A snapshot survey of how women manage their money, conducted by personal finance website JustMoney during Women’s Month, has revealed:
- 79% of women are in charge of their money;
- 56% of women drive money management decisions;
- 86% of women are confident about money management decisions;
- 85% think it is very important for women to understand money management;
- 64% look to their parents as role models when it comes to their finances; and
- 51% of the respondents believe that women tend to have more debt than men.
Close to 400 women responded to the 13-question survey.
This survey elicited a smaller response than others we have conducted, which normally attracted around 2000 replies. Possibly this is an indication that, while many women are taking control of their finances, there is still a considerable need for greater education.
More than 35% of participants were 35-44 years old; 27% between 25 and 34; close to 20% ranged between 45 and 54; 9% were in the 55-64 bracket; close to 6% between 18 and 24; and 3% were older than 65 years.
See the survey here.
When asked who managed their money, 79% of respondents said they were in charge, only 1% said their partners were running their finances, and close to 20% said they were co-managing with their partners.
When it comes to money management decisions in their homes, about 56% said they drove those decisions, while close to 4% said their partners did. The remaining 40% said the decisions were made together with their partners.
When asked if they had an equal say in joint money management decisions, about 89% of respondents said yes and 11% said no.
Confident money management
Asked if they were confident in their money management decisions, 82% said yes and 18% said no. Close to 73% of the respondents said they didn’t believe the stereotype that women are terrible at money management, whereas 27% found some truth in it.
Some 85% thought it was very important for women to understand money management, 14% believed it was important, and 1% thought it was unimportant.
Some 64% of respondents felt that less responsibility is placed on women to be educated about money management compared to their male counterparts, while 36% thought otherwise.
Asked about the age at which they started educating themselves about money, a little more than 25% said they started before the age of 18 years, more than 37% said between the ages of 18 and 24, close to 27% stated between the ages of 25 and34, 9% between 35 and 44, and a little more than 1% said between 45 and 54. Less than 1% started between the ages of 55 and 65.
Close to 90% of respondents thought it was very important for women to be taught about money management at a young age. A little more than 10% thought it was important, while less than 1% found it not important at all.
Parental role models
Some 64% of readers turn to their parents as role models when it comes to their finances. Close to 21% chose their partners, and some 16% look to their friends for guidance.
When asked if they’ve ever sought advice from a financial adviser, nearly half said yes.
Another question was whether respondents would rather entrust a woman or a man to facilitate their finances and their investment portfolio. Close to 70% said it didn’t matter, more than 25% said they would pick a woman, and slightly over 5% said they would choose a man.
About 51% of the respondents believe that women tend to have more debt than men. 49% believe that this statement is purely a myth.
When asked which areas of personal finance they would be interested in, close to 47% said they were interested in savings and investments, 19% said they were interested in planning for retirement, a little more than 12% said they were interested in budgeting, and close to 8% said they were keen to learn about setting financial goals. The remaining 14% were interested in general financial product awareness.
Barriers to education
When asked about the biggest barrier to entry when it comes to women educating themselves on money matters, 24% of respondents think that, because the industry is male-dominated, it is harder for women to educate themselves about personal finances. Some 27% said it was due to a lack of information, more than 19% said it was because of a lack of confidence, over 16% said it was a lack of interest, and 12% said it was due to a lack of experience.
Some 69% of the readers believed that the personal finance industry is geared towards men, while 31% believed the opposite.
Asked about how they’re experiencing the lockdown, 49% of readers said they are coping well, 28% said they are barely coping, and 23% said they are really struggling.
The fact that half of the respondents are finding it hard to cope with lockdown is not surprising, but it does reinforce the importance of educating yourself about your finances so that you can better manage your situation and possibly take some tough decisions.
It’s pleasing that 79% of women are in charge of their money. Many are educating themselves about their personal finances from an early age, and are either making their own money management decisions or are co-managing with their partners.
However, you identify in the world, it is empowering to be able to take care of yourself rather than to hope or expect that others will support you.
Sarah Nicholson is Commercial Manager at JustMoney