Taking stock: Women are leading on household budgets but not making future investments shows study


A study has found that whilst women are leading on budget management and day to day financial planning, they are not investing for the future and less likely than men to invest in stocks and shares. The research by Readly, the digital magazine and newspaper app, reveals how Brits tackle budgeting and financial management and highlights the most popular savings and investment opportunities.


Two thirds of Brits (76 percent) consider themselves to be financially literate and engaged in financial management yet the majority are only saving between £100-500 a month and one in ten (13 percent) are saving fifty pounds or less a month. 


Almost half of people (46 percent) plan their monthly budget in an attempt to manage their spending and saving. But nine in ten (84 percent) people believe their budget has been affected by inflation and the increased cost of living, shows the research of 2000 adults by magazine and newspaper app Readly.


Whilst 51 percent of women reported leading on the monthly budget compared with 41 percent of men, one in five (22 percent) plan it together with their spouse or person they live with and 4 percent let the other person lead. One in five (18 percent) of people don’t believe they need a monthly budget at all!


Financial confidence and literacy


When it comes to financial confidence, 35 percent of men consider themselves ‘very financially literate’ in comparison to just 24 percent of women. This is despite 56 percent of women managing the household finances such as paying the bills, food and day to day activities, whereas 48 percent of men reported leading on this role. A third of people (34 percent) are more likely to consider it a shared responsibility.


“Whilst the financial sector has traditionally been dominated by men with gender pay, wealth and pension gaps hot topics, the research shows that it is by no means a man’s world when it comes to budgeting and finances. Whilst women are not rating their financial competence as highly, they are leading on the family financial management in many cases.  We want to motivate more women to take financial leadership to help close the gender wealth and pension gap. Economic journalism and money magazines provide particular support in this process.” says Ranj Begley, Chief Content Officer at Readly.


Savings and investments


Whilst a quarter (24 percent) of people are saving between £100-500  a month with the research revealing equal savings for men and women, 15 percent put aside £51-100 a month and 13 percent manage just £50 or less. Only 4 percent of people are managing to put aside over £1000 a month and 8 percent between £501-1000.


For those who manage to put aside savings, 52 percent are putting their funds into a savings account and 21 percent are opting for a pension fund whereas 15 percent are buying shares, 8 percent are purchasing stocks and 6 percent investing in property.


Are women getting their fair share?


Despite the reported low savings for many, one in four people (19 percent) said they invest in stocks and shares. However this is where the gender discrepancy is apparent with 21 percent of men claiming they are actively investing in stocks and shares compared to just ten percent of women, showed the Readly research.


Of those that invest in the stock market, 13 percent would consider themselves ‘occasional’ investors and 6 percent do so on a regular basis. Nine percent of men consider themselves ‘regular investors’ compared to just four percent of women.


Reasons cited for not investing include not having the finances (40 percent),  not being interested in stocks and shares (29 percent) and not having the knowledge (17 percent).


Pension pots


The future investment gender gap continues into pension funds too with one in four men (24%) investing in a pension fund, compared to 18 percent of women.


“We want to support women to take advantage of the stock market and take ownership of their pension funds as early as possible. This is because the compound interest effect is more about time than the amount you invest. Starting early is therefore very worthwhile – even with small sums. The Readly app is full of financial tips and informative investment magazines to inspire investment opportunities with an article to suit everyone from savings to investment from beginner to advanced” add Ranj Begley


The majority of people (53 percent) get their information on investment and savings from online research. Whilst 22 percent lean on information from friends and family, 19 percent trust advice from the bank and 18 percent turn to finance and money management magazines and newspapers. The Readly app has over 7,700 digital magazines and newspapers on the platform with many finance and investment titles and articles available to read.


The top investments for Brits:

        Savings  account (52 percent)

        Pension fund (21 percent)

        Shares (15 percent)

        Stocks (8 percent)

        Property (8 percent)


The top sources of financial information:

        Online research (53 percent)

        Friends and family (22 percent)

        Bank/banking consultant (19 percent)

        Financial magazines (18 percent)

        Social media (8 percent)

        Books (4 percent)



Notes to editors:

For more details contact: [email protected] or 07879 818 711

Research: YouGov research, sample size 2018 UK adults, dates: 28/08/23-01/09/23


About Readly

Readly is a European category leader for digital magazines and newspapers. The company offers a digital subscription service where customers have unlimited access to 7,700 national and international titles – all in one app and at a fixed monthly fee. Readly has subscribers in 50 countries and content available in 17 different languages. In collaboration with around 1,200 publishers worldwide, Readly is digitising the newspaper and magazine industry. For more information, please visit https//corporate.readly.com