Men carry cash … women don’t …

My friend Angie Schiavoni observed to me recently that women carry a lot less cash than men. She rarely has over $10. this rang true a few weeks ago when I was sitting next to a woman on the plane and she did not even have the $5 cash to buy a meal on the plane.

Maybe it is the fear of being robbed or of spending it … but my unscientific survey of a few friends bears the same results.

Of the men I asked the median was about $240. that’s a good deal of cash … and granted, most of the people I asked were fairly well-to-do.

Of the women I asked, the median was about $15. that’s it .. Just $15. not even enough for a cross-town cab ride in SF. Wow. (and these women were, on average, just as well-to-do as the men I asked.) And I don’t think there is a lot of evidence to suggest that women spend less money then men. Do women just prefer to pay by credit card?

And I got a similar response with the question: how often do you go to the ATM? For some men, it was only once every 2-3 weeks. By contrast, most of the women were multiple times per week and one went daily.


For detailed analysis for the differing shopping habits between women and men, I suggest reading Why We Buy by Paco Underhill (great book).

3 thoughts on “Men carry cash … women don’t …

  1. Scott Isaacs

    Personally, I regularly carry $100-150 or more in cash, but I almost never use the cash, opting for credit/debit cards. For me the plastic is more convenient but I keep the cash as a “safety net”.

  2. Bernadette

    Ya, I do the same thing. I don’t know why. But I do not think it is a good idea to be using credit card to pay for purchases. So I limit myself. It is not a good idea to carry credit cards around because one tend to overspend with what they can afford, because one cannot see the money being spent. Cash on the other hand, involves some heartache when you actually part with it when paying. I work hard for those green papers. Would this be a good theory of explaining why women spend more money than men on shopping and other expenses? Women look around for the best bargains, but they do not neccessarily spend less.


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