There was an interesting discussion about money and gender on the Today show yesterday. The experts started out by stating that it costs more to be a woman – dry cleaning, shampoos, cosmetics, etc.
I’m not sure that I agree. I think on average, this is correct. I look at my male coworkers and I’m sure I spend more on cosmetics and toiletries, because while I don’t spend a lot on makeup, most of them spend nothing. Dry cleaning? Questionable. But then I have female coworkers who wear little to no makeup (and look beautiful), so they clearly spend less than me and probably less than the average man.
One interesting statistic was that women often spend in little amounts without thinking about how it adds up, whereas men are more apt to go and splurge on a big ticket item – a new tv, car, etc. Overall, women usually end up spending more in this manner. I was surprised by that stat.
A big part of this discussion was about investments. For the most part, men do most of the investing for the family. But when women do invest, they do it better than men! Why? Women ask for directions. They do research and ask questions. But when they do, they stick to the plan. Surprisingly, men are more emotional when they invest. They buy and sell a lot.
One reason that was given to explain why more men invest was because investing is a traditionally male activity. Generations ago, men handled the money and most women weren’t even given a view into the family finances. Those men taught their sons, and those men taught their sons. The message? Teach your sons and your daughters to invest. Teach your friends, both male and female. Learn about investing.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.