The battle of the sexes may be raging elsewhere in the economy, but when it comes to saving it seems that women can easily hold their own – despite earning less than their male counterparts.
Research from Scottish Friendly has revealed that both men and women save, on average, 2.5% of their salary each year. It would seem that both have the same level of savings intention even though women take home 7% less pay overall, and they have a much lower level of disposable income too – after the essentials have been paid for women have just £140 left over, while men have £155.
Happily, though, they're still just as determined to put money aside each month. Calum Bennie, of Scottish Friendly, comments on the findings: "There is a larger debate here about why there is such a gender divide in salaries, but to me, the most interesting part is the fact that women, despite this gap, are saving proportionately as much as men."
However, the research also highlights the pressure women are under to make their money work for them, whilst also showing that they're generally a lot more pragmatic about how – and where – to spend their money.
For example, there was a clear divide between what men and women regard as luxuries and necessities. While more women believe that rent, petrol and keeping a mobile phone are essentials, men are more likely to think that eating out, morning coffee, holidays, socialising and buying new clothes are vital components of everyday life.
Perhaps even more worrying, and with additional implications for money management as a whole, is that just 89% of men consider paying bills on time a necessity, compared to 94% of women.
It's great news that women are managing to save proportionally the same amount as men, however with some people not putting the true essentials first it might be time to get into a different savings habit.
Having a separate savings pot for luxury items and another as an emergency fund – or simply as a buffer should the likes of petrol or phone costs get too much – could be a great solution, perhaps putting the emergency savings in an easy access account and the rest in a notice version to help limit any non-essential spending.
Being strict and stashing a proportion of your income away each month will always be a good habit to get into, and as the figures show, even earning less shouldn't put you off. Small amounts can soon add up, so make sure to start saving and give those of the opposite sex a run for their money.
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