Women Still Lacking in Financial Literacy, Or Not…


A recent State Farm study that 74% of American women are anxious about their financial futures but only 15 percent have made major changes to their financial plans.

Is There Something Wrong With Us?

Aside from the dismaying number of women who are unwilling to take action to change their financial futures (which I imagine they have in common with men), the worst finding of the State Farm study is that when women seek financial guidance, they don’t go to the experts. Instead most turn to their spouses, parents or friends. Only 12% ask an insurance agent, and only 7% seek guidance from an accountant. It makes me wonder what all those single women are doing. They must have it all together, right?

And here’s my favorite statistic: 41% of women would rather go to the dentist than talk to their spouse about finances.

I am the money person in our family, so I can’t relate.

Or Is It the Survey?

Where does this kind of information come from in the first place? The State Farm study was conducted sing random digit dialing of listed and unlisted numbers.

Oh yeah, those are the things I always hang up on.

So maybe it’s not really a problem with financial literacy at all, maybe it’s just that all of us money smart women don’t answer telephone surveys. Maybe we’re SO good with money that we don’t want to waste our most precious commodity answering survey questions, or worse yet – wasting our money on new and improved the satellite TV service!

Image Credit: Betsssssy, Flickr

  • Well said Lela ;)
    Often, statistics are unable to reflect a reality that is almost immediately palpable on the ground because of this type of bias.

  • I am a female business owner in NY and as a woman and a business owner, I am always thinking about my financial future. I don’t think financial knowledge is a function of gender, I believe the information is readily available to those willing to ask informed questions to your financial advisor. Granted, there is a social view of money that is should be managed by men, but the paradigm is shifting where today there are as many power women in financial sectors as men.

    Personally, I would trust my money with a woman then a man any day – we take the time to analyze the situation before jumping in!

  • Jesse

    Uh, even if it was random digit calling, if you have a big enough sample you will have good enough data to be meaningful. I believe that as long as the sample size is bigger than 25, you should be ok…

    My question is, what about women who are accountants? Are they allowed to NOT consult with a financial professional?

  • Thanks G-d that only 12% of them ask advice of their insurance agents. Based on what I have experienced with insurance agents, they have minimum financial savvy and are basically grunts who only know how to follow the script that help them explain their insurance offerings. It is dismaying that they actually get more consideration than do accountants.