Is it still a man's world?

As Father’s Day 2014 approaches, many of us will be reflecting on the vital role our dads have played in shaping our own lives; from offering pearls of wisdom as we head off to our first day of school, to supporting us from the side-lines as we claim our first sporting victory.

“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection” – uttered by the founding father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, this famous quote sums up some of the traditional ideas associated with fatherhood.

Breadwinners, providers, protectors – these are just some of the words that may spring to mind when we conjure up the image of dads – past and present. Whether we were daddy’s girls or mummy’s boys growing up, we are all likely to have a multitude of fond memories associated with our doting dads.

However, while James Brown may have sung This is a Man’s World with confidence in the 60s, the idea of men being in the family driving seat is not as clear cut as it was more than four decades on.

Using the latest research our informative how much is your Dad worth infographic explores the reasons why.

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Men earn more on average, but women are catching up!

While full-time earnings for men continue to surpass those for women by an average of 15%, women’s salaries are slowly edging up to close the gender pay gap. To demonstrate that the concept of girl power is alive and well, women aged between 20 and 29 are actually earning more (+0.3%) than their male counterparts.

However, despite this small leap forward, men’s income continues to rein supreme in 18-21 and 30-39 age groups, though the difference only swings slightly in men’s favour (+1.4% and +1% respectively).

So what does this all mean for today’s families? Well, essentially that fathers and finances still invariably sit in the same sentence when it comes to balancing household budgets.

Are mum’s holding the purse strings?

With men saving an average of £28,079 (£134 per month) and women an average of £13,070 (£87 per month), it’s clear that while women may traditionally hold the purse strings, men have a tighter rein on the family savings pot.

And the result of this difference? As well as men’s ISA’s showing a healthier reading and indicating increased savvy in the savings department, their enhanced savings pot would last them a whole four months longer should they lose their income compared to women. These respective figures are 1 year for men and 7 months for women!

Parent’s personal finances – protecting the present in order to secure the future

When it comes to modern families who are striking the right balance between the respective incomes of mum and dad, it seems that a modified breadwinner – where the mother works part-time and the father works-full time – could help lay the foundations for a financially secure future.

More than a third (38%) of Brits outlined this as the ideal way for a family with child under school age to organise their family and work life. And with the cost of raising a traditional 2.4 family totting up to £32,934 a year – including mortgage payments, the cost of bringing up baby, food shopping and more – mum’s income plus dad’s income has emerged as the perfect family finance equation.

What does the perfect family finance equation equal?

Peace of mind, financial protection, security – these are just some of the things that the above family finance equation could equal for Brits. But take away one part of this equation, and family finances become unbalanced.

Implementing a number of measures to help safeguard family finances, such as life insurance, could help to protect this balance. Smart Insurance offers straightforward life insurance that is flexible and could cost less than you think for the financial protection that your family might need.

Contact Smart Insurance today to speak with our friendly specialists for your quote, and you could be insured straight away.