Based on a study of 2,000 Iowans, of whom 529
responded, women were far more likely to buy something without needing
it (36 percent vs. 18 percent), buy something because it's on sale
(24 percent vs. 5 percent), shop impulsively (36 percent to 18 percent)
and shop to celebrate (31 percent vs. 19 percent).
But when polled on their level of savings,
just 49 percent of women said they were dissatisfied
with their bank accounts, versus 60 percent of men.
"Money is an emotional-laden thing,"
says Hira. "We spend because others are doing it. Women may
have more need to be accepted by others. Maybe they think that if
they have the things that others have that they'll be better off,
they'll be liked and accepted."
Hayden says the shop-till-you-drop syndrome
is more than a harmless female pastime; it also deprives
women of the opportunity to grow money through investing.
In their 20s and 30s, when their male counterparts are
buying homes and investing in mutual funds, many women
are spending on clothes, cars and decorating the apartment.
"The biggest risk for women is they stall.
It's a huge risk for women because time grows money," she says.
"With our increasing longevity, it's becoming a critical issue."