Women control the family finances

Nia Williams

March 23, 2011

New research from M&S Money has revealed that 72% of their financial services products are owned by the fairer sex.

M&S Money surveyed 1,000 adults to examine the changing dynamics of gender roles with regards to financial decisions in their households. Although the gender pay gap is narrowing, on average men still tend to earn 10% more than women and there are 10% more men in employment than women. Despite this, almost six in ten (59%) of those questioned said they think that women are better than men at running a household’s finances.

In addition, more women than men say they actually like to take control of the household money (61% compared with 57%). These findings are in stark contrast with gender roles in the previous generation as the majority (55%) of people said that it was their father who was the financial head of the household when they were growing up.

Surprisingly, more men (10%) than women (7%) wish their partner would take control of the household finances, showing a shift in traditional responsibilities. Despite this, men believe they make more of the important financial decisions (62%) than women (54%).

Commenting, Colin Kersley, chief executive of M&S Money, said: “Although men remain the main income earners in the majority of families, it seems that it is women who hold the purse strings when it comes to the family finances. These findings firmly put the myth of the father as the financial head of the family to rest as the changing responsibilities within British households are revealed.”

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