Does our gender really have anything to do with the way we approach money? Let’s find out!
There’s no doubting the fact that each individual is unique, and he or she deals with various aspects of life differently. The mystery we’re trying to solve today is a little different – does our gender have anything to do with the way we handle finances?
In the early 60s & 70s, women used to spend money on clothes, accessories – this gave birth to the stereotype that they are big spenders, shopaholics, etc.. But it’s important to note that this was also a time when women were not allowed to work and so they had to distract themselves. Also, being restricted to their homes, women were directly influenced by the TV boom, which nurtured the consumeristic attitude.
Today, women and men both earn, but women are physically & mentally occupied at work which reduces their temptation to consume to such an extent that they have proven to be bigger savers than men. Now that we’ve given you context, let’s look at external as well as internal factors around gender and money.
Societal Perceptions Of Gender and Money
Recent studies have highlighted external factors in human society that seem to affect a person’s equation with money and earning.
- For instance, earning women typically are appreciated more than earning men, since men are stereotypically expected to work anyway. In this instance, the male gender seems to be at the receiving end of negativity.
- On the other hand, when it comes to parenting, a man does not get questioned if he isn’t able to spend much time with his kid due to a hectic work schedule, whereas a woman who may be handling a job as demanding as the man is more likely to be questioned about why she’s not making time for her child.
From the above two instances, it is clear that gender as a social construct does impact both men and women from an external point of view. But what about internally? Do any of the stereotypes have any biological or psychological base?
Additional Reading: Women At The Workplace
Turns out, while typecasting women as hardcore shoppers and spenders is a bloated exaggeration, a Wharton School study observed that men and women biologically think about some different activities differently.
In the study, more men took a more goal-oriented approach to activities like shopping, whereas more women cared more about the entire experience. So, one can surely see a difference in approach here.
Secondly, when it comes to financial activities that require diligence and discipline, women seem to handle their money better than men. The study’s insights reveal that both sexes typically approach debt issues differently too. While men concentrated more on earning more income to handle debt, women focused on minimised expenses to accommodate debt payments.
Additional Reading: 4 Credit Cards For 4 Different Women
Thirdly, a 2018 survey brought out a very interesting aspect of financial goals with respect to men and women. While most men and women had very similar financial goals, the top two revealed a lot about priorities. Women’s top priority was paying off debts, followed by going on vacation. Flip these two and that was exactly what the men answered. How similar but how different too, right?
Additional Reading: Financial Planning For Women
So What Do We Make Of These Findings, You Ask?
Well, for starters, we can acknowledge the following:
- Yes, men and women are different to some extent, and this difference is also seen in the way each sex handles its respective finances.
- Societal structures do affect and shape how men and women perceive money, and this is thankfully changing as humans break gender barriers and adopt a more progressive lifestyle.
- While both sexes are inherently different, the risk of stereotyping may not do justice to exceptional cases on either case, because at the end of the day, each of us is unique.
- It is time to completely do away with the encouraging of cliches surrounding gender if we want our future generation to see a fair and free world.
Irrespective of what gender you belong to, smart financial planning starts with your Credit Score.