Women are more likely to be feeling the financial squeeze than men according to new Which? research.
The latest Which? Quarterly Consumer Report shows a stark gender divide, with women not only hardest hit by the current financial squeeze but also feeling less optimistic about the prospects of their personal finances and the wider economy.
Many women say they are cutting back on essentials, struggling to save for the future and spending an extra hour and a half per month worrying about how to make ends meet.
Men spend less time worrying about their finances
Women estimate they are spending almost 11 hours per month worrying about their finances compared to nine and a half by men. Nearly half of men (45%) describe their finances as good, dropping to only a third (33%) for women. Only one in five women (19%) expects their finances to improve over the next year compared to a quarter (25%) of men.
Women are also much more pessimistic about the future of the economy, with only 15% expecting it to improve in the next 12 months, compared to 27% of men.
According to the Which? Squeezometer, women (38%) are feeling the squeeze more than men (31%), cutting back further on things like food, socialising and household goods. Half of women (48%) say they would find it difficult to cope with an unexpected expense, compared to nearly four in ten men (37%) and last month women were more likely to run out of money (31% compared to 23% of men).
One in four women have no savings
In these circumstances many women are failing to save. One in four (25%) women said they had no savings at all, whereas only one in six (16%) men said the same. Similarly, men are more likely to have saved the amount recommended by the government to help protect against the impact of sudden expenses or a drop in income (at least three months worth of household expenditure) compared to women – 42% and 27% respectively.
You can make the most of your savings – whether a small or large amount – by choosing a Which? Best Rate savings account.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
‘These findings will resonate with many women, showing the stark reality of how they are bearing the brunt of the current financial squeeze, and are left worried for both their own personal finances and the wider economy. The Government says it is searching for ways to support women, and this survey should make policy makers pause for thought.’
The next Quarterly Consumer Report, which includes more details on these findings alongside wider research on how people feel about their current financial situation, will be published on Tuesday 23 April.