Why Men Spend More Money Than Women?

Introduction

The relationship between gender and rate of expenditure is a topic that has attracted many scholars over the recent past. According to Klesment and Bavel, one’s gender defines what they are likely to purchase in large quantities or more regularly (468). Women often spend their money on cosmetics and beauty products, while men on the other hand will likely spend their money on things like cars and purchasing luxuries (Hawkes et al. 5). Determining which gender spends more money requires an understanding of the cost of what they purchase and the frequency with which they buy these items. Many studies have strongly suggested that men spend more than women because of various reasons. In this essay, the researcher seeks to discuss reasons why men tend to spend more money than women.

Factors That Make Men to Spend More Money than Women

The global economy has been expanding consistently since the end of the 2008 economic recession. According to Rentería et al., the United States’ economy has grown steadily since then, and the purchasing power of its citizens increased (695). The same trend has been witnessed in different economies across the world. It means that the disposable income of people has been increasing over the years. Men are believed to spend more than women because of the following reasons:

Traditional Belief That Men Should Be Financially Responsible

The United States has gone through a massive socio-economic and political transformation over the years. Traditional systems and beliefs made it difficult for women to achieve socio-economic development. For a long time after the country gained its independence, women were not expected to work because men were viewed as the breadwinners. However, events of the two world wars where women had to become breadwinners because many able-bodied men went to war led to a massive change in the perception of society towards gender roles. It became evident that women could also support their families. They became active players in the workplace and the political environment. However, the societal perception about the financial role of men has not changed significantly.

In a family setup, men are expected to be financially responsible for most of the expenses, even when both partners are earning the same amount of salary (Chen-Lan and Raley 1056). Based on personal experience, there has been a trend where women feel that they should not be financially responsible for their partners. Their earnings are meant to take care of themselves, their parents, and their children. On the other hand, men are not expected to have any boundaries when it comes to spending their income. Their immediate family, including their partner, is their primary responsibility. It does not mean that women are ungenerous and less financially responsible than men.

A significant number of working women have no problem sharing the responsibility with their partners. Others will even support their husbands when they are jobless or their earnings cannot sustain their family expenses. The major issue, in this case, is the high expectation that society has towards men. The majority of men would want to live up to such expectations to be seen as responsible individuals, which in turn, leads to higher expenditure. As Otterbring et al. observe, the cost of medicare in the United States has also been going up considerably over the years (70). The tradition demands that men should be responsible for meeting the medical costs of all members of the family even in cases where both parties are working.

Men Are More Likely to Use Alcohol, Drugs, and Other Forms of Entertainment

One of the main areas where a majority of Americans spend their finances is entertainment. As disposable income continues to increase, many people are finding it necessary to spend more on leisure and entertainment. During weekends and national holidays, friends would visit clubs or spend some time along the beaches during summer. Robinson et al. explain that in such meetings, men are likely to spend a significant amount of their salaries on things like alcohol and drugs (4). Studies have shown that some of these practices may end up defining the lifestyle of the affected individual.

Drug abuse is one of the main reasons why youths find it difficult to save their income. Heroin, Cocaine, Meth, and marijuana are some of the most commonly abused drugs. In the United States, male youths are more likely to abuse these drugs than women are (Stanesby et al. 1699). The problem often starts in college where abusing drugs is common among young men. There is always peer pressure for these male students to use drugs so that they can gain acceptance among their peers. Given the social and health effect of drugs, these young men would not be able to stop abusing drugs when graduating from college. They become dependent on hard drugs. On the other hand, society still believes that women should not abuse drugs. When they try to use drugs, they are ridiculed as individuals who are trying to behave like men, forgetting their gender roles. The outcome of this perception towards women is that the majority of women will complete their college education without becoming reliant on these drugs.

The price of hard drugs in the United States has been rising consistently over the years because of the effort put in place by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The government has been using advanced border management strategies to fight drug smugglers and peddlers. As such, those who succeed in making the product available in the market have to use more money to acquire them. The high cost of delivering the drugs is often transferred to the customers. It means that the users have to spend more to satisfy their need for the drug. Robinson et al. note that some have to engage in serious offenses just to get money for drugs (9). Others are forced to sacrifice important expenses because of their desire to use these drugs. The fact that women are less likely to abuse drugs means that they are more likely to spend less.

Alcohol is another item that often tends to increase one’s expenditure. Just like drugs, when one uses alcohol for a while, they become reliant on it. It is common to find both men and women at various entertainment joints taking alcohol. However, society still feels that women are not expected to abuse alcohol because of their role as mothers. In a family setting, it is more acceptable for a husband to spend some time with friends in a bar than it is for a woman. If both are employed a wife is expected to rush home immediately after work to check on the welfare of their children. They do not spend time in clubs because of this unique responsibility. It is important to note that although a significant number of women have been able to overcome such a chauvinistic attitude, the desire to take care of young children is often a natural trait for most women. Some of them will deliberately avoid taking alcohol because they fear they might end up becoming irresponsible parents (Stanesby et al. 1699). The situation may be worse in cases where the husband is already abusing alcohol or in cases where one is a single parent. The fact that they avoid drinking means that they can afford to save the income that would have otherwise been spent on alcohol.

Men tend to be more daring than women, a fact that makes them more likely to become alcohol abusers. In most cases, people start using drugs and alcohol because of curiosity (Stanesby et al. 1670). They want to know how it feels when one is high on drugs. Women tend to be more self-restraining than men. They are always more concerned about the consequences of their actions, especially if they have young children, and as such, are more likely to avoid the temptation. On the other hand, men are aware that their actions have consequences, but they are willing to take the risk and face the outcome of it. Some feel that they can easily get away with it. Once they get used to taking drugs, they are likely to spend more on them.

