We all know the stereotype: Women hit the shops and the poor husband is dragged along for the ride. However, a recent article in The Daily Mail reported a study that showed that men were more likely than women to make impulse buys. So if men can blow cash too, what is it on? We'll look at five of the main ways men like to part with their hard earned dollars.
(To help you make the most out of your disposable income, check out 12 Ways To Shop Smarter.)
TUTORIAL: Budgeting Basics
Many men love gadgets and are fascinated with new technology. A recent poll by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has proven what we've suspected all along - men spend more in this area than women. Men spend an average of $701 per year on audio and visual equipment, while women clock in considerably lower at $536. This is not surprising when you think about the cost of a flat-screen TV.
Why do men spend more in this area than women? Well, we can speculate that men are perhaps very competitive and want to have the newest gadgets before anyone else. When gadgets are new they are at their most expensive. Perhaps women are in fact the financially savvy ones who realize that the price will soon drop after a few months have passed.
For those who are trying to kick their expensive electronic habit, why not just wait a few months and purchase the product at a discounted price? You could also consider looking on Ebay or Craigslist to pick up bargains from those who purchased the items at full price, and really had no need for them.
Men actually spend twice as many dollars on alcohol as women, with men spending $552 and women spending $233. It seems guys really do love to crack a beer. Whether watching sports or just heading to the bar, this is becoming an increasingly expensive pastime. It doesn't help matters any that alcohol prices are rising as well.
For guys trying to make savings in this area it is a tried and tested formula to get your friends around to your place before heading to any bars. Of course, you could also trying drinking less alcohol altogether.
Despite the high prices, it seems that men are still buying the fast and expensive cars. Men also tend to buy less energy efficient models. The LA Times recently reported that women car buyers are more cost-conscious and purchased fuel-efficient vehicles. Male buyers were completely the opposite and purchased vehicles that were either big and brawny, like a large truck, or chose high-priced, high-performance vehicles. (For more on car shopping, read Car Shopping: New Or Used?)
How about putting a wager on your favorite sports team or horse? The gambling industry provides men with risk, adrenalin, competition and the promise of big bucks.
Gambling has seen a surge in popularity since the rise of online poker. New gambling laws mean that people can gamble for vast quantities of money, or gamble away vast quantities of money, from the comfort of their own homes. They don't even need to head to the casino anymore.
Men sure do love sports. There are so many ways to spend cash on sports including watching live games, buying tickets for sporting events, and purchasing sports merchandise and memorabilia.
Many men can get quite fanatical when it comes to sports, so they will splurge immediately on season tickets or make sure to grab all of the playoff tickets they can. The fun of being in the arena or stadium while the home team strives for victory is so invigorating that it's easy to forget just how expensive it is.
Men who are feeling the pinch thanks to their expensive season tickets might consider that you can be a big fan without attending every game. Hang out at your local bar and root for your team with the fans there instead. Not only will you save yourself the ticket price, the beer will be cheaper too.
The Bottom Line
The next time you hear the men complaining about their wives or partners spending all the cash, we'll know to remind them that they have their vices too. (For more on shopping, see 5 Money-Saving Shopping Tips.)