Do Gender Differences Affect Money and Finance?

Gender Differences Affect Money and Finance

Money and marriage issuesThe traditional view of gender, money and finances states that men are in charge of the money therefore they are more concerned about staying within a budget.  The men in a relationship are also more concerned about the long-range goals a couple might have such as owning a home someday or retiring early.  The traditional female role was secondary when it came to money and finances.

Although this might have been the stereotypical picture of most couples, almost everyone knows of a couple where the roles seem reversed.  The women are aghast at their husband's spendthrift ways and there is a constant struggle between the two to decide whether money is used for spontaneous fun or as a tool for eventual economic freedom.

Behind the exterior facade of the traditional view or the opposite, there are some basic gender differences in how men and women look at money and finance, whether it is the male or female that tends to gravitate towards careless spending.  Generally speaking, men tend to think of money as a game and as a measure of status and power.  For some, this manifests itself as spontaneous spending in order to fulfill the idea of "he who dies with the most toys wins" or it is revealed through tight budget control, which eventually leads to a similar outcome except that the reward is a large accumulation of assets rather than the most toys.

Women tend to look at money as a tool which serves them and their loved ones.  This might manifest in them wanting to spend now on what seems like trivial things like clothes, manicures, special things for the kids, etc. because it seems to serve their immediate wants.  Some women still think of money as a tool, but one they can use to meet long-term needs rather than short-term wants.

Although there are differences in the way men and women see money, the most important thing is that they are on the same page when it comes to the big picture.  Preferably, both parties prefer to agree on large goals like saving for a home or retirement and they agree that budgeting is important in order to maintain a relatively stress-free marriage, at least when it comes to finances.  If one person prefers to spend first and save later and the other prefers to save first and spend later, there will probably be some financial conflicts until the couple learns how to compromise when it comes to their finances.