How are Financial Decisions made in your Household?

Whilst many more couples now share the household chores, it’s increasingly women who make the financial decisions for the household, such as choice of utility company or savings account. Survey results from market researcher Mintel1 show that 84% of mums surveyed say they have influence when it comes to taking financial decisions on behalf of their family.

Women, the research found, know that they need to do their homework before taking any major financial decision, and are prepared to do their research thoroughly. Once they know more, they will instigate the decision-making process with their partner as a joint endeavour.

Retirement and pensions

By contrast, when it comes to retirement planning, evidence from an attitudinal survey carried out by the Department for Work and Pensions2 shows that couples perceive pensions as being an individual rather than a joint financial decision.

A report by Scottish Widows3 shows that women are still lagging behind their male counterparts when it comes to making provision for their old age. Although there is evidence that women in their 20s are beginning to think more seriously about pensions, by their 30s, just 31% of women think they are saving enough for retirement, compared to 48% of men. Researchers see this as being due in part to the gender pay gap that still exists in many quarters, coupled with the high childcare costs often shouldered by women.

When Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s Chief Economist, said recently that he found pensions impossible to understand he was, it seems, speaking on behalf of many. In the Scottish Widows survey, 71% of women admitted that they didn’t know how much they needed to save for retirement, compared with 52% of men.

If you’re making plans for your financial future and would like some straightforward savings or pensions advice, then please get in touch. 

1 Mintel, Mum’s both queen and king of the household as she leads purchasing decisions across all categories, 2016

2 Department for Work and Pensions, Household financial decision making, 2012

3 Scottish Widows, Women and Retirement Report, 2015