Women Take Control of the 'Financial' Purse Strings

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Thirty-five years since Charlie’s Angels – the icons of ‘Independent Women’ the world over – first aired, research by Halifax Savings shows that women in today’s society are financially independent and want to take control of the ‘financial’ purse strings in their household.

It is interesting to see how important it is for women to establish their own savings, maintain control over them and the ‘financial’ purse strings in the household, especially in London where the ‘Bridget Jones effect’ has taken hold

Thirty-five years since Charlie’s Angels – the icons of ‘Independent Women’ the world over – first aired, research by Halifax Savings shows that women in today’s society are financially independent and want to take control of the ‘financial’ purse strings in their household.

The nation’s women not only want to have their own savings pot and maintain control over it, but also want to influence financial decisions in their household. Financial independence is more strongly felt in London, where the ‘Bridget Jones effect’ has taken hold.

‘Independent Women’
Nine in ten women (89%) consider it important to save money or to have their own savings account. Over half (52%) of women think it is important to save money to maintain financial independence and a further two in five (18%) to maintain a safety net in case anything goes wrong in their relationship. 15% are less concerned with relationship problems and are more interested in controlling their own spending and saving habits.

‘Financial’ purse strings
Women have a strong desire to take control of the ‘financial’ purse strings in a household. When it comes to taking responsibility for the household budget, three fifths of women (59%) share this with their partner and over one third (35%) happily do this themselves. However, only 2% hand over responsibility to their partner.

Women also take more control, than men, over larger financial decisions, such as buying a new car. Although over half of women (57%) are happy to share the responsibility with their partners, over one third (35%) are solely responsible for these decisions, with only 3% passing responsibility to their partner.

The ‘Bridget Jones effect’
Women in London have a stronger desire for financial independence, as the ‘Bridget Jones effect’ has taken hold. Bridget – the thirty-something working woman living in London - was a nineties icon of ‘singletons’.’

Over half of women (54%) in London, take the lead on big financial decisions, with four fifths (43%) sharing responsibility with their partners. They are also the sole decision maker when it comes to smaller financial decisions, such as buying food and clothes. Over two thirds (67%) make these decisions themselves with only three in ten (30%) sharing responsibility. This is in contrast to 57% and 38% at a national level.

The ‘Bridget Jones’s’ are also most likely to take sole responsibility for the household budget (44%), followed by the West Midlands and Wales (40%). Less than three in ten women in the East (28%) and South East (29%) would carry out this task.

It should also come as no surprise that alongside the East (95%) and North East (94%) regions, almost all of the women in London (95%) consider it important to save money or have their own savings pot. Almost a fifth (17%) of women in the South West did not consider it important to have their own savings.

Flavia Palacios, head of Halifax Savings, said;

“It is interesting to see how important it is for women to establish their own savings, maintain control over them and the ‘financial’ purse strings in the household, especially in London where the ‘Bridget Jones effect’ has taken hold.

“Getting into the savings habit and maintaining control over your saving and spending habits is good advice for anyone, but has become increasingly so in the current economic climate.”

Notes to editors
Research conducted by ICM Research amongst 948 women in December 2010.

For further information please contact:

Claire Miller     Tel: 01422 332833/07900 276400        Email: clairemiller(at)halifax(dot)co(dot)uk
Deepa Bose     Tel: 020 7356 2374                Email: deepa(dot)bose(at)Lloydstsb(dot)co(dot)uk

Web: http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media.asp

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Claire Miller
Halifax
01422 332833
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