In this economy, women are controlling more dollars than ever before, as they face a lower unemployment rate compared to men. While men over 16 years old comprised of 72,307,000 of the employed in January, the unemployment rate for men was 10.8 percent, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. Only 65,292,000 women had jobs in January, but the unemployment rate for women was 8.6 percent, under the national average of 9 percent.
While money mistakes affect everyone, some typically affect women more often. Whether you’re investment portfolio puts a smile on your face, or you’re struggling to crawl out of debt, it’s important to know where financial pitfalls lie so you can make better use of each dollar.
Foregoing competitive wages
When a woman has an opportunity to make more money than her counterparts by outperforming them, a study recently published suggests she is less likely to apply for such a job.
The academic study conducted between January and April 2010 in the 16 largest U.S. cities, found that men were 94 percent more likely than women to apply for jobs in which salary was most dependent on performing better than coworkers. The study examined applicants to administrative assistant positions.
Women were only slightly more likely than men to apply for wage competitive positions if they lived in cities where median assistant salaries were lower, such as Houston, compared to cities where residents earned more, such as in San Francisco.
Indebted to fabulousness
Even if dozens of magazine covers and blogs did not exclaim to women how to become flirtatious fashionistas, we’d still try to one-up the girl next door. When we look good, we feel more confident, whether in the office or on a dinner date. However, we often rack up debt in the quest to fill closets with stylish dresses and trendy shoes.
Women who consider themselves “stylish” spend three times as much on clothing, accessories and makeup than other women, according to research from consulting firm Bain & Company with Vogue magazine. Fifteen percent of those same women comprise 70 percent of spending on luxury fashion products.
If you have the money, great. But don’t fall into debt over a Gucci handbag.
Nurturing others’ checking accounts
No one wants to see the people they love suffer. Sometimes that agony is self-inflicted, such as when your adult child lives on a middle-class budget with a working-class income. In other situations, your child is a victim of a layoff or some other unexpected financial burden.
To make matters financially worse, 31 percent of wealthy baby boomers who help their adult children also care for their own parents. Mommy and Daddy both contribute money, but women were twice as likely to sacrifice to support others. The female inclination to give more money to needy family is not a surprise: Gifts of dolls to little girls is just one way society ingrains nurturing attitudes in women.
This article originally appeared on Bundle.com