Traditional role patterns in spending by single men and women

22/12/2009 15:00

Single men spend their money on other things than single women. Men spend more on cars, eating out and gadgets, while women spend more on clothes, personal care and fruit and vegetables. This seems to confirm conventional role patterns.

Men buy cars, women buy clothes

Single men in the Netherlands had 21 thousand euro on average to spend in 2008, single women 20 thousand. Women spend relatively most of their money on clothes: 4.4 percent. Men spend only 2.8 percent of their budget on clothes. Men spend most on cars and other means of transport: 14.1 percent of their money, which is more than an average family spent on this category in 2008. Women spend 6.6 percent on cars and other transport. The differences between women and men are relatively largest in spending on personal care, cars and computers.

Spending, differences between single men and women, 2008

Spending, differences between single men and women, 2008

Personal care and gadgets

Women spend more on personal care such hair products, cosmetics and perfume than men. Single women spend a total of 2.7 percent of their money on this category, compared with 1.0 percent for single men. Gardening and flowers, and fruit and vegetables are also more popular spending categories for women than for men. Men are more interested in cars, eating out, radios, TVs, CDs and PCs. Male favourites are cars and computers: single men spent 7.5 and 1.7 percent respectively of their budget on these items, nearly three times as much as women.

Not all spending differs

However, for some important categories male and female spending is similar. They spend relatively the same amount on rent and on heating and lighting. They both spend around 5 percent of their budget on holidays, and pay out comparable amounts on household detergents, and on sports, games and other leisure time activities such as music, singing and theatre; spending on telephones and the internet is also similar for both sexes. Finally, it’s a fallacy that women spend more on sweets: single women spent just as much on chocolate as single men in 2008. 

Spending, similarities between single men and women, 2008

Spending, similarities between single men and women, 2008

Carin van der Ploeg