Men Are More Likely to Spend Lavishly on Their Loved Ones

The growing middle class is creating a trend of lavish spending. In the past, it was believed that this was a problem common among young adults who are keen on impressing their peers. However, the trend has become common even among the senior citizens of the country. Some people believe that the best way that an individual can demonstrate to society that they have achieved financial success is to purchase expensive items. It often starts with buying an expensive car that also costs more to maintain (Stanesby et al. 1696). One may be willing to take a loan just to buy one of the most expensive cars.

Another area where people spend lavishly is their residences. Mortgages have become more accessible to many Americans than it was in the past. Without putting into consideration various economic factors, many young men are getting expensive mortgages so that they can live in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods. Entertainment is another area where men often spend more money than women. When young adults get employed, a significant number often develop a feeling that they have to get the best available entertainment (Livingston 23). Studies have shown that when youths gain financial independence after college they become more willing to spend more to entertain their peers.

The primary goal of spending more money on cars, residential houses, and entertainment are to please peers and to show off to society. Men tend to suffer more than women from the problem of peer pressure. The pressure to achieve financial success is always greater on men than it is on women (Chen-Lan and Raley 1058). A responsible American man should own a car and a home. They believe that the best way of showing that a high level of responsibility and financial success is to purchase expensive items. In most cases, women do not face such scrutiny because of societal beliefs, which means that they can afford to use a cheap car and a modest house without facing any criticism. It is acceptable for them to do so because of the standards set by society.

Men in the United States Earn Relatively Higher Salaries than Women

Confidence in the future and the ability to make more money is another factor that is making men spend more than women. Studies have shown that women in the United States earn relatively less than men doing the same job (Otterbring et al. 70). A major effort has been made to address income inequality in the country for the past several years. It is also true that women are more likely to lose their jobs than men because of systemic problems in society (Chen-Lan and Raley 1059). Issues such as maternity leave, sexual predation, and male chauvinism are more likely to affect job security and the promotion of a woman. As such, the majority of them are often keen to secure their future. They are willing to sacrifice short-term pleasures so that they can achieve financial security. Unlike women, men do not face such numerous challenges in their workplace. They are more likely to get a salary increase and promotion because of a general perception that they are always consistent and can deliver the expected quality of work.

Men feel that their jobs are secured because of a social system that makes it easier for them to get well-paying jobs. They know that even if they do not make any significant amount of investment, their retirement benefits will take care of their needs. The possibility that a man may be arbitrarily dismissed is low compared to women (Otterbring et al. 77). Although human rights groups have been keen on fighting various workplace evils that women face in the United States, some challenges still exist. The Me Too movement highlighted how some women in this society suffer at the hands of unethical bosses who make unrealistic demands. These challenges make many women doubtful of their future financial capacity. The fear that they have about their job security motivates them to spend less and save more.

Conclusion

Americans are spending more than they used to because of the increasing job opportunities and high salaries. Large American corporations and medium-sized firms have come to realize the significance of having a motivated workforce. The increased disposable income has made many people increase their expenses on housing, food, medical services, and entertainment. The essay clearly shows that men spend more money than women in this country. One of the reasons for that is that society expects men to be financially responsible for their families as has always been the tradition. It is also evident that men are more likely to use alcohol and drugs than women are. As the price of these drugs goes up so does the expense. The desire to spend lavishly is greater in men. As discussed in the essay, the majority of men often desire to demonstrate their financial worth by purchasing expensive cars and houses. Another factor is that men are more confident than women about future security, which makes it easy for them to spend most of their earnings and save less.

Works Cited

Chen-Lan Kuo, Janet, and Kelly Raley. “Is It All about Money? Work Characteristics and Women’s and Men’s Marriage Formation in Early Adulthood.” Journal of Family Practice, vol. 37, no. 8, 2016, pp. 1046-1073.

Hawkes, Sarah, et al. “Gender Blind? An Analysis of Global Public-Private Partnerships for Health.” Globalization and Health, vol. 13, no. 26, 2017, pp. 3-11.

Klesment, Martin, and Van Bavel. “The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education, Motherhood, and Women as Main Earners in Europe.” European Sociological Review, vol. 33, no. 3, 2017, pp. 465–481.

Livingston, Amy. “Money Management: Men, Women & Money, How the Sexes Differ with Their Finances.” Money Crashers, 19 Jul. 2018, p. 23.

Otterbring, Tobias, et al. “The Abercrombie & Fitch Effect: The Impact of Physical Dominance on Male Customers’ Status-Signaling Consumption.” Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 55, no. 1, 2018, pp. 69-79.

Rentería, Elisenda, et al. “Intergenerational Money and Time Transfers by Gender in Spain: Who Are the Actual Dependents?” Demographic Research, vol. 34, no. 24, 2016, pp. 689-704.

Robinson, Kerry, et al. “Necessary but Not Sufficient: The Continuing Inequality between Men and Women in Educational Leadership, Findings from the American Association of School Administrators Mid-Decade Survey.” Frontiers in Education, vol. 2, no. 12, 2017, pp. 1-12.

Stanesby, Oliver, et al. “Harm from Known Others’ Drinking by Relationship Proximity to the Harmful Drinker and Gender: A Meta‐Analysis across 10 Countries.” Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 42, no. 9, 2018, pp. 1693-1703.

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