Save. Spend. Splurge.

Women and Money: Adjusting to a modern role

I browse comments from time to time, and there seems to be a slight recurring theme that screams:

Why in the world do women have no idea about what to do with their money, and only rely on their partners to take care of them?

Heck, even I’ve said it in exasperation from time to time: “THERE IS NO WHITE KNIGHT, LADIES!”

I half believe this stereotype because it no longer shocks me to hear that some girl maxed out all her credit cards and is mooching off Mommy and Daddy. Or some boyfriend.

But at the same time, it doesn’t apply to everyone (obviously, as it’s a general stereotype).

It definitely doesn’t apply to me, or many of the great PF bloggers I know personally, as well as my own girl friends.

I’ve always thought that perhaps we’re outliers, but who really knows?

We’d need to really research and survey young women to find out if this stereotype is true for what percentage of the population.


In the past, women stayed at home, men went to work and provided for both of their living expenses and retirements.

Of COURSE he handled all the money. He was the man and the head of the household.

Now that times have modernized, women are increasingly making more money and it’s hard to reconcile what we’ve been taught is “normal”, and change into another role we have no real experience with.

No one gave any of us a handbook on any of this, and our mothers are likely unable to help us in this realm (my mom sure can’t, anyway.)


Women have only just recently entered the workforce, and we’re still adjusting to getting equal pay for equal work.

I am not making excuses for women not knowing how to handle their money, I’m just saying it isn’t the whole picture.

The real solution is rather than get mad and blame women for being flighty because they’re biologically different, we should be trying collectively to inform them about getting involved with their money and taking a more active role.

That’s what I’ve done with my mom as of the past 2 years, and I’m so pleased with the way she’s starting to understand how it works, as she admittedly cannot stand numbers.

Anyway, that’s what a lot of PF bloggers do, isn’t it?

We should also stop assuming that a young girl is too clueless to know anything about money, investing or  that she doesn’t watch her money carefully due to self-fulling prophecies and all.

We may be quiet (well, SOME of us 😉 ), but we know what we’re doing if we’re given a chance and taught the basics.

Maybe we just never knew how much fun budgeting could be.


  • LAL

    I actually think that you have it wrong. It’s not women it’s an entire generation of men and women living beyond their means, living with parents,and mooching off parents. I don’t think it’s women I’ve found it’s both sexes. People are worse with money than ever. Read about helicopter parenting? That’s the biggest problem is that kids are irresponsible because their parents do everything.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I’m so happy you feel so free to tell me that I’m wrong without any statistics to back up your claims, considering that your opinion is in response to MY opinion. Oh what irony!!!!

      As always, this is my opinion on what I see, and the title is after all “Women and Money”, not “The Newest Millennial Moneysucking Generation” which is another topic altogether, and something I’ve already touched on in the past as you well know.

      From my experience, women are more clueless about money and happy to be so than men. With young guys, yeah they waste money but they also realize that they’re wasting it. Some women on the other hand, feel as though they have a right to waste it because a guy should take care of them. Why is it that shows on money have focused on young women wasting it, like “Princess” from Gail Vaz-Oxlade? She finds more young women wasting money than men, as evidenced by her show. I’ve only seen a few guys who were losers, versus the girls.

  • Blair@LifeDollarsandSense

    I tend to think of women and money in terms of two hurdles. The first is one my mother instilled in me. She said that I should never be dependent on a man for basic survival. She was referring to making sure I have the skills to work for a living, have access to my own money, and am not reliant solely on a man. This one could include being dependent on family as well.

    The second hurdle I see is for women is making more money than their significant others. I currently fall into this category. I work in business and my bf is a teach (somewhat of a role reversal from old “norms”). I feel like this has us taking a more active role in finances.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Never mind being dependent on a man, being dependent on ANYONE!

      Oh yes, you know I did post a link a while back that says women are now out earning men in the U.S. and are a higher proportion of breadwinners. Something like over 50% of households now have women making the money. Doesn’t really mean they know how to handle it better (not everyone who makes a lot of money knows how to handle it, they are two separate topics / skills), but that’s another topic.

  • Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle

    I have some middle aged (I hate that term but that is what we are) friends who only drive in town and never learned how to drive on the highway. Their husbands drive on the highway. I wonder if their finances are the same? Small day to day decisions for the women and the big jobs for the men.

    I do it all, including driving on the 401. There is only me and I have made some pretty bad decisions but I have made a lot of good decisions too.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      Curious, what is “middle aged”? Does it start at 40?

      That’s an interesting point you bring up about women not driving on the highway. I see that a lot in some couples, although in my case, I don’t like driving on the highway for long distances. I’d rather sit in the passenger seat and relax because I HATE DRIVING, period.

      That said…I DO know how to drive on the highway, I do it quite often for my job. I just don’t like it.

      Maybe what women need to do, is realize that they CAN drive on the highway.. hypothetically. In their lives as well. Maybe they’re good at budgeting for groceries and the “small” things but when it comes to “big” things like investing, they shy away.. like in your highway analogy.

  • Gen Y

    I would say most girls I know fall evenly into the two categories. The financial situation some are in have me screaming inside and then you have the others who are very on top of things. Not all that different from the guys I know.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I find that women are on the whole more clueless than men about money and investing, only because they’ve been taught to NOT care about it as much as guys; and to not be the breadwinners, you know? Hence why the lax approach to investing (scares MANY women), budgeting and so on. They’ve been told it’s a man’s job and/or someone ELSE will do it for them.

  • Debt Blag

    I would have to think that those are outliers. Some survey results were going around in the past couple months that showed that even though women were still making less, they were more conservative when it came to staying out of debt (and some other personal finance metrics that I don’t remember…maybe credit scores?).

    Also, are you sure that it was the norm that women of generations past didn’t have any say over the money? I might think they would because it would just be part of running the household. This is how it was in my home growing up, but mine might have been a special case since my mom was actually an accountant and it made sense…

    Anyhow, none of this is to say that more personal finance knowledge — and in particular more for women to help them become more independent — isn’t a very, very good thing

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      I REMEMBER THAT! Women are better at managing money if given the chance and knowledge because they are conservative. They don’t risk as much as men (testosterone I believe, comes into play).

      I know that in my family in past generations, women had no say over money. Even today, my aunt who is rich having co-owned a business with her husband, has to ask her husband for money to buy a car for her.

      You were lucky to have an accountant mom! She must have taught you some great money values.

  • Tammy R

    I was a clueless wonder when I got out of college and when we first got married. He wasn’t any more “with it” when it came to money. We’re both completely aware of what’s going on with our finances, and I feel that either of us could take it over or make it on our own. I don’t want to have to ever try that because sharing a mortgage payment is a heck of a lot more manageable. I’m sure that many of the women in my parents generation stayed in unhappy marriages because they felt like they couldn’t make it on their own. I think women have it so much better now, and I love that your mom is on board (with your support).

  • Danielle

    It’s really interesting when people claim “women only recently joined the workforce” when, in my experience, my mother was the breadwinner in the household growing up, and my grandmother worked her entire adult life, taking care of two daughters almost entirely by herself. It’s not so “new” anymore. PF lazy ladies need to step up and be responsible for themselves.

    • saverspender @ save. spend. splurge.

      You had some serious role models. My mom was not a breadwinner until late in life when we all grew up and left, and her mother before, was dependent on charity and church handouts because my grandfather was an absolute BUM. It’s sad because I think she worked really hard but with so many children, she had no ability to take care of them alone but she did the best she could.

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