There’s a big difference between a stereotype and a statistic, but they have something in common: you’ll find millions of people who don’t fit the bill. At all.

So while surveys and research bring us some rosy news about gay people’s finances, your own real-life experience can be very different. Three stories from 2012 spring to mind:

Compared with a national sample of retirees, Wells Fargo reports, the median retiree from the LGBT community in the US had saved up almost 30% more for retirement (although they generally reckon they’ll need more in retirement too).

A poll for Gaydar indicated that gay men in the UK are taking, on average, twice as many holidays as the population in general. Four holidays a year: not a hobby for the financially challenged!

Prudential tells us that the average LGBT person Stateside earns more and owes less – as well as being less likely to be unemployed.

“It all paints quite a glowing picture of gay finances, but stats don’t tell the full story,” said Ian Williams of budgeting account provider thinkmoney. “However optimistic the averages, there are always plenty of people in much better / worse situations. In a nutshell, no group is immune to money problems, which is why it’s so important to stay on top of things and not get complacent.”

And these days, there are plenty of money problems to go around:

The latest Bank of England figures show that UK residents are carrying £156 billion of debt – and that’s excluding secured debt like mortgages.

In 2011 alone, almost 120,000 people in England and Wales entered insolvency.
Around one and a half million UK households are ‘unbanked’ – living without a bank account.

“There are ways anyone can improve their financial situation,” Mr Williams concluded. “Talk to any financial expert and you’ll find ‘better budgeting’ near the top of their list of recommendations. If you’re determined to stay in the black, figuring out exactly how much you need to spend on life’s essentials is a must. That way, you’ll know what you can afford to spend on the other things in life – the fun things.”

This piece was provided by PinkNews advertiser thinkmoney.