New Finance Survey From The Knot Reveals an Opportunity for Women to Level the Playing Field in Shared Financial Decisions
Data from ‘The Knot Financial Survey 2022: For the Love of Money’ is Explored in a New Article from The Knot Discussing Women’s Unsubstantiated Low Self-Confidence Regarding Their Financial Knowledge and Decision Making, Why It Exists and Most Importantly How to Narrow the Gap
NEW YORK, NY, September 28, 2022 — During a pivotal time when the welfare of the economy and finances are taking center stage, The Knot—an authority in wedding planning, advice and products—today releases a new article, titled “How Gender Stereotypes Influence Financial Confidence Between Partners.” Written by Deputy Editor of The Knot, Esther Lee, the article enlists advice from three expert contributors, Kathleen Entwistle, Certified Financial Planner and Certified Divorce Financial Advisor, Arielle Kuperberg, Ph.D, a sociologist, demographer and researcher, and Alyssa Mancao, LCSW, licensed psychotherapist. The article reveals that only 41% of respondents who self-identify as female feel very confident in their financial decisions and only 40% feel very confident in their ability to save money. Surprisingly, this counters how respondents who self-identify as heterosexual males feel about their female partners, with 48% of such men feeling very confident in their female partners’ ability to make smart financial decisions and their ability to save money (49%).
These statistics appear in the self-reported results of The Knot Financial Survey 2022: For the Love of Money*, which examines how financial dynamics influence marriage and relationships among couples. This study uncovered the importance of financial knowledge and confidence between partners as a crucial step to establish a healthy, equitable relationship during a couple’s engagement. According to the Survey, dating or engaged couples are 15% more likely to discuss financial matters with their partner at least once a week (74%) compared to married couples (59%).
“The survey reveals a core issue many couples face is a lack of financial confidence in their relationships, particularly women in heterosexual relationships. However, this is based on perception and unsubstantiated,” said Esther Lee, Deputy Editor of The Knot. “It is imperative to not only address, but shine a light on the power financial knowledge has in relationships. We hope The Knot’s robust financial wellness content serves as a guide to inform all couples about how to increase their financial knowledge and rebalance their confidence and proficiency. It’s an important topic for any healthy relationship, especially as couples move from dating to engagement, to a wedding and long lasting marriage.”
The Knot article discusses how men in heterosexual relationships rate their own financial knowledge higher than their female partners rate themselves in areas such as handling taxes (+7%), the stock market (+11%) and new technology such as cryptocurrency (+15%), according to The Knot Financial Survey 2022. Men in heterosexual relationships are also using more resources to increase their knowledge compared to their female partners (48% vs. 39%). Data shows that self-identified males report significantly higher usage of financial planners and TV/documentaries to increase their financial knowledge. Additionally, the roles each partner plays in their relationships appear to be influenced by their perception of their financial knowledge. Couples are most likely to have figured out who would be responsible for managing the day-to-day finances based on who they thought was more knowledgeable (43%) followed by the couple having a conversation to determine who would handle the finances (39%).
With respondents who self-identified as male reporting feeling more knowledgeable than those who self-identified as female about finances, the data suggests that males are 4% more likely to report that they are taking the lead on financial management. As for why men may take the lead, Dr. Arielle Kuperberg, a sociologist, demographer, researcher and the Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at UNC Greensboro, explains:
“This is reflective of US history. Men worked outside the home more than women did, and since they were earning the money at the time, they usually were in charge of the family finances. In fact, up until very recently this was part of US law: Until 1974, if a woman wanted a credit card, she was required to have her husband co-sign her application, and banks were allowed to (and they did) deny credit cards to unmarried women. In the early 1800s, many states did not [even] allow women to legally own property.”
