• Financial inequality doesn't stop in the workplace, as 59% of men take control of the majority of household finances. Women take a back seat because they trust their partner to do a better job (58%), don't want the responsibility (30%), and don't understand personal finance (19%).

  • Women are more likely to take full responsibility for day-to-day tasks such as the weekly shop (64%), household chores (55%), organising social events (35%), and booking holidays (34%).

  • A third of women (33%) admit that, if they were separated from their partner for any reason, they would need some help to get them up to speed with their personal finances, while almost one in ten (9%) wouldn't know where to start.

  • 23% of women who manage all of their household's finances do so because they are the main breadwinner, compared to 42% of men.

  • Young adults aged 16 to 24 are far more likely to make financial decisions together, with over half (57%) saying they share the burden. This is least likely to happen amongst the 45 to 54 age group (37%).

With women in the UK edging closer to financial equality in the workplace for the first time in history, this phenomenon may take slightly longer to spill over into the average household.

New research1 from financial comparison website money.co.uk reveals that many women shun financial responsibility at home, allowing 59% of men to take control.

The majority of women claim that they pass this control to their partner because they trust them to do a better job (58%).

However, almost a third of the females surveyed do not want the responsibility of taking on this role, and 19% claim they simply don't understand personal finance.

Our research shows there is a clear division of labour, with women taking the lead on the day-to-day tasks and men managing the finances. We asked 1,316 people in relationships which of the following they take full control of:

Expenditure MenWomenDifference in the sexes
Insurance products 58% 36% 22%
Landline, broadband, TV 58% 34% 24%
Utility providers 57% 39% 18%
Purchasing tech gadgets 47% 25% 22%
Savings accounts 42% 33% 9%
Current accounts 41% 36% 5%
Buying a new car 40% 26% 14%
Credit cards 40% 26% 14%
Private pension 39% 18% 21%
ISAs 38% 23% 15%
Mortgage 37% 18% 19%
Investments 31% 12% 19%
Shares 29% 11% 18%
Weekly food shop 27% 64% 37%
Household chores/cleaning 20% 55% 35%
Purchasing kitchen gadgets 21% 47% 26%
Organising social events 19% 35% 16%
Booking holidays 25% 34% 9%

Comfort zone or cop out?

When it comes to day-to-day living, women seem more than happy to take the driver's seat. Almost two out of three women (64%) take charge of the weekly shop, household chores (55%), buying kitchen gadgets (47%), organising social events (35%) and booking holidays (34%).

Bringing home the bacon

More than one in four women (27%) say their partner manages the household financial affairs purely because they earn more money, while only 8% of men say the same. In addition, 23% of women who manage all of their household's finances do so because they are the main breadwinner, compared to 42% of men.

A dying trend

Young adults aged between 16 and 24 are more likely to share responsibility of the financial decisions in their household, with more than half (57%) taking joint responsibility. This declines to just over a third (37%) of the slightly older generation aged 45 to 54.

Hannah Maundrell, Editor in Chief at money.co.uk, comments:

"It's both surprising and disappointing that so many women leave their partner to look after their finances. I find it really hard to believe that almost two thirds of women think their other half will do a better job of the managing the money than they would.

"This is a huge risk as a lack of understanding about personal finance means they have no way of knowing if the job is being done right. Come on ladies, what's happened to girl power?

"It is reassuring to see this trend seems to be shifting in the 16-24 age group where more than half of couples share responsibility for the household purse strings.

"I only hope that household finances being a 'blue job' soon becomes a thing of the past in every home. The Government is fighting for women to receive pay equality in the workplace, but this needs to spill over into the home too."

Notes to Editors:
1. A survey of 1,316 people in relationships was conducted online by Opinion Matters on behalf of money.co.uk from 8th - 14th July, 2015. 344 of respondents were in same-sex relationships.