A note on “smart women” who can’t handle money

While going through my intimidating backlog of notes, I came across another amusing piece. A longer article in the Daily Mail with the title, Why are so many smart women so bad with money?. There is some pretty incredulous stuff in there.

First, I’d like to berate the author for her unjustified premise. Why do you assume that someone who behaves in an absolutely stupid manner when it comes to money is actually smart? I’d say it’s evidence that they are not. Just look at this:

I am mired in debt: £200,000 worth, in fact. That doesn’t include my mortgage; it’s credit cards, loans and overdrafts.

It sounds like a staggering amount of money and it is. But the really shocking thing is how easy it was to accrue. And how difficult it is ­proving to get back on track.

LOL. So here we have a woman who has such poor impulse control that she just spend and spends. Central banks are printing money, so why can’t she have a little fun? We only live one, right?

That entire piece is cringe-worthy. Here’s some more:

They were not the stereotype of dim-witted debtors. They were often successful, intelligent, independent women who had been the victim of failed marriages, redundancy, the recession, even simply red tape or unfair interest rates, and were ­struggling to see a way out.

If their marriage fails, they get half the shit her husband owns. If they lose their job, they get handouts from the government, this being the UK. The recession? If you have a job, you’ll be fine. If not, socialism pays you for not working. Unfair interest rates? Unfair interest rates? Am I hallucinating? When you see an ad for pay-day loans, and it says that the effective annual interest rate is a few thousand per cent (maths is a weapon of the patriarchy, remember?), then that’s not an “unfair” interest rate. Instead, you are incredibly stupid if you take such a loan. Can you be a smart and successful woman if you make stupid decisions? No, you cannot.

We are ­supposed to be self-sufficient, but a colleague admitted: ‘I’ve always thought I’d marry money.’

Six-figures with a six-pack, amirite?

Of course, when our entitled little princesses, 16-year olds in the body of hags, don’t get their way, the patriarchy is to blame:

I think there is another reason why women are in more debt than men. The banking industry is sexist. It’s a throwback to the days when women were not allowed to take out a loan ­without a man as guarantor.

I’m cherry-picking a few quotes, of course, but it’s very difficult to take the plight of those women seriously. Wherever you look, stupid decisions abound. You wonder how stupid? That stupid:

I have set up a direct debit for all my credit cards for the minimum amount, which means I will never be late with a payment. I can pay off chunks when I have the money. And I have set up online banking so I always know how much money is in my account, rather than just hoping for the best. Most importantly, I have stopped spending.

What a fucking moron! The “minimum rate” of your credit card ensures that you stay in the red, with your debt snowballing. Don’t even get a credit card. If you can’t afford something, then just don’t buy it. It’s not as if those women have to take out a loan for buying groceries. The idea to just spend and “hoping for the best” is downright bizarre. Then again, I’m maybe not smart enough to figure out how “smart women” tick. If you think you’ll “marry money”, a few years of compound interest on debt for fashion that goes out of style within weeks is surely worth it. Just look how well things worked out for them.

8 thoughts on “A note on “smart women” who can’t handle money

  1. It’s funny how media lauds women for being so “independent” by buying homes ( levered by fat mortgages) and spending money like a drunken sailor. The meme is empowerment… But what’s really going on is that these “smart and successful” women are just mindless consumers who only serve as moronic feeders to corporate revenues.

    If women were so smart they would question conventions like buying a house or what debt entails.

  2. Does she not see the irony in writing about being in debt and telling readers not to think she spent it on designer clothes while illustrating the article with photos posing in designer dresses and shoes? I am tempted to think this is a deliberate attempt to generate outrage. But commenters familiar with her have called her out on spending £800 a month on beauty products and feeding 17 cats fresh cod daily (I can totally picture her ending up as the crazy cat lady from the simpsons in the future).

    People we consider otherwise smart can be incredibly dumb when handling shit they do not understand (like finance), especially when they are emotionally invested in it.

    1. To her that surely isn’t a “real” designer dress as it was just a 250 pounds rag and thus nothing extravagant.

  3. I know a certain woman, single mom in her early 30s that has a rather high IQ (apparently she scored 160 on a job interview) and you can see this when it comes to brain teasers and figuring logical stuff.

    However she’s terrible at managing her finances and just spends away everything. My bet is the impulse control is her (and probably many women’s) main problem, not lack of intelligence.

    1. So you are saying that impulse control is not correlated with IQ?
      Then it must be a personality disorder.

  4. Whenever women experience negative outcomes, the “go to” explanation is sexism, either direct or systemic. While this might be comforting for individual egos, it is not helpful in terms of understanding or correcting problems.

    In general, most people (both genders) are completely illiterate from a financial point of view. They do not teach this in schools unless you actually take courses on it. A lot of the general information available on this stuff on the web is of questionable value and is generally slanted at marketing a particular financial product. In addition, unless you actually get into it, most people would rather be doing almost anything else than learning about investment options, taxation, or thinking about returns on investment. People who do manage to save money often simply turn it over to a financial/investment advisor and believe whatever they get told. I routinely read about people losing huge amounts of money to fraudsters who are usually not that sophisticated.

    For every woman who wants to be financially independent, there are three or four others who are financial train wrecks and their solution is to find a guy with money. What gets funny is when the woman is so stupid she cannot even discern between a guy who actually has money and guy who has a lot of debt. I have seen this happen a lot.

    1. “In general, most people (both genders) are completely illiterate from a financial point of view. They do not teach this in schools (…)”

      This is so true.
      I was the mentor of an 18-month-intern in our bank, 10 min ago he sent me this:

      He then seriously asked my why coffee price is not changing everyday. Had to show him a coffee futures chart…

  5. >I’d like to berate the author for her unjustified premise.

    it’s not unjustified . by many measures, women tend to handle money worse than men. I found all the following links in about 3 minutes of online research.

    – women are more likely to use loans to pay for college, accumulate more debt in college, yet also study subjects that lead to lower incomes. [1]

    – women are more likely to have credit cards, have multiple cards, and not pay the balances in full each month. [2]

    – women are less likely to save for retirement, and when they do it will save less than men. [3]

    – women are more likely than men to use stress or anxiety as an excuse for over-shopping [4]

    – women control the majority of household spending, and the majority of households are broke with no budget, no savings and no plan. [5]












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