When it comes to LGBTQ+ couples and day-to-day household expenses, the surveyed respondents were 10% less likely to have one person completely managing daily expenses, compared to non-LGBTQ+ couples (18% of LGBTQ+ couples versus 28% of non-LGBTQ+ couples). The data reveals that LGBTQ+ couples are talking about finances more often than non-LGBTQ+ couples; LGBTQ+ couples discuss it at least weekly (+12%) compared to non-LGBTQ+ couples. LGBTQ+ couples are also more likely to have a set time to discuss finances (+16%).
While LGBTQ+ couples report more shared management of expenses compared to non-LGBTQ+ couples, this gap may start to close over time: one, due to an evolving workforce trailed by the rise of technology, among other factors, according to a January 2020 Gallup poll and echoed by Dr. Kuperberg.
Licensed psychotherapist and The Knot Wellness contributor Alyssa Mancao, LCSW, believes women can narrow the gap. She suggests that it takes intention and practice to bring self-confidence and a healthy balance to a relationship, especially before marriage. The article also provides key tips to help build financial confidence and knowledge:
- Reflect on Your Financial Feelings: Carefully consider how money has played a role in your life and the choices you make financially.
- Observe Societal Conditioning and Let It Go: Examine the historical, societal stigmas around money such as that women are “naturally” worse at math and make the choice to overturn those stereotypes.
- Use Technology to Build Knowledge: With the internet at your fingertips, utilize online resources as tools to help build financial knowledge as well as feelings of self-efficacy and confidence.
- Practice Makes Perfect–Or Something Like It: As with anything, you need to practice to build financial confidence. Get in the habit of checking your bank account balances, reading about financial planning and asking questions about your money.
- Get Talking About Money: Normalize talking to people that possess a strong understanding of money. It will help you make smarter financial decisions today and build a solid foundation for your future.
- Pass It Onto Your Loved Ones: Share your insights and education with your loved ones so they can become more informed about smart financial practices.
Additional highlights of The Knot Financial Survey 2022 include:
- Prenuptial Agreements: Having won the right to wed on the national level in 2015, LGBTQ+ couples are continuing to define their relationship within the institution of marriage, including divorce + prenuptial agreements. LGBTQ+ couples are more likely to take an optimistic view of marriage, describing prenups as “pessimistic”, “pointless”, and “cynical”, while nearly half of heterosexual respondents described prenups as “smart/responsible” and “sensible/reasonable.”
- Wills & Life Insurance: Only a minority of all respondents (17%), married and unmarried, say they have set up life insurance and a will. When looking at married couples, only 23% of couples have purchased life insurance and/or established a will. Two-thirds of respondents have either not even thought about life insurance and/or a will, or thought about it but not taken any steps.
- Deal Breakers: Respondents were most likely to consider it a deal-breaker if their partner was secretive about finances or dishonest about money being spent (43%). Other top relationship deal breakers include the inability to share financial responsibilities (31%), overspending/not saving (29%), high debt (26%) and being condescending about money (26%).
To read The Knot’s “How Gender Stereotypes Influence Financial Confidence Between Partners,” visit the link here. Full results of The Knot Financial Survey 2022 can be found at theknot.com/content/finance-survey.
The Knot Financial Survey 2022: For the Love of Money captured responses from 1,000 U.S. couples in May of 2022 who are in a serious relationship, engaged, or married. Respondents were recruited via a third-party platform. Survey respondents represent a variety of self-identified ethnic, education and income levels, heterosexual and LGBTQ+ couples, and are geographically dispersed.
About The Knot
The Knot is an authority on wedding planning and advice, offering a seamless, all-in-one solution—from finding inspiration and local vendors to creating and managing all guest experiences, wedding registries, invitations and more. The trusted brand reaches a majority of engaged couples in the US through the #1 wedding planning website TheKnot.com and #1 iOS and Android mobile app The Knot Wedding Planner, The Knot national wedding magazine, and The Knot book series. Since its inception, The Knot has inspired approximately 25 million couples to plan a wedding that’s uniquely them. Visit The Knot online at TheKnot.com and follow on social media: Facebook.com/TheKnot and @TheKnot on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.