London – More women have sole charge of the household finances – despite being less confident than men at sticking to budgets, a survey has revealed.

Fifty-one per cent of females said they maintained complete control over the family purse strings compared with only 36 per cent of males.

However, 58 per cent of men claimed to be confident about their ability to spend within planned limits, as opposed to 56 per cent of women.

A third of adults do not plan to set a regular budget next year to help them cover outgoings such as rent, mortgage payments, food and travel.

And a fifth of these would use buffers such as credit cards and overdrafts to help them if they spend more than they can afford according to the survey of over 2,000 households conducted by the Money Advice Service.

The findings come at a time when families are under further pressure from continuing increases in the price of energy, food and rent. Jane Symonds of the Money Advice Service, an independent body set up by the Government, said: “In these tough economic times many people don’t have much money left over after the bills have been paid, so it’s really worrying how many households intend to live off overdrafts and credit cards.”

A separate study has found that women now control the budget for the majority of households where couples are under the age of 45.

Females will be making the most important long-term financial decisions by 2020, such as choosing a mortgage, within the next eight years, The Lloyds TSB Family Savings Report predicted.

It also found 91 per cent of households where women were in charge of the long-term financial planning had savings, compared with 82 per cent of families where men had greater responsibility. – Daily Mail