Who manages the household finances better? Men or women?

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Men and women manage finances differently. But who does it better? Let's find out!

Before we answer who manages finances better, ask yourself these questions.

  1. Are you more aware of the monthly expenses, or is your partner?
  2. Who looks for bargains, deals, and coupons to shop for the day-to-day groceries?
  3. Who has a better bank balance?

Keep the answers in mind, and read on. 

Household saving patterns

According to a survey, men are more confident while investing money than women. They are more informed in various investment instruments, and would at least like to invest the money so that the returns are high and the risk is low. Women, on the other hand, are more risk averse, and try and stick to the traditional low-risk low returns instruments like the bank accounts. According to a local report, Singaporean women leave more part of their CPF untouched than men, thereby accruing a better rate of interest. 

When it comes to big expenses like a house in Singapore, chances are high that both the partners take a mortgage. Same is the case with cars. However, the choice of car would differ between the couple and women end up owning more 'practical' cars with less running costs than men. 

Spending patterns

Watching spendings is as important as ensuring that you save enough. Empirical evidence suggests that women spend a greater percentage of their earnings on daily expenses whereas men tend to spend sporadically, saving the rest. Both of them end up spending equally on children's education and enrichment activities. 

However, in addition to spending, a lot of households nowadays lose money due to ill managed credit card debts. In a survey conducted in the USA, 42% women made just the minimum payment as against to 38% men. And, 92% women had paid a late fee at one point or as opposed to only 23% men. That said, men are more likely to use the cash advances than women. 

Verdict

Taking into consideration the saving and the spending patterns, women are better at budgeting the monthly household finances than men. According to an article, it is because women are better at planning expenses whereas men end up making impulsive purchases. In addition, women are more likely to seek saving advice and read about saving tips than men. 

The 8 point budgeting plan

Well, before you pat yourself on your back for being the better planner, do check if you follow the 8 point budget plan.

  1. Save before spending. Put aside money before you spend it on things instead of the other way round.
  2. Anticipate expenses. Maintain a spreadsheet for all the expenses that you anticipate. Update it every month with your partner. 
  3. Use credit cards sparingly. Credit cards are wonderful to better your credit score, ensuring that you get a better mortgage rate. However, ensure that you pay in full and in time. 
  4. Assess the intangibles. It is easy to own costly things. However, see if it really makes sense in investing in intangibles without much value, like a faster internet connection at home, or upgrading your data plan just to consume more media on the go. Your phone may have a 'buy back' value, but the money you spend on cellular data is lost forever. 
  5. Pay cash. This is not what most of the countries promote, but if you actually withdraw cash and spend it on the day to day expenses, you are more likely to save. The reason being, you check the price of every item you buy at Fairprice if you are going to use cash!
  6. Get a good education plan. Set aside money for your children's education right from the day they are born. This will make it easier to pay their college fees.
  7. Buy within means. Concentrate on the needs first. See if you really want that fancy car or the new purse. Don't blow off an entire salary on a clutch just because your friend purchased a designer one last month. 
  8. Discuss. Be on the same page with your partner. If there is an anticipated expense, do let each other know. And, set a threshold for individual spending. Before you cross that, consult the other. This way, there won't be financial shocks. 

In the end, it does not matter who saves better as long as there is enough set aside for the future.