At Once Concerned And Self-Confident

How stressed are American women about money? Asked in a Health magazine poll to identify the thing they worry about most often, 33 percent of women age 25-54 picked their finances, putting this ahead of their appearance/weight (20 percent), job (12 percent), health (11 percent), kids (11 percent), marriage/

relationship (11 percent) and friendships (2 percent). Just 12 percent said they are “very satisfied” with their personal finances; 31 percent said they’re “not satisfied at all.” (Most of the rest are “somewhat satisfied.”) When asked to identify their most pressing financial concern, a plurality of the women (31 percent) cited “pay off credit card debt.” That is consistent with the responses to another query, in which the women were asked to say which of various missteps constitutes “the dumbest money move you have ever made.” Forty-four percent picked “got into debt,” topping the sum of those who pointed to “didn’t set a budget” (22 percent), “did not start saving for retirement” (10 percent) and “have not gotten any professional financial advice” (10 percent). For all their worries, though, 71 percent of respondents claim to have been “working steadily toward my financial goals.” And, as the chart here indicates, a majority of women think they do a good job of managing their money. (Monetary inflation remains under control, but is grade inflation?) A final tidbit: 29 percent of the women admitted they’ve lied to a partner/spouse about the cost of something they bought.