Publication - Statistics

Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2019: intra-household distribution of resources

Published: 27 Oct 2020

Looks at how couples organise their income and financial responsibilities and how they conduct financial decision-making.

39 page PDF

708.3 kB

39 page PDF

708.3 kB

Supporting files

Contents
Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2019: intra-household distribution of resources
Key findings

39 page PDF

708.3 kB

Supporting files

Key findings

Income organisation

  • Two-fifths (40%) of people living with a partner keep none of their own income and put all of it into a joint pool, while a fifth (20%) keep all (or almost all) of their own income and put none of it into a joint pool. Women (25%) were more likely than men (15%) to keep all of their own income and put none into a joint pool.
  • Most people living with a partner organise their income in the same way their partner does. Over nine in ten (91%) who said they keep none of their own income said their partner does the same, and over seven in ten (72%) of those who said they keep all their income said their partner does the same. 
  • Those who were married were twice as likely (46%) to pool all their income than those who were living with a partner and not married (23%).
  • Women were much more likely (60%) than men (8%) to have child benefit paid into their own account, while men were more likely (16%) than women (9%) to say that their accommodation was owned or rented in their name only. Those who were married (80%) were more likely to own or rent their accommodation in joint names than those living with a partner and not married (54%).

Financial decision making

  • Those living with a partner were more likely to say that decisions on how much to spend on larger household items, such as a TV or fridge, were made by both partners (73%) than decisions on how much to spend on regular grocery shopping (43%). Women were more likely (49%) than men (12%) to say it was usually themselves who made the decisions about how much to spend on regular grocery shopping.
  • The majority said that the money used to pay for groceries (59%), large household items (65%) and an unexpected repair bill (64%) would come from 'a joint bank account or pool with my partner'. Men were more likely than women to say they would use their own money to pay for both an unexpected repair bill and for large household items.
  • Those who are married (41%) were less likely to say it is both partners who make decisions on groceries than those who are living with a partner and not married (55%), but more likely (78%) to say that it is usually both partners who make decisions on how much to spend on large household items than the latter (63%).
  • A majority of those (57%) who said it was usually themselves who make the decisions on how much to spend on large household items said it was also usually their own money that would be used to pay for them. In comparison only around a quarter (26%) of those who said they usually make the decisions on grocery shopping said it was usually their money that would be used to pay for the groceries with nearly three-fifths (59%) saying the money would usually come from a joint pool.
  • Over half (55%) of those living with a partner said it was both themselves and their partner who were responsible for ensuring the household does not live beyond its means. Women (32%) were more likely than men (19%) to say that they usually took this responsibility.
  • Over three-fifths of people in Scotland (62%) thought a person who earned twice as much as their partner should not be able to buy more luxuries than the partner who earns less, while around a third (36%) thought the higher earning partner should be able to do so. 

Restrictions on everyday living due to a lack of resources

  • A fifth (20%) of people in Scotland said they would have to save up before buying a new pair of everyday shoes, while around three-quarters (78%) said they would be able to buy them right away. Those with lower levels of education and those on lower household incomes were more likely to say they would have to save up to buy everyday shoes than their counterparts. 
  • Almost a fifth of people (18%) said that during the past 12 months there was a time when they 'ate less than they thought they should because of a lack of money'. Younger people aged 16-34 were more likely (29%) to say this applied to them than those aged 65 and over (7%).
  • Almost two-thirds of people in Scotland had been on a night out in the past fortnight that cost money (65%), compared with just over a third who had not (35%). One in ten people (10%) said that they had to stay at home and not go out 'very often' because they could not afford it and a further one in five (20%) said they had done this 'fairly often'. Those who are not living with a partner (41%) were more likely to have said they have done this 'very' or 'fairly' often than those who are living with a partner (23%).
  • One in ten people (10%) also said they were unable to have a regular hobby or leisure activity because of a lack of money, with those living with a long-term illness or disability (15%) being more likely to say they were unable to have a regular hobby because of a lack of money than those who were not living with a long-term illness or disability (5%).
  • Those not living with a partner were both less likely to be able to afford the basic essentials and less likely to be able to afford to take part in leisure activities than those living with a partner. For example, 30% of those not living with a partner said there had been a time when they ate less than they thought they should because of a lack of money compared with 11% of those living with a partner. 41% of the former group said they had to stay home and not go out 'very' or 'fairly often' compared with 23% of the latter group.

Contact

Email: social-justice-analysis@gov.scot