05 Mar 2021 • 3mins • Yolt

Women and money: busting the myths

Women and money: busting the myths

Ladies, are you ready? It’s time to rethink these common money myths and take back confidence in your finances…

“All women are shopaholics.”

The idea that women are reckless spenders is nothing new. Questioning women’s spending habits has been a tactic for tarnishing reputations for years.

As far back as the 1800s, Marie Antoinette’s so called ‘extravagant’ spending habits earned her the sly nickname ‘Madame Deficit’ among her people. While more recently, Theresa May’s £900 trousers made national headlines. (David Cameron’s expensive suits weren’t worth the front page.)

However, despite the stereotype, research suggests it’s actually men who spend more on impulse purchases, cashing out roughly £65 a month compared to £54 for women.

“Women aren’t great at saving.”

It’s unfair to accuse anyone of poor money management when they’re not earning the same amount as their peers. Women’s average hourly earnings were 15.5% less than men’s, 2020 figures show.

Thankfully, things are heading in the right direction and the pay gap has been steadily closing since the government made reporting compulsory back in 2017. However, anyone who tells you the pay gap has disappeared is sadly mistaken.

“Investing is a man’s game.”

Have you ever dabbled in stocks and shares? Some 52% of women have never made a formal investment, compared to 37% of men. Why? Well, education seems to be the biggest problem, with half the number of women (13%) believing they have a good knowledge of investments and the stock exchange as men (26%).

But that’s no reason to leave it to the men. In fact, research shows that women are actually savvier when it comes to investing. A three-year study by Hargreaves Lansdown found women returned 0.81% more on their investments compared to men. Over 30 years, that would give the average woman a portfolio worth 25% more than a man’s.

“Women can’t manage money.”

Did you know, it wasn’t until 1975 that women could legally open a UK bank account in their own name? Until then, women could also be refused a mortgage because they didn’t have a male guarantor.

Could these laws have affected women’s confidence in financial services long-term? It’s not a crazy assumption to make. Thankfully, attitudes are shifting faster than the rules. In the US for example, 72% of millennial women are their household's primary financial decision-maker, compared to less than half of Baby Boomer women.

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