That is the question that many of my readers asked me when I sent out an email regarding our lifespan as women compared to men. (The average healthy American man will live to age 76, and the woman to age 81).
That is a 5-year difference. But that also means that we spend more money than men on our regular (and mandatory purchases), which, by the way, include a pink tax.
The pink tax is simply what I like to call “extra” money that women must pay on feminine, everyday items that men can usually get for cheaper. For instance, a pack of blue razors can cost $4.99 while the same pack of razors, but in pink, can cost $5.99. Yes, they both do the same exact thing.
However, this doesn’t only apply to pink items; this applies to items that are directed towards gender-specific groups because companies know that on average, women shop more than men.
Although we cannot control how much we pay for our items since we cannot set our own prices, we can avoid overpaying by learning how to shop smart.
Also, since we live longer than men, we have to maximize our income, which is something I cover intensively in my book, Empowered Affluence.
To answer the question, we don’t have more money saved because we overpay and are underpaid. Still.
Now, let’s get more specific on what we can do, as women, to save more money.
Nobody wants to overpay for the same items that somebody else got for cheaper. To avoid this, I recommend my readers to do most of their shopping online because sites like Amazon don’t sort their items by gender, and you can use a filter to organize the listings from low to high when it comes to the prices.
Also, don’t be afraid to purchase something that is meant to be for men. I go by quality and price, not gender. Plus, when it comes to products like razors or body wash, they all do the same function, so what’s the point of paying $2 extra for something with the word “she” in pink on it?
Hey, I’m a sucker for coupons. And the best part of shopping online is finding coupons that you can apply to your order! This makes me do a happy dance. Come on, do it with me.
Maximize your income
Easier said than done, I know. If you have been a member of my website, you know that I am all about helping women make more money, and I found, through research and experience, that the best thing one can do to obtain riches is to learn skills and monetize them.
When I was a broke college student, I was determined to make money from home while going to class almost every day. I decided to enroll in 2 online copywriting courses to learn, you know, how to write copy for companies.
Fast forward 6 months, I became one of the best copywriters out there because I learned from the best, and invested in myself.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but the more skills you have, the more income you can bring in when you learn how to monetize them.
Getting a raise is obviously going to increase your income because, well, you will make more money each year.
However, women have found this incredibly difficult to achieve and one of the reasons why is the fact that we feel that we are doing something wrong by asking; we underestimate ourselves.
One of the parts of my book focuses on what a woman can do when their boss doesn’t want to give them a raise, and I want to share 3 of those tips here with you.
- Use Glassdoor’s salary estimation tool to determine how much you should be getting paid based on your experience, education level, industry, and other significant factors that employers tend to overlook. After you’ve determined how underpaid you are, print out the report and show it to your boss. Just make sure that you do this in a calm setting, preferably after the company has accomplished something huge.
- Along with your salary estimate, include factual information regarding your contributions to the company. This can consist of increased customer retention rates, decreased abandonment rates, and other successes that the company has achieved after you arrived.
- This is key. Do not ask for a raise via email. Don’t. I repeat, do not! You must know how easy it is to say no to someone when you are not face-to-face. When you ask for a raise, make sure you do it in person, on a good day, and when everybody is happy.
Make your money work for you
We should be investing our money. Period. Before you invest, be aware that you will not see a significant return right away unless you invest a large chunk of money. I’m talking about millions.
However, you can start investing with as little as $20, like I did!
Feel free to use the robo-advisor that makes you feel comfortable, but I can safely say that I use Ellevest, and have zero complaints.
Ellevest was created by women and for women, which means that they put women first. Unlike other companies, they take into consideration all of our expenses as women, and take into account all of the challenges we face, making investments more efficient for us. They have zero fees, zero penalties for withdrawals, and zero commitments.
If you choose a different company to invest, that’s perfectly fine. The important thing here is for you to get started and become financially independent and smarter about your money.