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In times gone by it was seen as compensation to the family of the woman for the cost of raising her, and the fact that the family would be losing a farm hand.
While a very high percentage of Thais are still employed in agriculture, the percentage of the population working the fields today is much less than it used to be.
But when it comes to the younger generation, the simple fact of the matter is that if each earns a modest amount, there will be a need to pool their financial resources simply to make ends meet.
For Westerners earning a modest amount and dating a woman with a decent job, don't be shy to let her know that she may need to contribute.
Each day she would give a small amount of money to her husband, sufficient to cover his expected expenses for that day while he was The reason for this was simple.
He had his job to worry about and it was her who had to look after the household so it was her who should have cash on hand to be able to buy food, pay for all household expenses and any other necessities.
So if your Thai wife says to you that it is Thai culture that you should hand over your entire pay packet to her at the end of the month, tell her she is living in the land of the dinosaurs.
It is much, much less common today, although many older Thais do it – as they have done, since they first got married.
But Thailand is changing and Thai women are, as already explained, securing better jobs and earning more and more.
He pays for everything, leaving him bahtless come the end of the month.
She has built up a nice little nest egg and refuses to contribute. While some Westerners speak of being unable to live on less than 200,000 baht a month in Thailand, such avariciousness needs to be balanced out by the fact that the vast majority of Thais consider a joint income of 100,000 baht a month an awful lot of money!
Thailand has changed dramatically over the last 30 years.
And it has changed a great deal over the last ten years.