Men vs women: who wears the financial pants?

It is the age old question: which gender controls the household finances?

March 28, 2014

It is the age old question: which gender controls the household finances?

According to Mortgage Choice's inaugural 2014 Money Survey, men and women are largely divided when it comes to answering this question and determining who manages the household finances.

The survey, which canvassed the opinions of more than 1,000 Australians, found 45.4% of respondents believe males control the household finances, while 47.4% think women run the show and 7.2% say ‘other' (or both genders).

Unsurprisingly, the majority of male respondents believe their gender controls the finances, with 76.0% of them indicating that they dictate how the household money is spent. Similarly, 75.7% of the females surveyed believe it is women who control the finances in their household.

Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough said while it is impossible to say with any surety which gender actually controls the finances, it is clear men and women handle their finances in very different ways.

“Men tend to save a larger portion of their regular income, with 32.6% of males indicating they save between 16% and 30% of their monthly paycheck. By comparison, 50.3% of women save less than 15% of their regular income,” she said.

“Because of this, men tend to have more money in their savings account. Of the male respondents, 40% currently have more than $20,000 in their savings account, while just 27.1% of women have this much money in their account. On the flipside, more than 42% of women suggest they have less than $5,000 in their savings account in comparison to just 28.9% of males.”

But while men are seemingly better savers than women, the survey found females keep better track of their finances.

“Of all the women surveyed, almost 60% say they track their day-to-day spending on a regular basis, reviewing their outgoings at least once a week. By comparison, a significantly smaller portion of men review their outgoings regularly, with 53% tracking their expenses on a weekly basis,” Ms Darnbrough said.

“Further, almost 84% of women said they knew exactly how much debt they currently have, in comparison to 80.8% of men.”

Putting the findings of the Survey aside, Ms Darnbrough said there is no right or wrong way for Australians to control their finances as long as they continue to successfully manage their debt.

“At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how often you keep track of your day to day expenses, so long as you are on top of your financial situation, not outspending your means and putting money aside on a regular basis for a ‘rainy day',” she said.

“If you would like more help managing your financial situation or would just like your money to work harder, it pays to speak with a financial adviser.

“An adviser can help you create a financial strategy that is not only perfectly suited to your needs, but allows you to successfully manage your finances both now and into the future.”

If you would like help managing your finances, call 13 77 62. Or, visit or

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