Are Women Better With Money? Written by Shekinah Ade-Gold on behalf of Budget Leaf
Gender Wage Gap
According to The Global Gender Gap Report (2020), Jamaica ranks 41 out of 153 countries when it comes to having equal pay for men and women. It has been found that for every $100 a Jamaican man makes, a Jamaican woman will earn $62. This gap has been steadily closing and is expected to do so in about 100 years, as attitudes in the workplace continue to shift; however, what does this mean for our spending habits? Which gender is actually more financially responsible when it comes to using their earnings?
Women Earn Less and Are More Careful
An article published in the Jamaica Gleaner titled “Jamaica to Close Gender Gap in 100 Years”, highlights a scenario where a female director resigned from her post at a BPO organization. The report states: “The director learned that she would have to train a new director to support her in the same role as the company was expanding. She, however, learned that he would earn substantially more than her, even without BPO (business process outsourcing) experience... Both are locals. The only difference that I could see is that she was female and he was male.” In a situation like this, we can see where women would be more willing to be careful with their earnings, as fulfilling employment is typically hard to come by and being paid a fair amount is even more difficult - for men and women alike.
Men Spend Money More Impulsively
In a survey conducted by the UK polling service called eToro in 2019, men spend more money on impulse purchases while women are more likely to budget and plan for their expenditure. Most of the women who responded in the service identified themselves as being more careful, while only 41% of male responders made this declaration. It was found that the women were also more likely to know how much money was in their bank accounts compared to the men polled. This careful use of money can be attested to by many, as we will see in the next point.
Half of Jamaica’s Families are led by Single Mothers
As a Jamaican, it is not strange to observe that almost half of our families are led by women. In 2002, The Planning Institute of Jamaica found that 45% of families were headed by women. They also found that these families would tend to have a larger number of children and adult females; however, compared to their male-headed counterparts, there was a lower level of income in these homes. As many can attest to being raised mostly/totally by their mothers, it would then seem appropriate that their financial aptitude would be largely influenced by them. Indeed, there are many stories of mothers earning minimum wage (and below) who were able to send their children to school and provide for them on a daily basis, oftentimes without help from a male figure.
Women are dominating the Micro-business Sector
Women are leading the charge in micro-business organizations a 2019 study outlined. The study, conducted by LUMIN Consulting (owned by The University of the West Indies) and commissioned by the Development Bank of Jamaica, stated that women with high school-level education were leading in owning their own businesses. It was discovered that they were more likely to utilize services such as e-bill payments, wire transfers, mobile money, and taking loans from financial institutions. According to The World Bank’s website, “Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries. SMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development.” Therefore, it can be alluded to that women are better with money because they play a more pivotal role in the development of our country.
While men do earn more, studies seem to prove that women are more clear-headed about what to do with their earnings, especially since they statistically live longer lives and plan farther ahead. This can be a result of gender differences in terms of employment and financial attitudes throughout history, but as time passes and women take the lead, it would help for men to learn more frugality from their female counterparts.
1. “Jamaica to Close Gender Gap in 100 Years”, Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner (January 1, 2020)
2. “Women better with money than men, study claims”, Grant Bailey, The Independent (May 23, 2019)
3. “Too many single parents”, Keisha Hill, The Jamaica Gleaner (April 10, 2011)
4. “Micro-business sector dominated by women”, The Jamaica Observer (February 10, 2019)