Sunday, 29 March 2009

Spooky but true.

According to a New Scientist article this month money carries an ‘eerie psychological force’.

Here's an example of the eeriness at work. Most people would rather find £100 cash than have their heating bill cut from £950 to £835. Yet the latter gains them more in real terms.

The article suggests these solutions to the psychological biases that trip us up:
1. Freeze your credit card. Literally. Drop it into a tub of water and stick it in the back of the freezer. By the time it’s thawed out the overwhelming urge to splurge will have worn off (or frostbite might have set in).
2. If saving is hard you may find creating a ‘loose change’ category less painful. So if something costs £22 tell yourself it was £30 and save the difference. Do this every time you buy something and it mounts up.
3. MIT researcher Daniel Ariely suggests adding categories to our credit card with specific limits. Maybe a maximum of £50 on a meal out or only £300 a year on shoes. Over the limit and your card gets refused.

Not surprisingly he hasn’t persuaded any credit card company to take this up yet.

PMS = Pre Menstrual Spending?

I'll be presenting the research findings about spending and the menstrual cycle to the BPS on Thursday - but the Sunday Telegraph's sneak preview article can be read online here.

Thursday, 26 March 2009


Wow, that was quick! Thanks to those who volunteered to be a media case study; seems like loads of you have interesting stories to tell.
Check out this Sunday's telegraph for more about the research.

got a story?

The Sunday Telegraph is running an article this weekend about my latest research on the role of hormones in women's spending behaviour (pre-menstrual spending, impulsivity, loss of control etc.).

If you can offer your story as a case study, let me know a.s.a.p. as the journalist wants some human interest as well as the academic stuff. Thanks.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Because you’re worth ... how much?

I did a radio interview the other day where I was asked to comment on the amazing statistic that women spend an average of £180,000 in a lifetime on….guess what?….beauty products.
I wonder how much of that money goes on packaging and advertising and how much really makes a difference?
My main message was OK, but only if you're putting much more than that into a pension and not looking good today at the expense of future financial security.
What’s the point of having wonderful skin when you’re older if you’re a bag lady living on cat food?
There are tons of cheap alternatives to top-brand beauty rip-offs. For starters check out Janey Lee Grace’s economical and eco-friendly ideas in her fab new pocket book Imperfectly Natural Woman available from Amazon.

talking about money....

This quote seemed to resonate with lots of the women at the recent Sheconomics workshop.....

Monday, 16 March 2009

Saturday's workshop

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Sheconomics workshop at the PFA Conference on Saturday.

It was great fun to get together - well done to everyone who got stuck into the exercises and ventured out of their comfort zones - you were absolute stars!!

There are a few photos on our facebook site.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Did you give up work to have kids?

If you have gaps in your National Insurance contributions record between 1996/97 to 2001/02 you have just three weeks to act if you want to boost the value of your state pension.

You can buy back missed years of contributions but you have to do so by 5th April. You'll thank yourself for it later!

Looking forward's dead exciting .... the Sheconomics workshop at the Psychology For All Conference tomorrow I mean.

As I said to Simonne today, here's the chance to talk about all the stuff we've been passionate about for the past two years - in an hour and a half! To have a rant about why women and men are so different with money..and listen to people's own thoughts and stories.

So if you;re coming, fasten your seat belts, you're in for a fast ride!

Monday, 9 March 2009

A date for the weekend...

I know I've mentioned it before but in case anyone has been living in a cave here’s a reminder about a really exciting event taking place this Saturday 14th March in London.
The Psychology for All Conference is aimed at bringing all sorts of sexy psychology subjects to the general public.
There are talks by the lovely Ruby Wax and the equally lovely (I have to say that, he’s a mate) Richard Wiseman, both promise to be hugely entertaining.
And Simonne and I are giving a Sheconomics workshop, giving people the chance to put all those Laws of Sheconomics into practice – or at least learn about why they can’t. Should be great fun.
Look forward to seeing you there, for more info click here.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Simonne says....mind the pay gap

Women in the UK earn on average 21% less than men according to European Commission figures published yesterday. That’s one of the highest pay gaps in Europe – Italy is the lowest at 4.4% and Estonia the highest at over 30%!

Do employers place higher value on the type of work men do?
Or do women under-estimate their own earnings capability?

Despite being highly talented, as women we often shy away from asking for what we’re really worth. So make sure you don’t set your benchmark too low. If you want to check out whether you have under-earner tendencies, read our 2nd law of Sheconomics: ‘Go beyond beliefs’.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

And you thought a million was a lot.....

Filming a piece about the economy for GMTV this week I had to relay the staggering fact that Britain’s debt is now hitting the two trillion mark. Just writing it down, with all those noughts, made my arm ache. And trying to conceptualise such a mega mount of money made my head spin.

Then Kevin Connolley on Radio 4 yesterday simplified it thus: he said if you think about it in seconds…
a million seconds is 11 days
a billion seconds is around 32 years
and a trillion therefore is 32,000 years

So our debt is equivalent to the number of seconds in 32,000 years.
Now that IS a lot of money... I think I need to go and have a lie down…..