The saying “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” couldn’t be more accurate than when it comes to personal finance.
What are differences between men and women when it comes to money? Are we really that different? Or are we more similar than we think?
Most experts would say that men and women have very different relationships when it comes to money. How? Let us count (some of) the ways.
According to a study by eBates and TNS Global, it was found that men spend the most on food, electronics, and entertainment purchases throughout their lives. Women, on the other hand, have different spending habits depending on their life stage.
Younger, single women spend money on clothes, beauty, fitness, and home furnishings, but as they get older, their spending choices usually become more geared towards what’s best for their family.
Men and women have drastically different relationships to money. Until the 20th century, women were generally entirely dependent on their husbands, and many still are to this day.
According to a study by Massey University in New Zealand, Asian women are seen as good cash managers and are given the responsibility to stretch the dollar in a household's day-to-day expenses. However, when it comes to their financial security in retirement, they tend to rely on their husbands.
Women also tend to invest in their children, expecting that their kids would take care of them in their retirement. According to a study by HSBC, almost half (47%) of women stop saving for retirement after having kids (compared to 15% of men).
It’s no wonder, then, that women are worse off than men when it comes to financial literacy—70% of women are financially illiterate, compared to 65% of men. And because of their lack of knowledge, women are less confident in their abilities and invest less.
In an interview with Forbes, Merrill Lynch financial advisor Patricia Bell says that once women get the tools they need, they quickly learn to be thorough and exacting.
“Women want to know what to expect, how many meetings there will be, how you’re going to monitor investment returns and how over time you’ll be able to help them obtain their goals,” she says. “I find that men tend to take a more casual approach and shoot from the hip. That’s the bottom line.”
Men and women certainly approach money differently, there’s no doubt about that. At the Asian Money Guide media launch held in the Philippines earlier this month, panellists Ginger and Eugene Arboleda, the husband-and-wife tandem behind Taxumo, talked about how more women are showing interest in finance and entrepreneurship.
“There is an evident clamour from women,” says Ginger. In their marriage, she has taken on the role of being the one to set up and meet with financial advisors—many of whom also happen to be women. Many married couples are also starting to manage their money together instead of delegating to the husband. “It’s a good shift that we’re seeing,” says Eugene.
What do you think about the differences between men and women when it comes to money? Let us know in the comments!
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