedom and control that comes with giving your wife an 'allowance'.

“Accountant to the stars” Anthony Bell and his estranged wife, former television presenter Kelly Landry, were in a Sydney court this week to give evidence over an apprehended violence order.

Landry, 37, is seeking the final AVO against Bell, 46, after an interim order was granted earlier this year.

The hearing at Downing Centre Courts covered allegations of an “odd” relationship between Bell and Channel Nine television star Erin Molan and allegations of Bell and Landry “wrestling” over a mobile phone.

Landry, Bell and acquaintances testified, mobile phone text messages were presented in court, tax bills for Landry were tabled and former nannies of the once golden couple took the stand to give evidence of what life was like behind the front doors of their $12.5 million Watsons Bay home complete with its own jetty.

What was not an allegation was the “allowance” Bell paid into a credit card each week to his wife. It was $1000 and it was to cover groceries for a family of four and Landry’s expenses.

Canna Campbell shares her top tips for women to get empowered about their money. Post continues… 

Landry accused Bell of being “financially mean” to her.

News.com reported that Landry, who travelled overseas business class twice a year, and had designer shoes, handbags and jewellery denied being a hypocrite about her claim.

“She rejected “pretty much all” of Mr Bell’s claims about the funds he provided for her,” News.com reported.

“That included $300 for groceries, to which Ms Landry said: ‘Have you ever been shopping in a supermarket in the eastern suburbs? It’s at least double’.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Bell paid the $1000 into a credit card each week for Landry. Not a bank account but a credit card that is monitored, can be cancelled at any moment and is not designed for cash withdrawals.

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“Sergeant Nightingale [appearing for Landry] questioned whether $1000 a week was enough money to cover their household expenses in the eastern suburbs, including $300 for groceries,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Grocery shopping for $300 a week. Image iStock

"'I'd imagine it would,' Mr Bell said."

Bell is estimated to be worth $100 million.

In New York, the stay at home mums of wealthy husbands have been known to get yearly bonuses if they do a good job.

Wednesday Martin wrote in The New York Times:

"A wife bonus, I was told, might be hammered out in a pre-nup or post-nup, and distributed on the basis of not only how well her husband’s fund had done but her own performance — how well she managed the home budget, whether the kids got into a “good” school — the same way their husbands were rewarded at investment banks. In turn these bonuses were a ticket to a modicum of financial independence ..."

And there lies the million dollar bonus question. Or the $1000 a week question. Or the $250 a week question.

In a relationship where the husband is working and the wife is not, should the husband control all the finances?

Should a marriage be treated like a business relationship?

Should a wife be given an allowance, or should she have access to the same money her husband does?

It's 2017. Is an allowance about freedom or control?

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