While it’s common knowledge that women earn less than men, it may surprise you to learn that women are also forced to spend more than men.
Women reportedly spend over $800,000 more than men during the course of their lifetime — and no, the extra expenses have nothing to do with going on wild shopping sprees at the mall, so you can shove that joke right back in your pocket.
This surprisingly large expense gap is due to the considerable costs women deal with exclusively, such as:
1. Constantly restocking on tampons or pads.
It may seem like a small nuisance to deal with on a monthly basis, but a woman with regular menstruation cycles will spend an average of $1773 on tampons over the course of her lifetime. In the grand scheme of things, such an amount may not sound incredibly shocking or outlandish — however, when you consider the fact that men will usually not be incurring these particular expenses (unless they’re purchasing all of their girlfriend’s tampons, for some reason), it starts to seem slightly unfair.
2. Having to pay up on the “pink tax.”
The extra charge tacked on to the “female-centric” versions of products such as razors, deodorants and shaving creams is known as the “pink tax.” While the name may seem cute and innocuous, the practice of charging women extra for what is essentially the same product as the “men’s version” is pretty unconscionable, and in some cases, the products geared towards women were 50% more expensive than those geared towards men. While some might say that the solution to this is to simply buy the “Guy Version” of your hygiene products, why should you have to shave with an Old Spice-scented shaving cream? Why is it so much more expensive than the floral-scented option??
3. That good ol’ pay gap.
A standard complaint, but one which still has yet to be remedied. As of 2014, women make, on average 79 cents for every dollar that a man earns. While there are some discrepancies in this data (such as not accounting for different types of work), experts agree that there is still an inexplicable gap between the wages of each gender that suggests discriminatory pay.
4. Paying more for health insurance.
Female workforces pay, on average, 13% more than their male counterparts for health insurance coverage, and are also subject to higher deductibles. The reasoning is seemingly that women often use health benefits more often than men, and are charged accordingly (which is, honestly, kind of a hasty generalization). Which is all well and good (not really), except that women are also being paid less to begin with — so, if you’re going to charge us extra for healthcare coverage, do you mind closing that gender wage gap first?
5. Having to take leaves of absence from work.
in 2013, 30% of women with young (minor) children were not working. This is presumably due to the notion that women are often expected to take time off work in order to raise their children at home. While being a stay-at-home mom is an admirable choice, the temporary or semi-permanent absence from the workforce naturally has both short- and long-term effects on a woman’s income over the course of her life.
6. Living longer with less retirement money.
All of these realities, compounded with the fact that women live roughly 4.8 years longer than men, lead to a difficult retirement for many women. When you make less money, you have less to put in a retirement fund — the same goes for when you take a leave of absence from work in order to raise a child. Plus, living almost five years longer than men means that we’re expected to somehow stretch our money out, even though we have less of it to begin with. THAT MAKES SENSE, RIGHT?
Bottom line: women get kind of a raw deal when it comes to their average accrued expenses in life. So yeah — you can buy us that one dinner on the first date. It’s not gonna kill you.
Related-ish: 5 Ways To Cut Down On Your Spending Immediately