Women have low levels of financial wellness despite better control of their day to day money

9th June 2016

Women consistently show poorer levels of financial wellness despite a more diligent approach to money management, according to the Momentum UK Household Financial Wellness Index.*

The Index revealed that even after controlling for other variables, such as age, that gender is a significant predictor of Financial Wellness; with men scoring on average 1.1 index points more than women.

The index created by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre is the first research of its kind to look at the overarching financial wellness of the UK.

 Women struggle to make ends meet

The disparity between men and women’s financial situation is underlined by the index’s findings which suggest that women are 43 per cent more likely to feel their current income doesn’t cover the cost of their everyday outgoings than their male counterparts. Women are also 54 per cent more likely to feel that they could not meet a major expense without borrowing money. Over a quarter of all women (28 per cent) have also made no provision for their retirement.

However, despite the apparent material differences between men and women, the findings also indicated that attitudes to finances differ greatly. Men are 29 per cent more likely than women to show high levels of confidence about their short term financial situation. Perhaps more alarming, women show a lack of faith in their long term planning, with men 33 percent more likely to demonstrate confidence in their long term finances.

Ferdi Van Heerden, CEO, Momentum UK said: “It is evident from our research findings that women are overall, less well financially than men. While women show superior money management skills compared to their male counterparts, the Financial Wellness Index indicates they still struggle to find the necessary funds to be comfortable financially especially in the medium and longer term.

“The gender pay gap on earnings for full-time employees currently stands at 9.4 per cent, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.  The fact that we still have to address gender-based financial inequality in the UK is incredibly disappointing, and more must be done to address this issue.”

Women take steps to address their finances

The inequality between the financial wellness of men and women is particularly pronounced when you take into consideration the different approaches of men and women to managing their finances. A third of women feel they are in complete control of their day-to-day money management (32 per cent vs. 28 per cent of men). They also are far more likely to plan their monthly outgoings (23 per cent of men vs. 32 per cent of women) and monitor their spending on a day-to-day basis (25 per cent of men vs. 33 per cent of women). Women are also more likely to make sacrifices to stay within budget.

You can get your own financial wellness score at yourwealth.co.uk/financial-wellness

The Momentum UK Household Financial Wellness Index brings together macro- and micro-level data to paint a picture of individual and household finances in the UK. The Index runs from a scale of 0 to 100, where higher scores represent greater Financial Wellness. 70 per cent of the Overall Index score is based on a Micro Index, calculated from the results of a UK-wide survey of approximately 2,000 individuals (conducted in late 2015). The remaining 30 per cent consists of a Macro Index that is constructed using the results of three key national economic indicators: the unemployment rate, annual change in GDP per capita, and the Gini coefficient of income inequality. The Overall Index score is calculated by summing the Macro Index results with survey respondents’ individual Micro Index scores. The results are weighted so that they are nationally representative. Financial Wellness is best viewed as a latent construct that is measured indirectly and holistically through a range of measures or indicators.

Overall Index Score: 67.4
Overall Micro Index Score Overall Macro Index Score
46.2 21.3
Financial confidence and satisfaction Financial capability: short-term planning Financial capability: long-term planning Savings, assets and security Steering clear of financial difficulty & debt Financial inclusion Avoiding deprivation and hardship Unemployment rate GDP per capita Income inequality
7.0 6.7 6.2 3.9 9.0 5.9 7.5 7.3 7.3 6.7


Micro Index includes measures of:

Macro Index includes measures of



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