Nicolette Dirk, finance writer, Justmoney
In an interview with Fin24, debt counsellor, Karen Augustyn, said that women tend create debt more readily because of their innate need to nurture,which other experts tends to agree on.
Paul Roelofse, consumer advocate for the Financial Planning Institute of South Africa, said that women’s role in the household causes them to make debt based on maternal reasons.
“Women will more likely make debt to take care of the family. Making sure their children have an education could be one reason why some women would go into debt. But women are still more prudent when it comes to getting into bigger debt like for cars and houses,” said Roelofse.
But when it comes to retail therapy, it seems like most products are geared towards getting women to shop and Roelofse said the problem with this is it is based on impulse. When you have access to a credit card it will be easier to scratch this impulsive itch when it comes to for example clothes shopping.
“The retail industry does seem to target women when it comes to marketing, but their purpose is usually still driven by their maternal instincts. A mother will, for instance, buy a clothing item for children on credit even when she does not have access to cash,” said Roelofse.
Store cards are also a convenient option for cash-strapped consumers to buy clothing items they cannot always afford.
Paul Slot, president of the Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa (DCASA), said it usually contributes a very small amount to people’s overall debt. More often it is personal loans and credit cards that cause the debt headaches. To read more about affordable personal loans and credit cards click here
What type of debt do men normally incur?
Roelofse said that in the more traditional households men are often still the providers and will incur bigger debt for cars and houses. This can also cause frustration in a household when the breadwinner has a problem with how his/her spouse works with their finances.
“To avoid such problems both parties need to be transparent when it comes to the household’s budget. It is important that they know how much money is coming in and how much money is being used,” said Roelofse.
To keep the financial peace, Roelofse said there also needs to be a joint approach when it comes to how the money is spent because then they will both feel in control when it comes to the household’s budget.