For those that watched the glamorous life of Carrie Bradshaw and her cronies in Sex And The City, did you ever wonder what it really cost to maintain a Manhattan apartment, fabulous clothing, and dining and entertainment throughout the city? One quoted number by Carrie Bradshaw herself is that she spent well over $40,000 on footwear alone over the course of her lifetime. Could that be true and why is it that so many women now in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s are struggling financially?
Recently, Pew Research collected data and published a report that a record amount of adults today in their 20’s and early 30’s are unmarried. If the trends continue in the current direction, one in four will never ever get married. The biggest reason given by this age group for not getting married was for a lack of financially being ready. Women were especially concerned about tying the knot because of financial concerns. As salaries and wages continue to rise for young women, why is it that their financial footing may not be in such great shape?
- Dining Out- From practical experience, I’ve noticed that women who are single tend to eat home less and less within their monthly budgets. The trend of eating organic along with meeting friends out for weekly dinners has skyrocketed this line item on their budgets. You would think that buying an extra cocktail or two wouldn’t dramatically affect a budget, but eating out for lunch and dinner 6 or 7 days a week can have a major impact on monthly savings.
- Home ownership- Young women are now tending to rent for a longer and longer period of time shrinking down the amount of time they have to increase equity in a home. In fact, I’m seeing more and more single women wait until their mid 30’s or even into their 40’s to look for a home, let alone own a home at all. In my experience, women that live in major top 10 cities are renting versus owning due to the higher cost of living.
- Budgeting- Even though this is the most educated group of women in the workforce, there is little to no formal training in college or graduate programs on how to manage a household budget. More often than not, there is no check and balance system for shopping, travel, or dining and entertainment on a monthly basis.
- No Game Plan- Many young women do not want to turn back to Mom and Dad for financial advice and many of the planning institutions do not provide a comfortable environment to discuss financial goals and objectives. With the lofty minimums most brokerage houses carry today, where is a young woman supposed to go to start their financial future?
While not all women are aspiring to be Carrie Bradshaw, is the Sex And The City lifestyle making single women fall behind with their finances?
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Ted Jenkin is a frequent guest columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Headline News Weekend Express. He is the co-CEO of oXYGen Financial. You can follow him on LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/theceoadvisor or on Twitter @tedjenkin.