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Men Suck at Money Management

It’s a proven fact that women are better with money than men.

Various studies have found that women repay loans more often, women save better for families, and men spend more selfishly.

Women aren’t perfect, and they do lie about their income and spending habits to their partners, but not any more than men do.

But when it comes to spending for a family, women always do better.

It’ s for these reasons that a lot of micro-financing programs in poorer countries like Haiti, Bangladesh, Philippines, South Africa, Mexico, and many others have only given out money and food vouchers to women.

Policy makers and credit organizations recognize that if they give the money to women, the families will be better off and they think that “some of the most wretched suffering ... is caused not just by low incomes, but also by unwise spending by men.”

They suggest that part of the reason for women’ s better money management is that they are more self-sacrificing than men, but I don’t think that can be the whole story—plenty of men are just as committed to their families as women are.

This really doesn’t seem fair to me. I’m willing to bet that just as there are women who are bad with money, there are men who are good with money.

I think women-centered financing programs are a good idea (based on the evidence so far), but whoever is running these programs needs to make sure that rather than excluding men, they involve them in the programs and teach them better money management skills.

Even if the woman does control the finances of a family, maybe all that means is that she is the one who goes to the bank to pay the bills. Most of the time what a woman does with family money is what she and her husband have agreed upon. I think more effort needs to be made to look into why this pattern happens so often, and what families can do to ensure that both parents are equally responsible for their family’s financial future.