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BLOG: Women less ‘financially well’

Joanna Faith
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Joanna Faith

When it comes to women and finances, the news is rarely good.

We are paid less than men, we have less in our pensions, we find it harder to manage debt and we are less confident when it comes to investing.

And now a new study has brought to light yet more disparities between the two sexes; it seems women’s entire ‘financial wellness’ is substandard compared with men’s, despite women being better at managing their money.

For the sake of the research, ‘financial wellness’ refers to planning, managing money and changing behaviour in order to afford expenses and reach life goals.

The study, carried out by financial services firm Momentum UK and the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre, found women are 43% more likely to feel their current income doesn’t cover the cost of their everyday outgoings than their male counterparts.

They are also 54% more likely than men to feel that they could not meet a major expense without borrowing money.

Perhaps less surprisingly, attitudes to finances also vary. Men are 29% more likely than women to show high levels of confidence about their short-term financial situation; the figure jumps to 33% when it comes to their long-term finances.

But somewhat contradictorily, more women than men feel they are in complete control of their finances – 32% vs. 28%.

They also are far more likely to plan their monthly outgoings, monitor their spending on a day-to-day basis and make sacrifices to stay within budget.

Ferdi Van Heerden, chief executive of Momentum UK, said: “While women show superior money management skills compared to their male counterparts, the study indicates they still struggle to find the necessary funds to be comfortable financially especially in the medium- and longer-term.”

There are no doubt various reasons for this, but the most obvious is the gender pay gap on earnings for full-time employees, which currently stands at 9.4%, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

“The fact that we still have to address gender-based financial inequality in the UK is incredibly disappointing, and more must be done to address this issue,” says Van Heerden.

I couldn’t agree more.