Study Finds Gender Gap in Belt-Tightening Moves

Apparently “Venus” is tightening her belt more than “Mars.”

Regardless of gender, most seem to be cutting back, but women seem to be cutting back more on discretionary expenditures than men in poor economic times according to a new survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation. Of those who participated in the survey, 86% of women reported spending less on elective expenditures compared to 78% of men.
Lifestyle Choices
Asked specifically about the lifestyle changes that have been made in the past 12 months due to the current economic environment, those surveyed provided the following responses:

  • 58% of women are eating out less, compared to 48% of men;
  • 54% of women are buying fewer clothes and shoes, compared to 40% of men;
  • 48% of women are shopping more at discount stores, compared to 37% of men;
  • 36% of women are cutting back on charitable giving, compared to 26% of men;
  • 31% of women have cancelled or postponed vacations, compared to 22% of men.

Additionally, the survey found that more than one-in-five (22%) of men reported making none of these lifestyle changes, compared to just 14% of women.
“More and more women are now responsible for managing the family’s finances, and they are more cost-conscious as the economy tightens their purse strings,” said Paula DeLaurentis, managing director, strategic alliances, TD AMERITRADE. “As a result, women are cutting back on daily expenditures and luxuries now more than ever.”
Geography ‘Classes’
The survey also revealed that the down economy has affected the lifestyles of people living in the Northeast during the past 12 months, more so than any other region in the United States, particularly the West.
Consider that, according to the survey:

  • 52% percent of those surveyed from the Northeast have postponed a major purchase compared to 39% of those from the West;
  • 19% of those surveyed from the Northeast have postponed adding to the family, such as, pregnancy, adoption and foster children, compared to 7% of those from the West;
  • 50% of those surveyed from the Northeast are buying fewer clothes or shoes compared to 44% of those from the West.