Who is More Financially Literate, Men or Women?

This is a sponsored campaign with Mums the Word Network and David Lerner Associates. All opinions are my own.

When you’re at the stage of life when your children start graduating high school, you look back at all the years and wonder if you’ve prepared them to be out on their own. We tend to focus on things like cooking and cleaning (and I can admit that we haven’t done too stellar in that aspect of teaching in our home), but it seems to me by listening to my daughter’s friends that many millenials haven’t been taught much financial management, if any at all. Seeing as there is a gap between men and women (even college educated ones) in the subject of financial literacy makes me want to give her an even bigger head start while she’s young. And we have incorporated aspects of it in our homeschool as we’ve been able to, but still she has so much to learn.

For example did you know that 70% of men pay off their credit card balances in full, but only 48% of women do*? That’s why we’ve stressed the importance of paying off her monthly credit card balance to our daughter when she gets her first one. Credit Cards are a great way to purchase items to leverage points to maximize the money one has to spend and to build a strong credit score, but when used irresponsibly can be a detriment to your finances. We sat her down with an actual credit card bill to show her the cost analysis of buying something now only to make the minimum payment on it to see how much more one ends up spending for instant gratification if the balance is not paid in full. It was a bit of an eye opener for her.

Or how about an emergency fund? 64% of men have one to cover unexpected expenses or to pay bills for a few months if they lose their job, while only 45% of women do*. Yikes! Being without a job is stressful enough, but wondering whether you’ll be able to pay the rent or the mortgage or buy school supplies for your kids, makes it even harder to deal with. We’ve always assured our daughter that we have saved money in reserve should the unfortunate incident occur that my husband all of a sudden found himself jobless. She might have to do without the latest video game and she may no longer have a smartphone data plan, but she doesn’t have to worry about going hungry or answer debt collectors on the phone. Because of this she has already started saving 50% of her paychecks that she earns as a cashier at a grocery store, so that when she needs funds to replace a laptop or to make a down payment for a car in a few years, she’ll have the funds to do that. Also since she already is in the habit of doing it now, once she is finished college and gets a job earning a larger salary it will be second nature to put aside what she can afford after expenses to build a comfortable savings hedge for herself.

As a young woman making her way in the world I don’t want her to become dependent on a man for her financial decisions. I want her to be able to support herself no matter what happens in the future, and if she gets married that she can have thoughtful and meaningful input with her husband as they make financial decisions together.

It’s all about budgeting and too often as married women we ignore it and let our husbands take up the financial reigns. Or if we’re single we feel we just don’t have the time or we don’t have enough income to bother with it, because we just spend what comes in anyway. It’s never too early, or too late for women to take steps to improve their financial literacy and there is a great resource over on the David Lerner Facebook Page explaining Financial Literacy and the Gender Gap. They’re interested in helping improve financial literacy for women in the U.S. and include some good information on how you as a woman can increase your knowledge on the subject and start or continue on a deeper level to take ownership of the finances in your life.

What area in your financial literacy as a woman do you feel you have excelled at and where do you think you could use some improvement or guidance in?

*Statistics taken from Financial Literacy and Gender Gap: Improving Financial Literacy for Women in the U.S. provided by David Lerner Associates, Inc.

9 thoughts on “Who is More Financially Literate, Men or Women?

  1. In our house it's definitely me that's more financially literate. I'd probably say it's that way for the majority of my friends.

  2. This is not the case at all in my house. My husband never seemed to be able to save a penny. I always make sure I have at least a small emergency fund at all times.

  3. I am financially literate NOW, but that wasn't the case when I left undergrad. Although I took several finance and accounting classes, I had zero concept of managing personal finances.

  4. I know that I am bad for giving in to my husband or the kids when they want something, even if I know we can't really afford it. If my husband was managing the money I don't think this would happen as much.

  5. I have seen so many men around me be poor in saving and spending money. I can not waste money, and I save money every month in case of an emergency. I am very savvy about money and have never had problems with not being able to pay my bills.

  6. I have an emergency fund, retirement account, plans, and always paid off debts asap. I always worked hard to make sure we were financially secure.

  7. I know I'm much better at finances and being responsible and better prepared for the future as I've gotten older. This is a great reminder for women. Thanks!

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