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close this book Daughters of Sysiphus
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View the document The stories behind the windfall figures
View the document Differences between men and women in money management
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Differences between men and women in money management

Women often commented on the differences they perceived in the way in which men and women handle the money they have to spend.


"Are women better money managers than men? But of course, because when the women get the ten cent them know how to cut It and when a man not working it is easier for a woman to pick up a job more than a man because a man will come now and say they not working. A woman will get a dollar and make themselves be a millionaire. Because, tek for instance now, if a man come in now and give you $40 and you think about it and you say 'Bwoy, this na really any use, you know.' But then you take $20 and you say I'm going to buy two cigarette, two orange and two ripe banana and sell it and yu can mek it go on growing. Yu might have the twenty dollar but when yu reach it make forty dollar. Instead of using the first forty dollar the woman take the twenty dollar and make a profit and the thing continue to keep growing. That's how women in this country live today."


"Women spend money a thousand time better than the men because if man go out there and see a hand of banana for six dollars they just going to go and buy it. Bwoy, if you have a hundred dollars it have to buy banana, it have to buy flour it have to buy every little ting. It have to buy soap. You going to say 'The banana it six dollars? No sir I can't buy that.' I just pass it down there. Me say 'Why you can't take off something? Four dollar not six.' But the man im just gwan buy and go bout im business and na bother to cry down no prices so you find a woman have to think and cut and budget out her pay when she get it. The men smoke and they drink and most of them gamble. As for me, all I have to think about when I get my pay is my children."

Investment in assets

Female-headed households show considerably less evidence of investment in domestic assets than joint-headed households except in the case of beds where the two kinds of household show little difference. Female-headed households proved more likely to have sound systems, fans, dressers and sewing machines than male-headed households but apart from these items male- and joint-headed households showed evidence of greater asset expenditure. In the case of televisions. refrigerators and radios, the difference between female heads and joint heads was particularly marked.

These differences are significant because they not only indicate that female-headed households are experiencing lower standards of living than joint-headed households, but the low level of asset ownership among female heads of household limits their potential capacity for credit leverage.


Her major investments have been a television set, a refrigerator, a dining-room set, a bedroom set, a gas cooker, and a living room set.


Just a hair dryer.


She has invested in a bed, a fan and a radio. Her sister has a refrigerator which does not work and a gas cooker which they use when they can afford to buy a cylinder of gas.


Her main assets are: a television, a refrigerator, a stove, six beds, a dresser, a kitchen sink and a new toilet bowl. She also has land in the country. She used to lease the land to a man but he stopped paying so she "ran him off" and is now looking for a new tenant.


Her major investments include a freezer, a television set, a buffet and a living room set.