Women have turned the financial crisis into an opportunity to reduce debt and increase savings, a shift that includes placing more importance on social values.

A national survey released last week by Citi revealed that women, especially young women aged 18 to 39, have reprioritized their finances as a result of the economic downturn. Although these women have admitted their financial situations haven’t changed from six months or a year ago, they are “cautiously optimistic” about the future compared to September of 2009, according to the telephone survey, which was conducted by Hart Research Associates of 2,002 adults nationally from March 15-25, 2010. The survey included 1,010 women and has an overall statistical margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for women.

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