Moms don’t spend on themselves – why?

by julia_2x on May 26, 2010

As of 2007, women are out-earning their husbands in more than one third of HHs– up from 17.8% in 1987!!  This number is likely increase dramatically since then bec of the recession.  2/3 of jobs lost in the economic downturn were men.  Read the full article on Careers MSNBC.com for more insight into trends and drivers behind this big change.

Moms are still cutting back spending on themselves… (read the full Adweek article) despite the shift in earning power.  45% of moms have completely eliminated anything they don’t feel is absolutely necessary from their lives.  Another 29% of moms downgrade or cut back spending, and target their own luxuries first. 

Even though moms are shouldering primary earning responsibility in 33.6% of families, a full 74% of them are cutting back, selflessly.  We could chalk that up to the necessities of the economy.

So then I need to know… how is dad’s indulgent spending in this economy? Do they invest in themselves when they need it?  Here’s a great pie chart on where the money goes, but not who spends what in the marriage. 

It is my experience in the 7 years I’ve been offering seminars to moms that they fell guilty spending on themselves, even when it’s an investment in their future and happiness.  The kids get tap lessons, but not you.  Your husband needs to unwind with a round of golf, but you’re good with a  TV or a nice dinner or a board game.  We are working to be happy more cheaply on an everyday basis.  But we are not reaping the benefits for ourselves. 

This is all great.  It is an estimable value to live well on what you earn.  I just question whether we take equity in what we earn for our families, what we need to be happy and productive and lead full and independent lives.

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