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Spending Habits of Men Versus Women Differ in Recession

August 10th, 2009 · No Comments · Consumer Debt, Consumer Info

Meredith Simonds

by Meredith Simonds

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I think we all would agree that the spending habits of males versus females are generally in completely different stratospheres. But a recent Consumer Behavior Report generated by Pricegrabber.com shows that although nearly all consumers have cut back on spending since the recession set in, there are also significant differences in how men versus women are handling their spending reductions.

A subsidiary of Experian, Pricegrabber.com performed the survey involving 3156 online consumers over the last several months, entitled “Economic Trends in Consumer Spending”. The  data from the June survey showed that consumers overall are continuing to reduce spending (67% of all consumers polled), 10% higher as compared to the previous survey conducted in January — a sign that there is still a belief that the recession is still with us in force.

So who is cutting back on their spending the most, men or women? Is it the sex that is generally thought to be the bigger spenders in the first place? If you guessed women, you are right on target. The survey evaluated what areas that individuals were cutting back their expenditures, and here are some of the differences between the genders:

  • Online shopping: 55% of women are purchasing less online, compared with 42% of men
  • Shopping in retail stores: 69% of women are buying less in stores, compared with 59% of men.
  • Restaurants/eating out: 74% of women have reduced this expenditure, compared to 66% of men
  • Entertainment:  72% of women have reduced external entertainment costs, compared with 64% of men

What items that the genders considered as “necessities” — or items they could not live without — also varied between the sexes. The fancy flat-screen television (with remote, no doubt) was considered a necessity by 20% of males, compared with 10% of females. As for computers and connectivity, males also rated approximately 10% higher than women in identifying these items as necessities, with 88% of men versus 79% of women responding that a computer was an in-home necessity.

So is the gender differential because men tend to spend less money on these items in the first place? Is it because the women are more likely to be in charge of the expenditures in the first place? Who knows. I guess the author that wrote the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” — or something like that — had it right on all along.

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