Women more likely to cut spending if finances hit rocky patch

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Women are more likely than men to cut their spending if their financial situation hits a crisis, a survey suggests.

Asked how they would cope with a hole in their money situation, 60% of women would tighten the purse strings, while 55% of men would cut back on their spending.

Across the survey, 39% of Britons admit they often or sometimes struggle to make it to payday.

The research also suggests that women would be more inclined than men to ask friends or family for help if their finances hit a rough patch.

Some 31% of women would ask friends or family for a loan or a cash gift, compared with 26% of men. 

The survey of more than 2,000 people for insolvency trade body R3, asked people to pick up to four options for how they would plug a gap in their personal finances.

Cutting back on spending was the most popular answer, favoured by 58%, followed by using personal savings, which 51% of people said they would do.

Men were more likely than women to go down the formal route of applying to their bank for a loan, with 9% of men saying they would do this, compared with 6% of women.

Men were also slightly more likely than women to say they would use their personal savings, at 51% versus 50%. They were also more likely to say they would stop paying their rent, with 3% saying they would do so compared with 2% of women - potentially putting some at risk of losing the roof over their head.

Some 3% of men and women said they would apply for a payday loan.

Andrew Tate, president of R3, said: "It's all too easy for people to get into serious financial trouble as a result of an unanticipated blip in their personal finances.

"For those trying to plug a gap, spending less is one way to avoid storing up problems for the future.

"A considerable portion of British adults already struggle to payday, so any interruption to income can be critical."

The survey also looked at differences across age groups. It found people aged between 18 and 34 years old would be particularly likely to ask friends or family for cash to help them out of a crisis, underlining the reliance on the "bank of mum and dad".

Some 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 47% of 25 to 34-year-olds would do this, compared with the survey average across all age groups of 29%.

Meanwhile, people aged over 65 would be particularly likely to rely on their savings to help them out of a financial hiccup - with more than two-thirds (68%) in this age group saying they would do this.

Mr Tate continued: "Using personal savings is also a healthy way of plugging a gap, but it's not an option available to everyone.

"According to the survey, family and friends are a safety net for many people. Unsurprisingly, younger people are most likely to turn to their inner circle for assistance, suggesting that the bank of mum and dad is still very much alive and open for business."

Here is how people would cope with a hole in their finances according to the research for R3, with the overall percentage followed by the percentage of men who chose this option and the percentage of women. People could pick up to four options: 

:: Spend less, 58%, 55%, 60%

:: Use personal savings, 51%, 51%, 50%

:: Ask family or friends for a loan or gift, 29%, 26%, 31%

:: Use a credit card, 28%, 27%, 29%

:: Use overdraft facilities on bank card, 20%, 19%, 21%

:: Apply for a bank loan, 7%, 9%, 6%

:: Not pay other debts (for example energy bills), 6%, 6%, 6%

:: Apply for a payday loan, 3%, 3%, 3%

:: Not pay rent, 2%, 3%, 2%

:: Apply for a guarantor loan, 1%, 1%, 1%