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Women & Credit Cards – A Dangerous Combination?

November 4, 2009

Single ladies, the next time you want to whip out the credit card to buy that new Armani suit to impress the ties at your next meeting, think about this – you’re playing into the statistic that women building their career are more likely to rack up credit card debt than their male counterparts. At least according to a new analysis done by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services Inc., a national debt counseling organization.

The findings shouldn’t come as a surprise, really.

“A man starting out can get away with a smaller less costly wardrobe,” said Howard Dvorkin, CPA and president of Consolidated. “Women simply need more to climb the corporate ladder. There are certain expenses that can be shared, such as household expenses, but a woman needs her own wardrobe. The other reason for greater female debt is that women still earn less than men.”

In examining the financial records of more than 60,000 of their clients nationwide, Consolidated found that single women ages 25 to 34 seek credit help in greater numbers than single men in the same demographic group. The findings point to one of the reasons for the disparity is the amount women spend on clothing and personal care items.

And here’s the punchline – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average young single man spends $1,426 annually on clothes and another $234 on personal care items. Single young women, however, spend an average of $1,763 on clothing annually and $740 on personal care products, while making nearly $3,000 less a year.


So not only are women expected to maintain a certain image, but they get less money to do it.

Do you agree or disagree? What’s your experience?

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