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10 Ways Men And Women Spend Their Money Differently

From shopping for deals to going out at night, men and women dole out their cash (and save it) in different ways.

Posted on May 7, 2013, at 10:09 a.m. ET

1. Women spend more on clothes; men spend more on food.

Andre Warchy / Via Flickr: andrewarchy

More than half of Americans, both men and women, are guilty of using retail therapy to lighten their moods, according to a survey by eBates and TNS Global. Almost 64 percent of women admit to shopping to lighten their mood, spending money, in ranking order, on clothes, food and shoes. Men in the survey shopped most for food, electronics and music or movies when they wanted a pick-me-up.

2. Women give more to charity.

Tax Credits / Via Flickr: 76657755@N04

In a 2010 Center on Philanthropy report researchers found that women give more money to charity than men in every income group except for one. Women-headed households that earn more than $100,000 per year, give almost twice as much as men do. Regardless of amount donated, female-headed households practice philanthropy more than male-headed homes.

3. Boys spend more bank on booze.


Single men spent an annual average of $507 on alcohol, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-2011 annual report. The single ladies? A mere $216.

4. But the single ladies win at spending to look right.

Single women spend an average of $524 per year on personal care and services, men only $194.

5. Men spend the most on Valentine's Day.

Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ / Via Flickr: 73230975@N03

Sixty-four percent of men purchase flowers for Valentine’s Day. Only 36 percent of women buy them. Men spend almost double what women spend on the holiday. Men spend $175.61 and women spend $88.78, according to the National Retail Federation.

6. Men save more for retirement.


A survey found that men have 28.8 percent more ($50,632) in their 401(k)s than women, who have ($39,320). Also, men have a 72 percent higher balance in their IRAs. Of course, some of this may be do to the fact that men make more money than women in the first place.

7. Men spend more when women are scarce.


Men spend more money when they think there are fewer women around. Also, researchers found that single men have more debt levels and credit cards in cities where the gender ratios show fewer women.

8. Women are more patient for online deals.


Women take 40 percent longer to make a purchase and are more likely to do price comparison shopping than men, according to data compiled by It seems that sexes have always shopped differently. In prehistoric times, women were more likely to forage for plants, while men hunted (shopped) quickly so they could get the meat home before it spoiled.

9. Men spend more on nightlife (but not much).


The average single man spends $1,545 a year on entertainment, and women almost match that at $1,432.

10. Women may be better at paying back loans.


Micro-creditors often loan money to women because they believe it’s the better for the family, according to the Wall Street Journal. In Bangladesh, women with micro-loans were more likely to pay them back. Also, women may be more likely to spend money on the family because they are often held to higher moral standards and will be blamed more if they spend it on themselves.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.