Women may have a reputation for being the overspending gender, but, ladies, no need to take all the heat.

While women may have the men beat in terms of time spent in stores (why settle for apple red when the perfect shade of weathered brick may be in the pile of sale sweaters or one of the eight other stores on Level 3 of the mall?), it turns out that the final tab females ring up is often lower than that of the supposedly shopping-challenged gender.

The Amerix Quarterly Index shows that women of all ages have lower amounts of total unsecured debt than men. Why the lower bills? The report concludes that since men generally make more money than women, they are more likely to buy larger, more expensive items.

It turns out that more gals than guys seek help wrangling with their inner spendthrift. Roughly 70% of those enrolled in debt management plans are women, according to the stats kept by Amerix, a technology provider to non-profit credit counseling firms. It bases its study on aggregate data from more than 300,000 people enrolled in debt-management plans.

We don't mind if you gossip with the gals over happy hour about your meathead man's fifth HDTV purchase. But go ahead and give your man a few pointers on bargain hunting. And if things get out of hand, send him to our High Definition, DVD-enabled, turbo-charged Get Out of Debt area.