When you consider the vast differences between the genders, it stands to reason men and women approach money differently. If you find you are battling with your domestic counterpart, it can be because the sexes stand divided on their approach to money management. For example, when trying to save money, women tend to look at how they can cut costs whereas men look to invest and grow their financial gains.
Areas of Expense
Men and women have not only very different expenditures but unmatched areas where they focus their spending. Not surprisingly, women excel in spending their money on apparel and accessories whereas men tend to spend more on personal transportation. So while women may be eyeing up lab created diamonds, men are looking into vehicle purchases and maintenance.
The explanation could be that women approach how they spend money as a way to maintain a perceived level of status by supporting a lifestyle, where men see money as a tool to substantiate if they are winning at this game called life. The main problem with this train of thought for women is it can lead to financial ruin if it becomes an obsession to keep up with the Jones’s no matter what the cost.
When it comes to investing money, again, the approach differs by sex. Women, for example, want to know and understand all of the associated risks and potential gains. They tend to ask questions until they feel they have a grasp of what they are investing in and why. Men, on the other hand, seem to be more willing to take risks without educating themselves on the particular details. Men focus on maximizing their returns where women are interested in the attainably of overall comfort.
When conferring with married women regarding their financial situation and budgetary goals and restraints, women typically view money as a collaborative venture, referring to money management as a joint task and generally speak as part of a team; “we” are focusing on this goal. The opposite sex refers to the same situation in the first person, “I am” this or that. Along the same lines, men are happy to have their assets merged with women as opposed to women who want to have the freedom to spend with less accountability.
Part of the struggle between the sexes can be attributed to the disparity in income; men, on average, earn more than women. Comparatively speaking, it is difficult to justly assert women spend more money than men because of the differences in income. Even if they spend the same amount in some categories of expenses, women will find themselves over budget because their income isn’t on par with men.
The differences don’t end there; simply put, women and men spend their money differently. For example, women are happy and more likely to shop at outlet stores where men tend to stick to shopping at traditional department stores. Store brands are also purchased by women more than men. Not only that, but women are more likely to seek out deals and specials and get emails or notifications of special sales than men are. The same goes for using coupons; women will make more of an effort than men to save extra money by using coupons when making purchases.
So, between the sexes, who is actually better with money based on how they view and spend it? The answer isn’t as clear cut as you may like to think. Men and women excel in different areas with money matters. Of course, the above are generalities and your situation could be entirely different.
To truly win, you must learn to capitalize on your own strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses and allow your spouse to do the same. Teamwork will absolutely make the financial dream work.