Having read some more about Japanese women and money, I've learnt a few things:
- Japanese housewives tend to control the family budget, as this is seen as part of the role of the homemaker.
- Food shopping in Japan is often done on a 'little and often' basis. This seems to be partly because of an emphasis on the freshness of food, limited storage space in small flats, but also because of a concern about avoiding waste. It seems that the Japanese would rather pay slightly more per unit, than bulk buy and then throw food away.
- Credit cards are much less-used than in the West.
- Women have traditionally made savings from their shopping budgets which are kept secret from their husbands, and the rest of their family. This money, called 'hesokuri' which may eventually be used to buy stocks, or property, is often kept in cash, in their homes.
- When couples marry, they are both expected to have saved money, often through living at home with their parents while earning, until they marry.
See recent Bloomberg articles, however, on the fact that Japanese women have had to dip into their savings, over the last year.