Don’t Tell Him What Direction to Turn, but He’ll Gladly Take Financial Advice
Men may not be all that interested in asking for directions on the road, but when it comes to navigating the financial landscape, they are far less likely than women to go it alone.
That’s according to a new study conducted by insurance and investment company Country Financial. The study surveyed men and women over 18 and asked if they had ever sought financial advice on a variety of topics from buying a new home to charitable giving.
Overall, 84.8% of men reported they had asked for financial advice at some point, while only 76.4% of women said they had ever sought financial guidance.
The study confirmed this trend in every common financial situation it explored, with the widest margins showing men were over 12 percentage points more likely than women to seek help when purchasing insurance and estate planning.
Men and women were about equally as likely to seek advice before making large purchases, attending college or giving to a charity.
Despite the disparity between men and women, 80.5% of people surveyed said they have asked for financial help in the past. Good thing, because 44% of Americans also report that “they are not as responsible in their spending choices as they feel they should be.”
Getting Your Finances Under Control
If you’re among that 44% — or the 51% of people who think they should be making better choices with their savings and investments — Country Financial has some advice for you.
1. Analyze Your Money Management Habits
This is a no-judgment zone. You can’t make better financial decisions if you are not clear on what you’re doing right or wrong. You need to know how much money you have coming each month and crunch the numbers to determine how much you should spend, save and invest.
2. Set Your Priorities
Once you know how much you’re spending and saving, you may want to make some changes. But don’t make arbitrary decisions — set a list of priorities instead.
According to Country Financial, most people list covering the cost of an emergency, paying for an unexpected health care expense and funding a vacation as their top financial concerns. When you know how much you’re spending, saving and investing, you can make room in your budget to cover your needs and wants.
3. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
You knew it was coming — Country Financial is an insurance and investment firm, after all. So it’s no wonder it would suggest seeking out help when it comes time to make important financial decisions. While hiring someone is possible, that’s not the only route to go for financial advice. You may also find it useful to seek advice from friends, family members and even co-workers.
Just be sure to double-check any information that sounds too good to be true because, on average, 39% of people report they are far more comfortable dispensing financial advice than they are with taking it themselves.
Your Turn: Have you ever sought financial advice before making a big money decision?
Desiree Stennett (@desi_stennett) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She reads her coworkers posts to get financial insight.