Women and the cost of living crisis: why is making ends meet women’s work?

9th December 2022

  • Research by Nous Head of Service Design Lydia’s Howland finds that women are more adversely affected by the cost-of-living crisis than men. 

1: Women are making greater spending sacrifices than men

According to Nous research, women are 23% more likely to reduce spending on clothes, 18% more likely to reduce spending on eating out/takeaways, 13% more likely to cut back on trips with children, and 10% more likely to reduce or stop saving altogether.

61% of men said they were still able to save each month, compared to just 45% of women. 

Compared to men, double the number of women have either extended their overdraft or credit limit and 30% of parents have already dipped into savings ear-marked for their childrens’ futures (including households expecting a baby in the next 9 months, of whom 55% of expectant mothers have already spent savings ear-marked for their newborns). 

Asked if they were fearful about paying for the Christmas just gone, 60% of women are worried, compared to just 42% of men. 

Additional data from the Financial Conduct Authority and Living Wage Foundation showed that when faced with financial hardship, a greater proportion of women than men cut back on essentials. 

2: Women are taking on more additional work than men 

Women are currently more than twice as likely to say they’ll be forced to take on extra work or an additional job than men. Back in July, 28% of women said they felt it was likely compared to just 13% of men.

When Nous surveyed again last month, we found that 29% have indeed taken on extra hours and 15% have taken on an additional job. That’s 44% of women now doing more paid work than they were at the start of the year. 

3: The hidden costs of the crisis 

Recent data published by the ONS shows the devastating impact this crisis is already having on the mental health of the UK population. 

Over 1 in 3 women (35%) aged 16 to 29 experiencing moderate to severe depressive symptoms, compared with 22% of men of the same age. Younger women who are amongst the most adversely affected by this crisis, both financially and mentally.

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute have found that among women with existing mental health issues, 59% find it a burden to keep up with domestic bills and credit commitments (compared to 52% of men with similar issues)

Yet men were almost twice as likely to have had a healthcare professional ask if they face financial difficulties than women (35% compared to 18%). 

67% of women are either worried, very worried or terrified about how they’ll afford the cost-of-living crisis, compared to 61% of men (both devastatingly high, but the gap tells a story in itself)

Only 9% of women say they have enough money to comfortably cope with the crisis, compared to 13% of men

14% of women already believe it will affect their mental health, compared to just 5% of men

It may not surprise you to learn that 34% of men have already asked for a pay rise this year, compared to just 19% of women. 

Read Lydia’s blog on the topic here: https://www.nous.co/blog/the-unfair-burden-on-the-fairer-sex-why-the-cost-of-living-crisis-is-hurting-more-than-just-womens-wallets

Media contact:

For more details, please contact press@nous.co

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