Women take control of family finances

10 March 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
Women know best when it comes to family finances, according to new research from Norwich & Peterborough Building Society, women are more likely to take the reins over money matters.

Although 74 per cent of men are still the primary breadwinner, decisions about money are either made jointly or by women. Norwich & Peterborough Building Society found that the decisions most likely to be made jointly were major expenses such as the cost of moving house and family holidays.

Spending on child related items such as the weekly food shopping, children’s clothes and Christmas presents is more likely to be controlled by mothers. Living up to stereotypes, men are more likely to be concerned with how the family spend their income on electrical goods, cars and DIY. Gary Lacey, Group Product Manager at Norwich & Peterborough, commented:

"Although men are generally the main income earners in a family, it is fascinating to see that most financial decisions are actually made jointly by both the mother and the father.

"Indeed, this puts the myth of the father as the financial head of the family to rest. In addition, while men rarely appear to have the final say so in matters of finance, women often step up to make the day-to-day decisions with regards to spending on their homes and children."

The research also showed that when it came to where money was kept, the majority of families had joint current accounts. However, 16 per cent of these preferred to keep their financial independence with a separate personal account, and 6 per cent said they received a regular allowance from the main earner to cover family costs.

When it comes to saving, the research showed that families tended to make joint decisions, but women would take the lead more often if a sole decision maker was required.

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society found that 62 per cent of participants regularly put aside some of their income, but a concerning 17 per cent did not save anything for their families.

These results come after recent research by Legal & General which revealed that women are less in the mood for spending than men, suggesting that women are becoming more and more aware of the importance of financial control.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd