Save. Spend. Splurge.

Genders and Money: Do you see yourself in these stereotypes? (And how to get your money sorted out)

Before you say anything.. I have been talking about money over the years with many, and the pattern always ends up being something like that.

It is rare that I meet someone who doesn’t fit into this generalization and for that I am THRILLED. I love discussing money with equally like-minded, smart people.

What I don’t enjoy however, is them asking me what to stock to — if I knew, I’d be a millionaire….. —- oh wait. I will be quite soon. *ahem* Better revise that to billionaire.

Just for reference..

My past 12 months of my net worth growth:

I was at $580,767 a year ago.

Little Bun’s past 12 months:

He was at $22,374 a year ago and is at $27,168.

He is on track to have about $100,000 by the time he is 18 and ready for school.


In very BROAD sweeping generalizations, I have found over the years the following….

Women & Money

  • Don’t even want to talk about money with me, feel nervous, skittish…
  • Don’t really understand what the difference is between registered retirement accounts (tax-deferred or tax-free)
  • Tend to store their money in savings accounts or things like GICs with low interest rates even under their registered retirement accounts!!! (KILLING me over here…)
  • Two extremes: Great at budgeting and knowing what they spend but bad at investing, OR they cannot budget to save their lives and don’t really care to and are also bad at investing
  • Tend to avoid stock markets completely – if they invest it is in mutual funds
  • Focused on concrete goals: Clearing a debt, a mortgage, a card, but abstract goals are out of their reach
  • Tend to give their money to others to invest – spouse, family member, banker
  • Tend to not know what they are invested in and very little about their money situation in general
  • Think they need to be a certified-by-someone-else hedge fund manager before they are qualified. Imposter Syndrome, really.

Men & Money

  • LOVE to join in on a money convo ASAP. Like, excited, and very into it…… until we start getting into the details. Y’know?
  • Has a slightly better grasp on registered retirement accounts but this is not a stellar percentage of men I talk to
  • Can’t budget to save their life – not many guys know what they spend but do love to spend their money
  • Bad at saving money – love to spend it though, so they think spending = as good as saving it
  • Like to talk like they know how to invest and what it means but haven’t read basic finance books (see list below)
  • Tend to go with whatever you propose as a hot stock to buy if you can talk louder than them and out-bluff them
  • Think they are doing the best job they can by investing in trendy things like marijuana stocks, and aren’t really very open to being a bit more conservative
  • Focused on abstract goals, and may have basic things like savings and clearing their debts in mind, but it isn’t as prominent
  • Tend to have have their money 100% in the stock market but not necessarily with any plan or strategy
  • Are most interested in get rich quick schemes and easy money (cryptocurrencies anyone?) <— SURPRISING amount of guys are into these scams and schemes; it boggles my mind

And, both men and women procrastinate and stifle their education on learning how to invest and what it means.

This is the worst for me when they tell me: “I don’t have time, I’ll do it later…”


You’re never going to “find the time one day” to invest. The time is now and on your side if you’re on the good side of 45-50 years old.

I’m not surprised. Investing has a steep learning curve but it is quick once you get over the idea that you can’t do it.


Taking control of your money is easy AF but you need to have conviction and believe that you can do it.

…but you need to have your basics down

  • How much do you make?
  • How much do you REALLY make? (Net amount deposited into your bank each month)
  • How much do you spend and where? Don’t know this? Time to start budgeting.
  • Are you in debt? By how much? And how much interest are they charging you?
  • How much do you save yearly?
  • Where do you put your savings? In what investment vehicles (RRSP/401K, TFSA/Roth IRA)..?
  • What is your investing strategy and tolerance? Conservative and low steady returns? Risky?

If you don’t know the answers to the questions above, you need to know.

Some Money Books to start you off…

Starting from light –> heavier:

Just start.

Today is the day, the time is now, JUST START.


  • Amy

    Female here, love to talk about finance and money buy only moderately knowledgeable about the stock market. I do buy individual stocks, as well as funds. Used to be really good at money management until I became a solo-mama. Then it was “spend what you make”, lol for 9 years. Fortunately I’ve got a fanatistic plan at my job, and I have some rental properties. But I now want to kick it up so I can make bigger purchases, more easily.

    Looking forward to reading your books. I’m here bc people I know don’t want to talk about money.

  • Sense

    I recognize myself in this so hard:

    Great at budgeting and knowing what they spend but bad at investing–> I mean…I’m the queen of tracking my spending. I’ve read a TON of investing books and my US investments are still doing terribly at the stock market, even when everyone else’s accounts are gaining money, I somehow am losing or staying exactly the same. (yes, I have read your book). My NZ investments are doing well, though, weirdly.

    If they invest it is in mutual funds–> I invest in low expense ratio, admiral shares in index funds at Vanguard in my Traditional IRA, Roth, and taxable accounts, various funds in my Superlife Kiwisaver, and dabble in lending crowd to chase riskier but higher returns.

    Focused on concrete goals: Clearing a debt, a mortgage, a card, but abstract goals are out of their reach –> All of my goals are concrete with timelines and saving targets. I don’t even know what you mean by ‘abstract goals.’ Am I supposed to have these?! Can you please clarify?!

    I don’t want to be a stereotype! How to rectify these flaws? What do you suggest?

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You sound like you need to diversify, OR.. you are buying individual stocks and not the indexes instead.

      Keep your money stockpiled, I feel like this year is the year things might crash. Then you can swoop in and buy stocks.

      Abstract goals — do you want to travel when you retire? Where to? What budget would it take? Do you want to quit and be a part-time volunteer?

      What other goals that are sort of ‘out there’ but not yet planned on paper do you want to cover?

      I personally want to see if I can do part-time work into retirement, so that I have income coming in, but I have no idea what that work looks like and how to get there. That’s my abstract goal.

      Not everyone has them. You sound super organized.. too organized for this 🙂

      • Sense

        Oh thanks for the reply!

        They are definitely indexes:

        Traditional IRA:
        Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares
        Vanguard High Dividend Yield Index Fund Investor Shares
        Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Admiral Shares

        Roth IRA:
        Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund Investor Shares
        Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares

        Taxable account
        Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares

        I have aimed for diversification, but I think if I am 100% honest with myself, I am shooting in the dark and don’t know what that actually means. All of my reading hasn’t helped me figure that out yet. What I do know is that my NZ savings accounts have better rates of return than my US retirement funds, and that isn’t good.

        My life savings ($70K NZD) is stored in a high yield savings account here in New Zealand (long story but I cannot buy stocks in NZ without creating a costly US tax filing nightmare, and I’m banned from investing any more $$ in my US retirement vehicles because I do not earn USD), so I’m very liquid. Ready to grab US stocks and put them in my US taxable account at any time (I would feel better about that if I thought that my funds were doing well…)!

        Abstract goals…OK! Yes, I can do those. I want to get a dog one day. 🙂 And travel to Iceland and Europe. The dog thing is complicated because it means I have to have a house with a yard (Auckland landlords that allow dogs are impossible to find, and tenancy is not stable–SO many people have had to give up their dogs when the landlords sold their place). So I’m working towards that–first things first! And I’ve saved up for my Europe trip already…I think that I think of my abstract goals as concrete ones, because once I know that I want something, I start planning immediately.

        • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          It looks perfect actually. You are in NZ, so you don’t get the benefit of our Canada/U.S. tax treaty, otherwise I’d recommend putting your International Stock shares into your RRSP / 401K instead, so you don’t pay 30% taxes on the income from the investments to the U.S. …

          Honestly, it looks fine to me. I don’t know your percentages though, it is also based on your age and how stable your job is, but it looks fine.

          The only one I’d be careful with is the High Dividend Yield one. You don’t need it if you are planning on indexes anyway. I’d do dividends as individual stocks to purchase but as you are in NZ, it is a filing nightmare…

          The Bond one too is a bit of a — put it in there but don’t put too much in there, you know..?

          I am really surprised with what you picked, that a savings account at 2% (?) can be better than what you are getting with what you have chosen.

          That said, this is a long game, meaning you can’t expect in the first years or so that you are going to beat that 2% return. It is over 10 years up to 50 years that it is going to be more than 2%, average 5% – 8%

          You’re a planner — so abstract goals don’t make sense to you as.. if you have a goal, you go for it! This makes sense. What about a dream goal in general? Maybe you would like to go to France and study cooking for a year? Stuff like that can also be abstract — should I think about this? sorts of goals..

  • Angela

    I agree somewhat to what you’re saying. I do like talking about personal finance though so I love your blog. I have some knowledge of budgeting and investing, but I do find that it’s not a topic that my friends back in Canada like to talk about though.

    Another book that I like, Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins. His book is based on his blog and simplifies investing even further! His book is targeted to Americans, but still good information.

    At work (international school overseas), we’ve even started an investment book club. We read and talk about personal finance, particularly index fund investing.

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