Gender Differences Persist In Money Management

08 Mar 2018 | 01.34 pm

Gender Differences Persist In Money Management

Research from AskPaul carried out in January

08 Mar 2018 | 01.34 pm

Research from AskPaul has found that how women manage household finances, and their perception of financial priorities, differ significantly to men’s.

According to AskPaul, a free money advice service from financial adviser Paul Merriman, only 17% of women consider themselves very good or good at understanding financial products. However, 40% of men were confident in their knowledge of financial matters like pensions, income protection and investments.

When it comes to money management, only 64% of women say they have money left over at the end of the month for savings or discretionary spending after paying for essential outgoings. By contrast, four in every five men have spare cash each month.

While both women and men identify household bills as their biggest monthly expense, women are almost 50% more likely than men to count the mortgage or rent as a significant outgoing each month.

Spending on travel or holidays is also a priority for twice as many men as women, whereas the opposite applies with childcare, where twice as many women identify childcare expenses as a drain on the household budget.

Women (70%) are more likely than men (50%) to manage the household budget, although just six in ten people in Ireland actually plan a household budget. The remaining 40% claim to just spend money when it needs to be spent.

Men are slightly more likely than women to be regular savers, 52% to 48%, but men manage to save on average €391 a month, while women put away just €235. Of the current ‘non-savers’, women are twice as likely as men to be planning to save.

One in three people surveyed overall do not have a private pension. Of those with pensions, 54% are male and 46% female. Women featured higher in the category of those with frozen private pensions, possibly on account of leaving the workforce earlier.

The likelihood of consulting a financial advisor is similar, with 56% of men and 58% of women saying they would take professional advice ahead of taking on a financial product like a pension or life assurance.

Commenting on the findings, Merriman said that the idea that a woman should be any less savvy when it comes to financial affairs is nonsense.

“Traditionally, women would have made sure the household and family expenses were budgeted for and paid. And, today, all sorts of global studies prove that women do as well, if not better than men, when it comes to investment strategies and outcomes.

“What we must address, however, is the lack of confidence among women, and try not to reinforce the silly stereotypes that women can’t do maths or don’t understand finances.”

The January 2018 survey for AskPaul was carried out among a representative sample of 300 adults in Ireland, aged 18 or over. Two in three were married and seven in ten had children.

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