How do men and women differ when it comes to money?

8th March marks International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s achievements around the globe. With a female managing director in an industry traditionally dominated by men and a Savvy female finance journalist guest blogging for us, Noddle is proud to support women and gender equality this March. To help tell the story, we’ve taken a look at what, if anything, currently separates men and women when it comes to finance.

Decision making

When it comes to making financial decisions, women hold the purse strings, according to retail analysts Mintel, which found that 84% of women influence the important financial decisions for their family*. Being the lead decision makers on finance, as well as holidays and technology purchases, women run a tight ship when managing family money matters. This could be because compared to men, women are more likely to be concerned with day to day financial risks, like cost of living (59% compared to 48% of men) and price rises or inflation (37% compared with 33% of men).**

That age old stereotype that women spend more £££

The common assumption, fuelled by gender stereotypes, that women spend more money on fashion and accessories has been proven untrue, as a survey found men spend almost as much as women, splashing out a collective £13 billion on clothing a year.***


Based on BlackRock’s Investor Pulse survey**, women have on average £5,000 debt – £3,000 less than men outside of a mortgage. However, in general both sexes fair equally when it comes to debt if measured as a proportion of their salary (22%). Interestingly, more women have a student loan (11% compared to 9%), whilst more men are likely to turn to a payday loan (18% compared to 13%).

When things do hit rock bottom, women are more likely than men to cut their spending if in financial crisis (60% versus 55% of men), according to a survey by insolvency trade body R3¹. Women also worry most about money (51% compared to 40% of men).²

Savings and Investments

Could men be more open to taking risks than woman? Good news is that neither men nor women are saving more than the other, with both holding savings accounts (51% of women and 50% of men). However, take a look at the stats for stocks and shares ISAs and the numbers may paint a better picture of which gender is more willing to take risks. Whilst 17% of men have a stocks and shares ISA, only 10% of women hold one and 7% of women have other investments of unit trusts compared to 14% of men³. In a separate study by BritainThinks₁, women thought investing wasn’t for them and something to be left to wealthy men in corporate environments.

Turning to private pensions more men are topping up their retirement funds (17%), as opposed to just 11% of women.³

Women and men are arguably different, so the way we manage our money and finances may well differ. There’s probably a whole host of things we could learn from the opposite sex on personal finance. What are your personal finance tips?