It’s time to flip the script on women and money – Credello’s 2023 Millennial Women and Money Survey revealed that some of the things we’ve been reading about women and their finances don’t paint a complete picture.

For example, New York Life’s most recent Wealth Watch survey revealed that men saved an average of $7,007 in 2022 vs. $3,146 for women. According to another survey, men are also more likely than women to rate their money-saving abilities as higher than average (55% vs. 39%). Other surveys and research papers have found that women also tend to shy away from investing their money. Wealthsimple found that women overall invest 40% less money than men do.

It may be easy to assume that women are just bad at saving and won’t invest based on the stats above. But we uncovered some other interesting insights about women’s relationship with their money. Yes, women do find saving challenging but according to our survey of 600 women, ages 27 to 42-years-old in the U.S., Millennial women are quite financially savvy and are making some strategic, as well as powerful moves, with their money despite setbacks like the pay gap and the pink tax. Here are the insights found in Credello’s 2023 Millennial Women and Money survey.

Check out our infographic below on the survey data:

Millennial women do invest their money, just not in stocks and bonds

One area where women, including women on the younger end of the Millennial range, are comfortable putting their money is in real estate. Millennial women seem to be gravitating towards real estate over other types of investments: 42% of them would rather invest in real estate because they feel that it provides better returns and 37% of them think it’s safer than stocks. Additionally, 30% of them would rather invest in a home versus the markets because they fear they’ll lose money. A whopping 70% of women in Credello’s survey reported having bought a home on their own.

Though women are favoring real estate over stocks, women aren’t entirely shying away from this area. Fidelity data found that women are less confident in their investing ability than men, though investing confidence increases with age. This is consistent with Credello’s findings about Millennial women’s level of comfort investing in the markets. When asked what they would do with an extra $5,000 a month to invest, only 23% of millennial women said that they would invest in stock and bonds and that same percentage of women would actually put that money into a savings or retirement account instead of investing it. Only one in five Millennial women feel comfortable with investing in the markets.

Millennial women are good savers and are optimistic about retirement savings

According to our survey, Millennial women consider themselves good at saving. Nearly 25% of respondents gave themselves a 5/5 rating as savers and 28% gave themselves a four out of five. This contradicts the findings of a recent survey that revealed that men were more likely than women to rate their money-saving abilities as higher than average (55% vs. 39%).

Now when it comes to retirement savings, they are honest that they find it challenging due to a number of circumstances. That being said, they are still hopeful: 32% are somewhat optimistic about saving adequately for retirement and 16% are very optimistic about it. And while women do face systemic disadvantages, the biggest factor slowing them down is the cost of daily life – 63% of survey respondents said that the majority of their income is going into managing current expenses. When asked about their feelings towards the progress they’ve made saving for retirement, only 30% of women said that they are on track with their goals.

Other factors slowing women down include disadvantages that they face in their careers, from pay inequality to the invisible load of caregiving duties. Nearly a quarter (23%) of women are impacted by not working full-time – and about the same number of women say the gender pay gap is holding them back. That being said, women are still optimistic about saving for retirement: 32% of respondents are somewhat optimistic about saving adequately for retirement and 16% are very optimistic about it.

To maximize savings, women are currently tightening their budgets, with 53% of respondents revealing that they are making lifestyle choices to reduce spending and 41% of respondents saying they follow a strict budget. Side hustles are also popular among women – 36% of respondents have secondary income streams.

Side hustles and budgeting are a great way to improve your finances and so is debt consolidation. Compare debt consolidation options now.

Millennial women feel they don’t pay a pink tax on houses, cars and healthcare

Credello’s survey revealed that a significant number of the respondents who purchased a home, car, car repair service, car insurance or health insurance on their own reported that they feel they paid the same fees as men for those services. A pink tax is when a tax or other cost is added to the price of a product or service that is specifically aimed at or used by women, especially when compared to similar products for men.

Unfortunately, this data doesn’t reflect the current reality. For instance, Jerry data revealed that women pay nearly $8,000 more than men during the length of car ownership, and that single women pay 2% more than single men when buying homes but sell their homes for 2% less, resulting in an extra cost of $24,000 for single women in the home buying and selling process.

Bottom line

From the cost of daily life to a reticence about investing in the markets, Millennial women face unique challenges when it comes to managing and growing their money. That being said, they are making strides becoming homeowners and working hard to maximize their budgets – and they do consider themselves to be good at saving.

This survey was conducted by a third-party survey platform – Pollfish, on behalf of Credello. The sample of 600 women (ages 27 to 42) in the United States was surveyed on February 16, 2023. For complete survey methodology, please contact [email protected].