Have you ever wished you were a fly on the wall when men talk about money? Imagine all the juicy details you would get to hear. Like the things we buy and things, we like to do with our money. You could use this information to understand how a guy thinks, and better understand our money habits.
In this article, I will reveal all the little secrets of men and money.
This is from my perspective: a guy in his thirties, married to my beautiful wife Jess for seven years. In fact, she is writing the same article, but from a woman’s perspective.
So if you are ready to dive into the details of a guy’s point of view on money matters, read till the end of this article.
How men spend their money
How men spend their money is often very different from how women spend it.
The top categories that men spend their money are:
- Luxury cars
- New cell phones
- New computers
- Boats and airplanes (if they can afford it)
- Risky stocks
The list above is, of course, a generalization. Men’s spending habits vary by culture and economic background.
Personally, I have always been a frugal guy. Never really cared too much about showing off with material things. I bought most of my clothes from discount stores like Burlington or Marshalls and didn’t really care much about owning a luxury car, but that’s just me.
Also, there are other categories that men spend on depending on whether they are single or have a family. For example, single men tend to spend more on dining out, better clothes, or fancy cars.
On the other hand, rich guys spend more money on high-end luxuries like buying an expensive home or a boat. I saw this firsthand when I worked as a personal trainer for a high-end gym.
How men set financial goals
As a guy, I have always been naturally drawn to understanding money. Maybe this is why I came across the F.I.R.E (Financial Independence Retire Early) community in my early twenties and have been in love with the concept ever since.
For more reading on early retirement, check out 3 things Jim Cramer gets wrong about early retirement..
After I learned that you can find financial freedom at a young age, I created financial goals, and every time we achieved one of these goals our lives improved.
One of those was paying for our house in less than five years. I wrote down our expenses and created a budget for our family. As it turned out, it took less than 5 years to become debt free.
For some reason, men see themselves as providers for the family.
We find comfort in planning because we know our family will be provided for. Even though I take care of most of the financial planning in our house, I share all of our financial data at the end of the month.
We sit together and go over all our expenses. Things we did well for the month and categories went over budget.
I appreciate it when Jess asks questions about how I handle finances; sometimes she has better ideas than I do. We’ve always done better working as a team. According to a study by Fidelity, only 33% of women see themselves as investors. Part of the problem may be that guys are not open or willing to take the time to share the family’s financial details. Another problem is that their family doesn’t support their financial decisions making it had for them to have confidence in their decisions..
Men’s shopping habits
Men are not typically known for being avid shoppers. Still, when they need to shop, they usually have a specific goal. We tend to be more focused and less likely to browse aimlessly or make impulse purchases.
We typically look for comfort and functionality over style when shopping for clothes. We also prefer to buy items that can be easily mixed and matched with other pieces in our wardrobe.
We, men, like to get in and out of the store fast. Unless it’s something that we’re really into, like technology.
But generally speaking, men don’t go shopping. We just grab whatever seems functional and pay. Why spend countless hours looking for the perfect fit or the perfect look? As long as something works, that’s as far as we go.
I understand that this is both good and bad. On the positive side, we save time by making fast decisions. On the negative side, we miss sales, coupons, or other potential savings and end up paying more for stuff, or sometimes we buy stuff we don’t use.
What happens when women earn more than men?
When women earn more than men, sometimes the relationship between them changes. Women are seen as more capable than before, and men may feel they need to work harder to compete.
Some guys feel threatened when a woman makes more money than they make. I imagine this happens more with older guys with a machismo complex.
Even though Jess and I earned similar incomes, she always made slightly more than me. This didn’t bother me at all because I knew that we had a plan in place. Every dollar we made brought us closer to our financial freedom. It felt like each team member was doing their best to win a game. So the fact that she made more was not an issue.
She could have made twice as much as me, and I wouldn’t have cared.
It doesn’t matter who makes more money as long as both parties have access to all financial records and there are no hidden agendas. When a couple has shared financial goals, which makes more or less money is irrelevant.
Why are men paid more than women?
The gender gap was caused in part because men dominated high-paying industries. There were a lot of barriers to entry when women applied for positions of power.
I am glad that studies show this gap is going away. In my own experience, I’ve seen how hard women work to earn the same amount as guys.
Since most of my clients were females, I saw firsthand how women outwork men easily. They can be a wife, mother, and provider and still manage to get to the gym to care for their health. Men are more laid back, we don’t have to push babies out, and our pain tolerance is much lower.
Women getting paid the same as a guy for the same job should be the standard.
Why do men have more savings?
During my research, I came across an interesting piece of data. Women actually save more than men, but they have less in retirement. How can that be?
The problem arises because of the gender gap. In some industries, men make more than women for the same job and position. Something that’s been improving in recent decades.
Men also take less time off work. We just have fewer responsibilities compared to women. For example, men generally don’t stay home to raise kids when they’re young. We have more working hours because we don’t normally have this responsibility as much as our partners.
Men have a particular way of handling money. As time passed, I saw myself adopting many of my dad’s habits. He was a frugal guy that valued a simple life. It’s funny because I swore that I would never be that way. But as it turns out, I’m already very much like him in money matters.
The best balance between men and women is when they try to understand the other person’s point of view. And then they accept them how they are.
For example, it took me some time to learn to communicate with Jess about our financial goals. Once I explained clearly the benefits and freedom of becoming debt free, she was on board.
More than anything, take the time to understand each other and your finances. The team becomes stronger when you go out of your way to be in the other person’s shoes.