Are Women Truly Financially Independent? This Is the State of Women and Money in America in 2023
While the gender pay gap continues to persist, women are making strides in other areas. Female CEOs now run more than 10% of the Fortune 500 companies for the first time in history, and younger women are starting to invest much earlier than previous generations. But how are women really doing when it comes to their careers and finances?
To find out, GOBankingRates surveyed over 1,000 American women about their financial obstacles and goals, career priorities and attitudes about money. Here’s a look at our findings.
- 57% of women are not actively investing. Women cite lack of money as the main factor that is preventing them from investing (33%). Other reasons include a lack of knowledge about how to invest (10%) and a combination of a lack of money and lack of knowledge (14%).
- 43% of women don’t have credit card debt. Additionally, 57% don’t have student loan debt.
- 59% of women are solely responsible for the financial decisions in their household.
- 68% of women have never worked with a financial professional.
- 60% of women are financially independent, and 50% say they are confident in their ability to manage their finances.
If you are actively investing, what is your primary investment vehicle?
|I am not actively investing||56.89%|
|Work-sponsored retirement plan||16.63%|
How much credit card debt do you currently have?
|I don’t have credit card debt||43.31%|
How involved are you in household financial decisions compared to your partner?
|I am single/the only adult in my household||19.98%|
|I take the lead on household financial decisions||38.78%|
|My partner and I make financial decisions together||29.72%|
|My partner makes the household financial decisions||11.52%|
Which of the following financial professionals have you utilized?
|Estate planning attorney||6.59%|
|None of the above||68.31%|
Do you consider yourself to be financially independent?
|No, I am financially reliant on a family member||17.22%|
|No, I am financially reliant on my romantic partner||22.44%|
|Yes, I rely on myself only when it comes to finances||60.33%|
Full Survey Results
|What is your primary financial goal?||Response Rate|
|Covering basic expenses||25.69%|
|Paying off debt||19.98%|
|Saving for a house||15.45%|
|Saving for retirement||17.81%|
|Shorter-term goal (vacation, shopping, having ‘fun’ money, etc.)||13.19%|
|What is the biggest barrier to achieving your financial goal?||Response Rate|
|Lack of knowledge about how to meet my goals||6.1%|
|Lack of money||47.15%|
|A combination of both||23.62%|
|I am on track to achieve my financial goals||23.13%|
|If you are not actively investing, what’s preventing you from investing?||Response Rate|
|Lack of knowledge about how to invest||10.33%|
|Lack of money||32.68%|
|A combination of both||13.88%|
|I am actively investing||43.11%|
|What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in your career path?||Response Rate|
|Lack of available opportunities||33.76%|
|Lack of fair pay due to gender/stagnant income||11.91%|
|Taking time off for caregiving/lack of affordable childcare||15.55%|
|How much student loan debt do you currently have?||Response Rate|
|I don’t have student loan debt||57.38%|
|What is your biggest obstacle to paying off your debts?||Response Rate|
|Cost of child care||3.35%|
|High cost of living||31.99%|
|Lack of knowledge about how to get out of debt||3.15%|
|Lack of sufficient/consistent income/stagnant income||24.21%|
|What is your biggest source of financial worry/stress?||Response Rate|
|Inflation/not being able to afford everyday expenses||38.58%|
|Not having enough money to retire||14.86%|
|Not having the money to pay for an emergency expense||18.21%|
|Potential job loss/layoff||8.46%|
|I don’t have any money worries||16.24%|
|What workplace benefit is most important to you?||Response Rate|
|Ability to work remotely||20.67%|
|Development programs/training to help upskill||6.69%|
|Paid leave for mental health||6.30%|
|Paid parental leave||3.35%|
|None of the above||29.04%|
|What is your worst money habit?||Response Rate|
|Not having or sticking to a budget||20.87%|
|Only paying the minimum balance on credit card bills||7.68%|
|Ordering food delivery too often||10.04%|
|Splurging on hair, nails or other beauty treatments||2.66%|
|None of the above/I don’t have any bad money habits||29.33%|
|Do you consider yourself financially secure/stable?||Response Rate|
|What is your biggest financial regret?||Response Rate|
|Not building an emergency fund||17.13%|
|Not educating myself on financial topics||9.65%|
|Not starting to save for retirement sooner||16.93%|
|Taking a low-paying job||9.55%|
|Taking on credit card debt||18.9%|
|None of the above/I have no financial regrets||17.62%|
|Do you consider yourself bad with money?||Response Rate|
|If you are a parent, which cost are you most overwhelmed by?||Response Rate|
|Child care/daycare/afterschool care||6.2%|
|Everyday expenses like groceries||26.77%|
|Saving for college||10.33%|
|None of the above||17.62%|
|I am not a parent||35.24%|
|If you are a parent, what best describes your current work situation?||Response Rate|
|I work full-time in a hybrid work environment||2.36%|
|I work full-time in person||13.88%|
|I work full-time remotely||9.84%|
|I work part-time in a hybrid work environment||0.89%|
|I work part-time in person||5.71%|
|I work part-time remotely||4.33%|
|I do not work||27.76%|
|I am not a parent||35.24%|
|How would you describe your relationship with money?||Response Rate|
|I am fearful about making financial decisions because I am not confident in my ability to manage my finances||20.87%|
|I avoid thinking about/dealing with my finances||29.33%|
|I have a healthy relationship with money and am confident in my ability to manage my finances||49.8%|
GOBankingRates surveyed 1,016 American women ages 18 and older from across the country between Feb. 17 and Feb. 21, 2023, asking 20 different questions: (1) What is your primary financial goal?; (2) What is the biggest barrier to achieving your financial goal?; (3) If you are actively investing, what is your primary investment vehicle?; (4) If you are not actively investing, what’s preventing you from investing?; (5) What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in your career path?; (6) How much student loan debt do you currently have?; (7) How much credit card debt do you currently have?; (8) What is your biggest obstacle to paying off your debts (credit card, student loan, medical, etc.)?; (9) What is your biggest source of financial worry/stress?; (10) What workplace benefit is most important to you?; (11) What is your worst money habit?; (12) How involved are you in household financial decisions compared to your partner?; (13) Which of the following financial professionals have you utilized? (Select all that apply); (14) Do you consider yourself financially secure/stable?; (15) What is your biggest financial regret?; (16) Do you consider yourself bad with money?; (17) If you are a parent, which cost are you most overwhelmed by?; (18) If you are a parent, what best describes your current work situation?; (19) How would you describe your relationship with money?; and (20) Do you consider yourself to be financially independent? GOBankingRates used PureSpectrum’s survey platform to conduct the poll.
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