08-03-2023 09:26

This is what affects how optimistic we are about our financial future

In our new study, the Nordic Pulse, we asked the people in the Nordics about their financial situation and how they value different areas of life. In some areas, the discrepancies between men and women seem to differ a lot. Our experts explain why.
parent and child in apartement

We asked people in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden, the people of the Nordics, if they feel they have enough financial skills to manage their own economy. Most said yes, that they feel they are in control. A lot of men did, at least. There turned out to be a gap between the share of women who feel in control, compared to men.

When asked if they have felt the need to postpone a personal goal due to their financial situation, women responded yes to a much larger extent than men. The results show a similar difference across all markets in the Nordics. In addition, the data shows men feel more optimistic about their financial future than women.

Not only are men more hopeful and more in control, they also see less need to postpone their goals.

Why is that? We asked some of our experts – here is what they answered:

Anders Stenkrona, savings expert.

“The data shows that more men are optimistic about their future and fewer men have put their goals on hold than women have. However, when we look at the data with other variables, such as income,  gender becomes insignificant. In an earlier study I did during the spring I got the result that among people with high income, men and women alike invested in funds and shares the same way. Their gender was insignificant when adding  income level as a variable in this area,” says Anders Stenkrona, Nordea’s savings expert in Sweden.

All in all, Anders explains, the differences we see between men and women come down to a person’s income level, job security and the feeling of being in control of one’s economy. That, in fact, differs a lot between the men and women.

“What we found to be very important in the Nordic Pulse study is that those who feel they have the skills to be in control of their financial situation are more optimistic about their financial future. This is a key finding. And, when it comes to putting our goals on hold, once again gender becomes insignificant when relevant control variables are introduced. Here we found that the key reason for people to put their goals on hold is if they are worried about losing their jobs.”

I would strongly encourage women to take a step forward and take more control of the financials in the relationship.

Kristin Kruse, head of Premium Law, Norway.

Kristin Kruse, head of Premium Legal.

Our head of premium law in Norway, Kristin Kruse, continues on the topic of what the differences of being in control of one’s economy can lead to. In particular, when it comes to divorces, there can be complications:

“In my experience as a divorce lawyer, men are more often in control of the financial situation in a relationship. This makes a divorce very financially unpredictable for women, and some also find it more difficult to leave a relationship if they’re not in control financially.”

She explains: “Sometimes women only need a bit more insight to feel they have control, but other times they actually need to take more control while in the relationship."

Kristin urges women to take a step forward:

“I would strongly encourage women to take a step forward and take more control of the financials in the relationship. Many women are satisfied with the fact that he takes responsibility for the family’s financial situation, and don’t see the problem before it’s too late.”

Will we change our minds during the spring?

In our survey, the Nordic Pulse, we track how the people in the Nordics are able to live up to values often associated with the Nordic region. We focus on four different areas: sustainability, personal ambition, belief in the future and financial literacy. We ask people each week and track the result.

Read more about the survey
Private economy