We are not trying to start a gender war (well, maybe we are 😉 ), we just thought it would be an interesting topic to talk about. Men and women have similar financial goals (travel, housing, education, etc), however, there seems to be a huge variation in money management principles, including savings and investments by both genders. In this blog post, we will try and find out how and why.
Four things will help us; Spending Habits, Cost-Consciousness, Earning Disparity, and Risk-taking.
One good way to determine which gender manages money better is to first outline their spending habits, knowing that spending habits reflect your money management principles.
Food and Clothes: Men spend more money on food, and this is not surprising since a lot of men either don’t enjoy cooking or don’t know their way around the kitchen. As a result, a large portion of their income is spent on restaurants and food delivery services. Women, on the other hand, tend to spend more on clothes. It is obvious that there is no competition, women love to look good and can break the bank to do so.
Cars: It is a well-known fact that men spend more money on cars. Asides from being a necessity, cars are ego boosters and men will spare no expense to get their dream cars.
Entertainment: In many parts of the world, men and women spend roughly the same amount when they go out to have fun. In Nigeria however, men spend much more because the “going Dutch” culture is not popular in this part of the world so they end up paying the tab whenever they go out with a lady. Popping bottles in clubs is also a huge ego booster for men and they tend to throw all caution to the wind when spending.
Women are likely to be more cost-conscious. They spend more time in the market bargaining with the traders to get the best price for goods and services. Women also save money by looking for sales while shopping and buying name brands from more affordable sources. A woman is also more likely to take out time to look for coupons which help to save money on purchases. Men generally do not have the patience for all of this, hence losing out on massive discounts.
It is important to note the disparity in earning power because more earnings mean you have more to save and invest. In many countries, men earn considerably more than women, although this is changing. Therefore, even if a woman saves 20% of her income, her male counterpart who saves 10% could still be saving much more.
This is related to investments, which is a different ballgame entirely. Experts suggest that women are more cautious when it comes to investments. They are likely to take more calculated risks and seek help or do extensive research before investing. This invariably means that women earn less via investments because the higher the risks, the higher the returns. Men, on the other hand, are risk-takers. Studies have shown that men are more knowledgeable and confident and likely to take risks which translates to higher returns but sometimes big losses
In conclusion, we cannot categorically determine which gender saves or invests more. Both have their strengths and weaknesses and can learn from each other. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this in the comment section below.