Gender and Finance – How Do UK Men and Women Spend Their Money?



Personal spending is shaped by countless influences. In some cases, necessity is all that’s required to drive a purchase; you need a roof over your head, so you’d better pay the rent. Under other circumstances, personal discretion and preference play greater roles, allowing you to weigh the costs and benefits of spending, before committing valuable resources. In still other cases, it may be your gender at work, exerting influence on personal spending choices.

People approach financial decision-making in different ways. And personal money managers each have a different set of resources and responsibilities to manage. Despite the unique factors shaping our financial lives, observers often assign stereotypes, outlining expectations about different groups of spenders. A recent survey took a close look at men’s and women’s spending habits, quickly debunking a few myths about the ways the different genders handle money.

Surprising Results Herald a New Understanding

Young women may be getting a bad rap, when it comes to perceptions about the way they manage money. Think millennials are careless spenders? Assume young women are impulsive and have a hard time keeping their pocketbooks closed? Recent research shows the opposite may be true, actually identifying women in their 20’s as the best money savers, when compared to women in other age groups. It seems women in their 20’s are able to set by about 17 per cent of their income – the highest share of any group.

Interestingly, the poll identified marked lifestyle spending differences across groups, with young women willing to spend on things older women would not. The youngsters, it turns out, have the lowest tolerance for expensive shoes, while they are at ease spending a bit more on wine or brunch with friends. Also of note among women survey respondents: women in their 20’s and 30’s are likely to spend for social reasons, while those in their 40’s and 50’s prefer to buy clothes, and women in their 60’s and 70’s spend discretionary resources on holidays.

As might be expected, financial priorities are different among women of different ages. For the younger group, getting on the property ladder is an important financial goal, but women in their 20’s and 30’s are also willing to spend money on holidays. These women are also focused on earning power, placing a good salary near the top of their financial priorities. Women in their 40’s were financially most concerned about putting by emergency savings. And beyond a certain age, financial concerns naturally shift toward retirement finance, for women in the over-50 age class.

What’s a “Mansumer”?

Women control a vast amount of spending, but they aren’t the only consumers in British households. A rising class of spenders, known as mansumers are taking over roles traditional reserved for women. Not only have men’s buying preferences changed, but they are also opening their wallets with greater frequency, tipping the balance of household consumer control.

Women have traditionally dominated spending in consumer categories such as fashion, accessories, and other goods once marketed almost exclusively toward women buyers. Men are now spending more on these items than ever before. In fact, though excess fashion shopping is commonly attributed to women; men’s monthly spend on clothes and shoes actually exceeds the amount of cash women devote to these areas.

Although they were once keyed-in on gadgets and other distinctly male consumer items, modern men are much more interested in apparel and other consumer categories than men once were. The changing spending trend is so pronounced, new products are coming to market, aimed directly at this group of men buyers, willing to drop money on clothes, accessories, and other goods.

Fortunately for UK women and men needing fast cash, the payday lending industry is gender neutral. Both sexes enjoy access to affordable short-term finance, without undergoing extensive credit checks. With a job and a paycheck on the way, an approved applicant receives funding without delay – and there are no restrictions on how the money is spent.

Personal spending choices are influenced by many factors. In addition to things like individual preferences, cash flow, family size, and other financial variables, it is also clear gender directly influences how Britons spend money. Shifting consumer trends now show men are outspending women in categories they once ignored, and young women are the ones putting by the most savings. As these financial changes continue to unfurl in various demographic groups, gender trending spends offer valuable insight into the mindset of British consumers.

Paul graduated in 2001 with a degree in Finance. Since then he has gone on to work for several of the UK's most well-known financial institutions.

An avid blogger and a huge football fan, Paul is here to guide you through the ins and outs of personal finance and perhaps save you some money in the process!

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