3 Myths About Women, Men and Money

Over the years women have been pinned with the stereotype that they are not good with money. Jokes about shoe shopping and license plate frames touting, “Driver carries no cash. He’s married” just add to the assumption that men are better with money than women. Of course, as a female CFP™, I take personal offense to that. So here’s some evidence to suggest that this myth should be busted!

Myth 1: Men spend less money than women

Data suggests < http://www.mint.com/blog/uncategorized/boys-gone-shopping-wild/> that men don’t spend less than women, they just spend differently. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks consumer spending patterns per gender, finds that personal spending between the genders evens out. For example, while women have historically spent more on their apparel than men do on theirs, recent findings show that men are spending more on eating out, audio and visual equipment and transportation.1,2

Here’s where men and women stand when it comes to credit card debt: while BLS data indicates that 76% of women have at least some credit card debt compared with 67% of men, it also reveals that credit card balances are higher for males.

Myth 2: Investing is primarily a man’s world

Two surveys actually suggest women might be more prudent investors.

  1. Looking at patterns < http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2010/11/the_shopaholic_myth.html > across 35,000 households, it was determined that male investors traded stocks about 50% more often than women investors, with their market timing efforts resulting in poorer returns and more frequent fees and charges.
  2. A nationwide survey < http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124181915279001967.html> revealed that only one in every 40 women had “made riskier investments looking for long-term growth” in the past week, while one in eight men had taken such a risk.4

Myth 3: Men are better at saving than women

Other surveys <http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20100510007375/en/Citi-Survey-Finds-Young-Women-%E2%80%9CMe-Generation%E2%80%9D> find women prioritizing savings and debt reduction. TD Ameritrade has a new poll out in which 68% of women say they intend to save more of their money in 2011, compared to 62% of men. In a 2010 Citigroup survey, 48% of women aged 18 to 39 said that they were saving more money than they had in the past. Overall, 72% of women in the Citi survey responded that they would use extra cash to pay down debt, compared to 65% of their male counterparts.

The bottom line is that most people, whether male or female, would benefit from better money management and long-term financial goals. If there is one piece of advice I want to pass along to women it is this: You need to be involved and informed about decisions regarding your money AND be strategic about your future. Women can break past these stereotypes and myths and have a financial impact on their families for generations to come!

Julie Newcomb, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in Orange County, CA, specializes in financial planning for women.  As a wife, mom and business owner, Julie understands the pressures and challenges most women feel on a daily basis as they juggle many important priorities. Julie’s favorite thing about her job is the ability to give women peace of mind when they entrust her with their finances. To learn more about Julie Newcomb Financial, go to julienewcomb.com.