Ever heard of “the pink tax?” It’s a real thing.
It has to do with gender equality and supposedly, we have it. And by “we,” I mean women.
Buuuuut… I’m not so sure.
Don’t get me wrong, throughout history a lot of genuinely badass women have fought really hard to get all of us to where we are today.
But, despite our continuing best efforts, there are still significant discrepancies between living life as a man and living life as a woman.
Finances are no exception.
And if you hate that as much as we do, don’t worry, it gets worse!
I Haven’t Heard of The Pink Tax… What Is It?
For reasons absolutely no one can identify (except perhaps, pure sexism), goods and services cost more for females than males. That’s The Pink Tax.
We’re not talking about “this item that just happens to be for women also happens to cost more money to make and therefore the price is higher.” No. We’re talking about the exact same items that are sold to men for less money.
Personal care products.
The list goes on and on.
These are items that take literally the same amount of money and resources to produce for both men and women, but are sold to women for more money.
They slap some pink packaging on them (understanding the name now?) and charge women more for the same items.
But, the injustice doesn’t stop there. Ohhhh, no. The Pink Tax doesn’t just influence the products we buy, but directly impacts how much money we have throughout our lives.
Studies show that women pay more than men nearly 42% of the time. This turns into $1,300 in extra expenses per year.
The more we spend on consumer items, the less we have for other things. Combine that with the pay gap and the fact that women live longer than men? Suddenly we’re gonna need a whoooole lot more money for retirement than men do.
Isn’t that fun?
The Pay Gap
A “typical” woman (whatever that means) working full time is paid roughly 82 cents for every dollar a typical man working full time is paid. And the gap gets even wider for women of color.
Add this all up and women make 82% of what men do. That means that collectively, working women lose out on more than $500 billion per year.
Imagine what we could do with all of that money!! So. Many. Shoes.
But, for real, couldn’t we be using that money for, I don’t know, important stuff like retirement?
When women are paid less, it means they make less money over their lifetimes. When you make less money over your lifetime, you’ve paid less in the Social Security system. When you pay less in the Social Security system, you receive less Social Security benefits!! Can you see what is happening here?!?
As a society, we have created not a gap, but a VALLEY between the financial success of men and the financial success of women.
And, on top of all of this, women, on average, live five years longer than men.
That means we need an additional five years worth of retirement money to live on.
All of these factors add up to mean that women have to save exponentially more money than men do.
We’re paid less while paying more for the same items.
We’re less likely to receive high paying jobs
Saving for retirement is harder and less efficient.
So, What’s the Solution?
Society most likely isn’t going to change overnight. Bummer.
So, as usual, it’s time to take things into our own hands. Learn, strategize, conquer the world. Easy, right?
The good news is, research shows that women make better investors than men, even though they’re often less likely to invest. Don’t be one of those women! Trust yourself and start investing now!
But, investments don’t have to be your only course of action. The more steps you take to secure your financial freedom now, the less likely you are to be a victim of our backwards system later.
That means it’s time to not only start investing, but to start thinking about retirement accounts and pouring glitter all over your vision board of what you want life to look like in the next ten, twenty, or thirty years.
Yes, it sucks that women have to work harder with less and for less. But, when we succeed, what a freaking accomplishment, right? If anything, at least we’ll know we truly earned what we work for.
And, most importantly, we’ll do it together! If you’re ready to start planning your journey to total financial freedom, hit a girl up.