Who is smarter in money matters men or women?

To gain insight into the way Australians approach and handle their personal finances, Australia’s leading financial comparison website RateCity has released an extensive consumer study, uncovering the impact money has on relationships, health and well being.  

Key findings from the Cash of the Country report:

1. Both men and women feel that they are the boss of the relationship when it comes to money

A huge 84 percent of men and 61 percent of women think they are the financial decision-maker in their household.

21 percent of women concede their partner is the boss, but only a tiny 7 percent of men think their partner is the boss. Alex Parsons CEO of RateCity said:.

“There is a struggle in Australian households around financial decision making,”

2. Money matters are causing issues in relationships

love_or_moneyOver one in four Australians admit money has caused issues in their relationships, with slightly more men (28 percent) than women (24 percent) revealing cash causing problems.

Coincidentally, men are significantly more willing than women to lend money to partners, family members and friends. Alex Parsons said:

“Lending money to your loved ones is usually a bad idea, because it can put your relationship in jeopardy. What often happens is that you don’t get paid back, and that can ruin the relationship,”

3. The more formal the level of commitment in a relationship, the less couples are likely to spend on each other

Married couples are less likely to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for one another than couples who are in the early stages of their relationship.

54 percent of married couples don’t buy Valentine’s Day gifts, compared with 32 percent of de facto couples and 26 percent of people who are dating. Alex Parsons said:

“The report showed that as a majority, Australians tend not to ‘buy in’ to the hallmark holiday and as you would expect, they are more likely to make the effort early on in the relationship,”

4. Men spend more money on impulse shopping

Most of us associate impulse shopping with women, but even though slightly more women admit to impulse shopping (75 percent of women vs 73 percent men), men spend much more on their impulse purchases.money_4

According to the findings, the majority of women spend less than $500 impulse shopping, while the majority of men tend to spend between $500 and to $10,000 – and some even more – on their impulse purchases. Alex Parsons said:

“Fast spending has become easy with credit cards, and more and more Australians find ourselves spending money that we don’t have.

One in six of the men who admitted to having impulse shopped for $10,000 or more had an income of under $75,000 per year, which is really alarming,”

5. Debt is a deal breaker for women

household debtAustralia is becoming an increasingly indebted nation, with the latest figures showing we now have over $49 billion on our credit cards and around $34 billion in negative balances accruing interest – and that’s bad news for bachelors with heavy financial baggage.

According to the Cash of the Country report, debt is a deal breaker for many women. Forty-nine percent of Australian women wouldn’t date someone with over $50,000 in debt compared to 30 percent men, and 36 percent of women wouldn’t date someone with a bad credit rating compared to just 19 percent of men.

The research shows that having your finances in order was more important for the slightly older generations of women.

6. Men are more honest about what they earn and owe

Men are more open about debt, with 61 percent confessing to their partners exactly how much debt they have compared to just 56 percent women. Men are also more open about savings (56 percent vs 52 percent women) and how much they earn (62 percent vs 59 percent women) than women. Alex Parsons said:

“Just as debt is a deal breaker for many women, having a stable income can be a deal maker. Our findings show that the more they earned, the more likely men were to be open about money to their partners,”

7. Women won’t quit chocolate, while men refuse to ditch the booze

When it comes to the finer things in life, women and men have different priorities.

When asked if they only had $10 left until their next pay and they had to spend it on non-essential items, the majority of women said they would spend it on chocolates while the majority of men would spend it on coffee.

When asked which non-essential item they would give up last, men said they would rather give up the gym than alcohol, while women would rather give up alcohol than the gym.

Alex Parsons, CEO of RateCity said:

“The findings from our Cash of the Country report clearly show that there are differentiating approaches to personal finances between men and women.

“There is a struggle in Australian households around financial decision making. The majority of both genders feel that they are the financial decision maker in their relationship, so who is really making the decisions?

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“Interestingly, only a tiny proportion of men (7 percent) feel that their female partner is the financial decision-maker in their relationship and conversely only 21 percent of women think their partner is the boss. They can’t both be right can they?

“When it comes to spending money on each other, the more formal the level of commitment in a relationship, the less likely couples are to buy gifts for one another – 50 percent of married couples not purchasing on Valentine’s Day, compared with 32 percent of de facto couples and 26 percent of people who are dating.

“The key to being in excellent financial shape is good information. Overall, men spend more time – a month or more – researching and comparing things like home loans, credit cards, car insurance than women.

“RateCity’s exclusive agreement with Canstar means we have access to incredibly accurate and detailed information about a huge range of consumer financial products and this new report complements this data with an understanding of consumer behaviour around finances,”


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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au

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