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Financial Decisions 'Split Between Parents'

Mar 13, 2008
Men and women tend to have a fairly equal say in how money is spent within the family home, a new study indicates.

Research released by the Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) Building Society shows that in the 16 subjects studied families tend to make decisions about money together, with 13 areas reported to be addressed this way. However, in the three topics where spending is not agreed upon by both parents, females were revealed to be dominant. The study indicated that women decide how much is splashed out on supermarket shopping in 59 per cent of households, with the same proportion also in charge for expenditure during festive periods. In addition, just under three-quarters (71 per cent) of women are in control of food shopping.

Meanwhile, the building society claimed that men and women often work out spending on "major outlays" as partners. It was revealed that 85 per cent of Britons make a joint decision when moving home, with 78 per cent deciding together on where to go on holiday. More than half (56 per cent) report that expenditure for household bills is managed between them.

It was also revealed that just under half of parents make use of a joint account for their household spending. Research from the financial services firm also revealed 44 per cent of mums and dads take decisions about saving money together, with two-thirds of those questioned setting cash aside every month. The study also indicated that just under a fifth (17 per cent) of respondents claim that they have never put money into a savings account for their families.

For those consumers who are struggling to save for the future, it is possible that they may encounter difficulties in meeting demands for payment on areas such as personal loans and utility bills in later life.

Commenting on the figures, Gary Lacey, group product manager for N&P, said: "Although men are generally the main income earners in a family, it is fascinating to see that most financial decisions are actually made jointly by both the mother and the father. Indeed, this puts the myth of the father as the financial head of the family to rest. In addition, while men rarely appear to have the final say so in matters of finance, women often step up to make the day-to-day decisions with regards to spending on their homes and children. This may be due to the fact that they are the main caregivers or - possibly - because mother often knows best."

For those households which are looking to supplement their finances as the year progresses, taking out a cheap loan could be advisable. In doing so it is possible that consumers can meet costs for areas such as property repairs, electrical goods, holidays and moving home. A loan may prove to be of particular assistance to parents after a recent Engage Mutual study showed that more than half of mums and dads believe they will have to cut back on expenditure for their children due to the impact of rising living costs. It was also suggested that about one in three of those who previously believe they were living comfortably now think they have to reduce their spending.
About the Author
Abbi Rouse writes for All About Loans where visitors can apply online for tenant loans. We also specialise in homeowner loans, and self certification loans for the self employed.
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