Guys, Beware: When You Touch a Bra, You Spend More

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—According to a July news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women only make about 82% of men's median wages, but they're better with money. According to a recent survey by Experian, men compared to women:

  • Have 4.3% more debt
  • Have a 2% higher credit utilization amount
  • Have mortgage loans that are 4.9% higher
  • Are 7% more likely to be late on mortgage payments

It's evident men are spending more money than women—but on what and why?

Status objects

According to some experts, men still see purchases as status symbols, but what they buy is changing.


Matthew Ong, a retail analyst at Nerd Wallet, says Millennial males spend "significantly more" on alcohol, clothes and entertainment than their parents, because those things "have become more integral as status symbols for Millennial men than ever before." And while they spend less on cars, young males spend more on expensive vacations and new technology.

Ong believes as young men migrate to cities, they have less reason to buy a car—once the king of status objects—and end up buying status symbols like Apple products, luxury trips or designer wear. "Millennial men invest more time and effort in fashion [than their parents did]," says Ong.

When it comes to pricey threads, a recent Nielsen Company study backs Ong up. The study, which surveyed 29,000 people from 58 countries, found 51% of men were more likely to buy designer brands, compared to 43% of women. Nielsen also found men were 7% more likely than women to pay more for designer brands.

Getting a Date

Guys are also spending more time unmarried—the median age of first marriage for men in 2010 was 28.7, according to the Pew Research Center –a time of life where it's typical to spend lots of money on entertainment. With less emphasis on settling down for marriage, men have more time to date. And when men are looking to find a mate, research shows they spend more money - consciously and subconsciously.