women, debt and a lot of judgement

Another article has been published recently in a national newspaper about the rising levels of women in debt. We challenge the view that all women are in debt due to irresponsible spending.

Back in July we commented on the increase in bankruptcies amongst women based on figures released at the time by the Insolvency Service. Last week the Daily Mail reported on a further increase in women with debt problems.

The article included lots of stats and figures to show that the number of women in debt in the UK is at an all-time high and generally gave the impression that women can’t manage their money. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, such as my comment on “shopaholic britain” then you’ll know that I disagree with the generalisations that women end up in debt because they spend so much money on shoes and handbags!

However judging from some of the comments left on the Daily Mail’s article, not everyone shares my view:

Women and the youth of today no common sense or money control.

It probably hits them hardest because they are not very good at handing money

200 pairs of shoes? You don’t need them love

Sorry, but I have zero sympathy

Sadly lots of people feel this way towards women in debt, when actually the stereotypical “shoes and handbags” types of people in debt are a minority. Most of the people we speak to have debt problems due a change in their life circumstances, such as the break-up of a relationship, redundancy, or pregnancy – which we all know involves both men and women!

It’s also funny how you never see articles about men being in debt because of their spending habits. As an example to address the balance let’s take look at a favourite male pastime: football.
Virgin Money have been collecting data from 2006 onwards for their Football Fans’ Inflation Index and last year they published a report which showed that one in every five (20%) football fans is having to borrow money as a direct result of supporting their team.

That’s just one example and I won’t turn this into a men vs women debate on who has the most debt. I just wanted to point out that women can be treated a little unfairly when it comes to debt issues and making judgements, so the next time you see a headline about “women in debt” don’t automatically jump to the shoes-and-handbags conclusion.

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