PJ Media

Bag Lady Syndrome

I was at the car dealer today waiting for my car to be fixed and got stuck watching the news on CNBC. The topic was a new study on women, power, and money that discussed how 46% of the women in this study fear they will become a bag lady. I googled the study and found this ema href=”http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20060823-122252-7667r.htm”Washington Times /emarticle/a that looked at the study more in depth:br /br /blockquoteA “startling” 90 percent of women say they feel financially insecure, according to a survey of almost 1,925 women released yesterday by Allianz, a Minnesota-based life insurance company. br / br /Almost half are troubled by a “tremendous fear of becoming a bag lady” — 46 percent of women overall, and 48 percent of those with an annual income of more than $100,000. An additional 57 percent are sorry they had not learned more about money matters in school. br /br /Such concerns foster an array of behaviors and thoughts. Women, for example, are twice as likely as men — 18 percent to 9 percent — to set aside a secret stash of money, the study found. Roughly the same number counseled their daughters to do the same./blockquotebr /br /The amazing thing is that by 2010 (less than four years away), the article says women will control 60% of the wealth in this county. With all this wealth, what the heck is with this bag lady syndrome? Perhaps because women do not know how to deal with money, they feel more nervous about it than men. I never felt nervous about money because I had a number of wonderful teachers who taught me the value of a dollar. Mr. Claxton, my sixth grade health teacher, taught me how to budget, Mr. Baum in eighth grade taught me about the stock market and compound interest and my father taught me how to read the emWall Street Journal/em and play the stock market in college. br /br /I can’t remember ever feeling like I was going to be a bag lady–and what is with the secret stash of money these women are hiding and telling their daughters to hide? What is that about? Why hide money and who are they hiding it from–their husband? This has always struck me as odd. Is money so anxiety provoking that women have to hide it?br /br /Update: Along related lines, here is an article in emForbes/em entitled, a href=”http://www.forbes.com/careers/2006/08/21/careers-marriage-dating_cx_mn_0821women.html””Don’t Marry a Career Woman.”/a Frankly, the article seems rather sexist to me–using as their criteria for “career girls” those women who make more than $30,000 a year, have a university degree or higher, and work outside the home over 35 hours. The article says such women are more likely to cheat, be unhappy, not have kids or if they do, be unhappy with that, and to get divorced more readily and to keep a dirty house. Wow, I never knew we “career girls” were such losers. a href=”http://www.forbes.com/careers/2006/08/21/careers-marriage-dating_cx_mn_0821women.html”Read the article /aand decide for yourself.