Women’s financial wellbeing is lower than men’s and they are less confident about their financial literacy, according to the European Consumer Payment Report (ECPR). The survey was conducted among 24 000 users of financial services from all over Europe. Europeans are struggling with the impact of high inflation and rapidly increasing interest rates, but the rising cost of living is putting additional pressure on women. The gender gap in financial wellbeing between women and men significantly growing in 2022, compared to the 2021 survey.
Women are less satisfied than men with their level of financial education and are less likely to correctly answer questions about how inflation impacts consumers’ day-to-day finances. According to the survey female respondents have smaller financial buffers than men. On a monthly basis men save more money, and women are overrepresented in the group saying they don’t save any money at all. At the same time close to one-third of women have less than one-month salary of savings available to cover an unforeseen event. Male respondents with such a little savings are 24%.
The survey points to a significant year on year growth among both men and women expressing that rising bills have an increasingly negative impact on their wellbeing. This trend is visibly stronger among the women – 62% responding positively to the question about deterioration, compared to 54% of men (see the chart).
Financial aspects remain a central part of gender inequalities in Europe, commented the authors of ECPR. Women are more concerned about the impact of rising cost of living.
Among female respondents reporting to have failed to pay one or several bills on time during the recent year, just over half say they did not have enough money. Among men only four of ten missed a payment for this reason. For both the share is up, compared to 2021. Women are more likely than men to have made changes under the pressure of inflation and rising interest rates, and those who do not believe they will be able to be financially secure after retirement.
Despite financial difficulties women are less likely to ask for a pay raise.
In Bulgaria, according to data from the National Statistical Institute, more than 75% of men and women struggled to cover their daily expenses in the last quarter of 2022. The increase compared to the third quarter was 1.5 percentage points, with 12.3% of the households questioned defining covering expenses as “very hard”. However, the share of people who can pay for their daily expenses and those who do not experience any difficulties is also increasing. Оnly 4% of all Bulgarian households don’t have financial problems.
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