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How Australian men and women treat their money

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The wage gap is clear, but how does it influence spending and saving among men and women? Let's look at our attitudes towards money in Australia.

How do Australian men and women treat their money differently?

Does earning more or less than the opposite sex influence how you treat your money? According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the wage gap between men and women has fluctuated between 15 and 19 per cent for nearly 20 years.

As we strive towards addressing this and pushing our Women in Finance initiative, let's take a look beyond what we earn, and dissect different attitudes to how we spend and save.

1. Men are saving more than women

It appears the wage gap is translating into a savings gap. A Human Rights Commission (HRC) report states that between the ages of 45 and 59, women have on average $8,000 in their super fund compared to $31,000 for men.

This is likely directly attributable to the wage gap, but proportionate figures favour men too. One Suncorp Bank study indicated that men save 13 per cent of their income on average, while for women this was only 10 per cent.

There are ways forward from this: the HRC is investigating the value of unpaid care (for example, family care) which is often taken up by women, and a push for greater financial planning awareness among women may also help to address the shortfall.

Are you really saving?

2. Both men and women love to spend - but on who?

One study from the Department of Social Services found that while women control the bulk of household finances, actual spending decisions are joint or taken on by husbands. It also identified that women were more likely to spend on a household, while men would spend on personal consumption - particularly if the women earned income.

Further research from Rabobank looks at our impulse spending: women are far more likely to buy food and clothing, while men gravitate towards impulse purchases of gadgets / technology, alcohol and music or other media.

savings

For your financial planning, why not look at what kind of spending each person is doing in the household, and where personal spending can be done for the good of a household?

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3. Women prefer financial advice

In some research from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on attitudes towards money, some stark differences between men and women were laid clear. Men are significantly more confident in their ability to understand financial language (67.8 per cent of men agree compared to 59.8 per cent of women), while women are far more open to financial advice.

In fact, women are more likely to consider using financial advisers and banks to learn more about money than men, who prefer to use family and friends.

There are some stark differences in how men and women approach money - but many of these attitudes may not translate into action. Using a financial advisor is a great way to plan, save and achieve your goals - no matter who you are. Get in touch with Yellow Brick Road for any questions about understanding your finances a little better.

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