Women Today

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The spending habits of women

Women and men are different in many ways, but they do share some similarities, especially when it comes to their respective spending habits. Perception and reality do not necessarily equate when examining the spending habits of women. Several different organizations took a closer look at what women choose to purchase, and the results may just surprise you.

According to Mortgage Choice, women spend more on socializing than on fashion and beauty products. In addition, women spend roughly the same amount on socializing as men do (37.7 percent for women versus 36.2 percent for men). Men and women seem to spend similarly on entertainment as well. Having fun and enjoying time out with friends seems to be a big source of spending regardless of gender.

According to KBK Wealth Connection, a company dedicated to empowering women and the financial services professionals who serve them, women tend to spend money regularly on smaller purchases while men prefer to buy big-ticket items on occasion.

In a 2010 Center on Philanthropy report, researchers discovered that women tend to give more to charity than men. Women also seem to be better than men at repaying loans, according to data from The Wall Street Journal. However, men generally save more for retirement. A SaveUp.com survey found that American men have 28.8 percent more in retirement 401(k) plans than women.

Both men and women admit to indulging in a little retail therapy when they need mood boosters. However, how they spend that money differs. According to a survey by Ebates.com, women indulge in clothing purchases for retail therapy while men tend to splurge on food and electronics.

Research also has indicated that women do not appear to spend impulsively. Ladies can be patient at comparison shopping and mining for deals both in-store and through online sources. Data compiled by the coupon service 8Coupons.com says women can take up to 40 percent longer than men as they mull over their decisions and try to find a better price elsewhere.

Research also finds that women enjoy spending their hard-earned salaries on making their homes warm and friendly for their families and guests.

Women also are likely to direct money toward their children's well-being, often putting children's needs before their own when it comes to spending disposable income.

Research into the spending habits of men and women can illuminate how members of each gender tend to allocate their disposable incomes. But drawing too many conclusions on spending habits based on gender alone can be problematic, as such habits are often influenced by individual situations and experiences as much as gender.