Stepping Aside

Study finds most women defer to men on financial decisions

According to a recent study on the financial independence of women, many women aren’t stepping up to handle the money in their partnerships. The report found that 49 percent of women in heterosexual, long-term relationships allow the husband to “take the lead” on financial decisions.

The side-stepping from women is prevalent even among those who earn more money than their partners. The report found that 41 percent of women who were the “primary breadwinner” still allowed men to take the lead on money moves. Highly-educated women also deferred to their male partners. And about 50 percent of women with college degrees allowed men to take the lead on money.

Why is this happening? The reasons women cited for allowing men to make the financial decisions ranged from a lack of confidence to a desire to keep the peace in a relationship. Some women also reported that they just felt like their male counterparts knew more about money (even though there’s zero evidence men do).

As Marketwatch suggests, the first step to creating an equal partnership regarding money is to have open communication. Set up a monthly money meeting in which you can discuss long-term goals, why the man takes the lead and the motivation behind the deferring, and what you’d like to see change. Discuss how things might look different if you were taking the lead on money moves or managing things as an equal partner. Laying everything out in the open will create a clean slate to work from.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea