Tag Archives: women

Women control family finances

Yet more evidence about the power of the female purse when it comes to taking control of household finances.

According to a new survey from Sheilas’ Wheels 28 per cent of couples have no idea what their partner earns, or what savings or debt they might have.

And when it comes to the gender divide, men are seen to be the most dishonest about money with almost a third (29 per cent) admitting they are not open about finance with their partner.

But this mistrust is shared with many women too! Despite more than half of women (51 per cent) taking charge of the bills in the relationship many females would rather ask their friends for financial advice than their partner.

In fact 36% of the women in this study keep their bank accounts divided to maintain a sense of financial independence. But when we have good news such as a pay increase or an unexpected windfall, 42% of us treat our partners and 67 per cent use our own bank account to buy them a present at least twice a year.

And I am fairly sure that most men do this too.

Isn’t it human nature for us all to want to ringfence some personal money for things we REALLY want versus the things our joint incomes buy as essentials? Regardless of how much we earn or the money we have for the household budget.

Vive la difference … although I wouldn’t like to think my husband was hiding significant stashes from me 😉


PS: The image I chose is a bit of fun – yes women are saddled with the reputation of being dizzy shoe and handbag shoppers but I think that is by and large unfair. Most of us know the bills come first and we are good at budgeting for them (and then allowing an occasional treat of course, when there’s funds to spare…)

Dear Mr Publisher…

Dear Mr/Mrs Publisher.

Why aren’t there any dedicated motoring magazines for women?

See the typical magazine titles if you don’t believe me; look at the colours, the cover cars and the headings… they’re SO obviously for men.

And yes I realise that most female magazines don’t carry much about motoring either which is surely another reason to think about this surely… They don’t include cars or other motoring matters for women, presumably because most of us prefer to read about beauty, health, celebrities, cooking and so on.

I also realise that it’s a gender thing. Traditional men are more likely to be petrolheads than us (with some notable exceptions, no offence intended) and they are more turned on by performance cars, gadgets and mechanical matters.

Whereas traditional women are more likely to look at practicalities like whether the car is fit for purpose, its safety and reliability record as well as how much it costs to buy and run, the onboard space and its environmental credentials. Then there’s the brand, looks, colour and accessories of course. This is a big homework job to do before you can be sure you’ve bought the right car. Remember that you immediately narrow your choices when you step into a new car showroom; good sales staff will do all they can to sell you a car they’ve got, not suggest one they don’t have but which might be better for you.

But the most important fact is that 80% of all consumer goods decisions involve women nowadays and we instigate some 60% of car sales and probably influence other ones our family and friends buy. AND we’re getting wealthier, more independent and definitely more discerning.

So if women want to buy cars AND it’s clearly a tough job to choose the right one let alone negotiate a fair deal AND most magazines are writing about cars from a male perspective AND ordinary women like me can write about cars and motoring matters without having to be racing drivers or Top Gear fashion accessories … what’s the real problem here Mr/Mrs Publisher?

Knowing the business case, wouldn’t a magazine or motoring section for women be supported by the likes of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and likely to attract manufacturer advertising? Many car companies are using Mumsnet and similar hi-density female websites yet Mumsnet readers aren’t there to buy a new car, nor are they daft enough to say ‘A new Ford, what a good idea, I must buy one now.’

Surely females considering their next big item new or used car purchase would buy a Magazine that was dedicated to helping them choose a car that was right for them. A Magazine with down to earth reviews and feedback from females rather than macho technospeak? And couldn’t they be interested in other motoring matters too, such as how to negotiate the best deal, find a female friendly car dealership or measurably good garage and compare the best insurance deals for women. And perhaps this could include content about what to do with your car in terms of days out, leisure and travel activities?

If this exists already Mr/Mrs Publisher, please tell me and I’ll subscribe to it. If it doesn’t, I think you are missing a trick here and women drivers are the worse off for it.


Surveys about women drivers to please men

We all know we are different, so what is there that’s new to tell us about each other?

Well, a recent survey says women don’t clean their darling cars as often as men.

Shock horror – what sort of sluts are we females?

Let me suggest three reasons why this might be the case.

1 We are too busy doing everything else

2 We have asked someone else to do this for us (a man probably – they are very good at this I find)

3 We are talking about a car to take us from A to B, not live in…

And another survey in the same week says that men feel unsafe when the car is driven by their wife or girlfriend. But not if she is driving sober so he can down a few pints I suspect.

The fact is that these sorts of survey get published and businesses who sponsor them get mentioned, especially online or as fillers in male magazines and motoring publications.

The reason they get published (and then read by people like me) is to do with the differences between the two genders.

Whereas if women drivers were to publish ‘I feel frightened when my husband drives’ (and there must be many of us who do feel that way) there’d be a savage outcry from men whose pride had been dented and because they are fed up reading that women are doing well in all areas of their lives, especially the ones that used to be ‘male domain’.

Whereas we women are the peacemakers (yes, dear, you are the best…), we have a vital sense of humour (…yawn…), realise that none of this trivia matters very much and have more important things to do anyway; family, children, homes, career, community, leisure, holidays, fashion and so on.

Finally we know we are better drivers because insurance companies keep on telling us and they should know.

No contest men – get used to it! Or dig out that sense of humour (you’ll find it below the sense of indignation you feel when anyone challenges your male preserves…).

And it’s perfectly normal for you to feel this way – it’s how we are hard wired respectively.


Women are the main car carers in the US

In a study by the US Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, nearly 9 out of 10 female motorists are involved in their household’s car maintenance and repairs.

This shouldn’t surprise me really as we speak to women drivers about this on a daily basis yet I wouldn’t have said 90% in the UK yet.  I think this might be because women are financially more foxy than men and are out to save money in this recession. And where the US goes we surely follow…

According to a recent US survey of more than 500 women, almost half  incorrectly assumed that if you switched from conventional engine oil to synthetic oil you would do more miles between oil changes and save money.

Yes it’s true that if you use a quality motor oil in the right grade you’ll optimise fuel economy, and help save money by preventing costly engine damage BUT if you choose any old oil that doesn’t meet industry standards or the vehicle manufacturer’s requirements and it is possible that women and men drivers alike could damage their car engine or even compromise any manufacturer warranty.

Which is another reason why FOXY Car Fitness Checks are so important because this allows FOXY approved female friendly garage professionals to look over your car on a regular basis and tell you what needs doing. There’s no cost for members of FOXY Lady Drivers Club and you’ll normally get a small discount on the likes of a MOT or car servicing too.

Why not try a female friendly garage to check out your car maintenance on a regular basis? It’s not a sexist thing – FOXY sets quality standards high so if there’s a garage listed near you at FOXY Choice it’ll be one of the very best for men too.

But it is about time we women started to get more involved in this area – we’ve delegated the job to men for too long and see what’s happened; no wonder the industry is so male oriented and few understand what we REALLY REALLY want…


Should women earn the same as men at Wimbledon?

As you know, I run a motoring club for women drivers and we get a fair bit of flak from men who are fed up about women bleating (that’s how they see it) about wanting better services than them. They think we are all feminists, wanting it all, that sort of criticism.

When I then explain that there are lots of support clubs for women, that the motor industry is considered by many women drivers to be un-female friendly (root and branches, garages, dealers and new car dealerships) and finally tell them that they can enjoy our services if their ‘foxy lady’ joins up, they usually go away smiling and understanding why we feel the need to address our gender differences with our membership services.

But when it comes to positive discrimination such as actively recruiting female MPs or the likes of Sarah Palin perhaps, I do have to draw the line. The best must always be chosen, regardless of gender, race, sexual persuasion or colour. We only have to see the female fall out in the current ‘expenses scandal’ to see what happens when you cherry pick by criteria other than ability and scruples.

When it comes to Wimbledon however, I feel differently in a way.

If female tennis players are to earn the same as male tennis players then they need to feel the same pain during the qualifiers and they must expect to play FIVE  sets in a match, not just the best of THREE.

Women are not wimps and we should not be mollycoddled as a weaker sex in this area. We must always compete on a like-for-like basis and equal pay where this happens.

I am not saying that ‘like-for-like’ means that women should play the men however because of the subtleties in the different game styles BUT we should be expected to give the same effort for the same reward.

I’d take it further and say that there should be more women working in the UK motor industry (20% as is) but I am fearful of token-ism here, recruiting eye candy to keep men happy 😉 so until the industry is [seen as] genuinely more female friendly and actively recruits the best jobs from a female as well as a male audience, I’ll not be banging on about this for a while…

Good luck Andy (and let’s hope it’s a Scottish Andy in the Finals in 2010).


“You’ve got to take the initiative and play your  game… confidence makes the difference.”

Chris Evert