Despite the credit crunch, women’s ‘sense of entitlement’ to little luxuries for themselves continues to grow, according to Money Matters research from IPC Media’s Origin Panel – a major rolling programme of research using a unique 7,500-strong panel of UK women.
Money Matters found that women’s spending on must-haves (e.g. rent/utilities) has increased and although two out of three women are worried or nervous about the British economy – and have little faith in the government to sort out the problems – that hasn’t necessarily led to them curbing their spending in all areas.
Women’s Finances - Now
· Two thirds of women are in debt, with the average being almost £10,000 and taking on estimate 5 years to clear.
· Despite hikes in mortgage/rent, utility bills and food prices, women are still spending on treats, even when they can’t afford to (28% spend more than they earn), or when they feel they shouldn’t (16% lie about their spending to others!)
· Women are key financial decision makers in the average household and they value personal experience, expert advice and word of mouth highly in purchase decisions.
· Three quarters of women manage their finances online.
Women’s Finances – For the Future
· Three quarters of women are not saving for retirement. The main explanation being that they cannot afford to (51%).
· Almost half of those with a pension think they will have to work into retirement and over 40% think their pension will be worth less than they initially thought.
Money Matters identified five financial mindsets of UK women, driving their financial management and approach to money. Whether they budget to finance this spending, or just ‘spend now and worry about it later’ is dependent on their financial mindset and how confident they are dealing with financial issues.
· Miss Conscientious (21%) – Tends to be young, single with no children. She is on top of her finances, budgets carefully and doesn’t worry about money very much. Although she has enough money for basics, there is little spare and she has to watch what she spends more than she used to.
· Ms Live for Today (27%)- Is generally under 35 and is often a mum with young children. Her finances can tend to be in a mess, she puts off sorting them, and is not very confident dealing with them. She doesn’t always have enough money for basics, so borrows money so that she can still spend and treat herself.
· Ms Concerned (18%) - Tends to be up market and aged 35-44. She is not really in control of her finances, despite the fact that she can be quite obsessive about them, sets time aside to look at them and is reasonably confident dealing with them. She worries about money, but when she doesn’t have enough she tends to overspend.
· Mrs Organised (16%) - Generally older, earns more, is married and a mum. She is on top of her finances, budgets carefully, doesn’t worry very much, and does have enough money to spend. In fact, she can buy pretty much what she wants!
· Ms In Control (18%) - Also upmarket and older. Her finances are in order and carefully budgeted. She is confident and has enough to spend. As she has enough money, there is no need for her to overspend, but even if she didn’t have enough she wouldn’t spend now and worry later.
Director of IPC Insight, Amanda Wigginton, said, “In today’s financial climate it is essential for us to understand women’s attitudes to money, how they manage their finances, what financial products they buy and their role in the financial decision making process.
“The Origin Panel has enabled us to do this and to help us understand the best way to communicate to them.”
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