Women Feel Pain of Recession

Women are thinking twice about spending and many are dipping into their savings or investments, according to a survey by Citi.

Most women (65%) have permanently changed their spending and savings habits in response to the recession, the survey found.

Even wealthier women are feeling the pinch. More than a third (38%) of women said they are worse off financially compared to one year ago, including women with household incomes of at least $100,000 (29%) and women with at least $250,000 in assets, including real estate and retirement (39%). Two-thirds (66%) of women with assets greater than $250,000, and 71% of women making more than $100,000 are cutting back on everyday expenses, according to Citi.

“We know that women are a critical barometer for the U.S. economy because they drive the majority of household spending decisions and increasingly manage how their families invest,” said Lisa Caputo, chairman and CEO of Citi’s Women & Co., a financial resource for women. “This new data reveals this is a transformational recession for women who are particularly feeling the effects of the economic downturn and tightening their purse strings and protecting their lairs.”

Working mothers are feeling the recession more than other women. More than half of working mothers (53%) are working longer hours to make ends meet, compared to only 24% of women without children and 33% of men. More than half (52%) of women with children have taken money out of savings or investments to help pay expenses (compared to 42% of women without children and 39% of men).

Hart Research Associates conducted the telephone survey of approximately 2,005 adults, including 1,069 women, from September 1 to 5.