Why Being a Girl Sucks

Financially, that is.

Sure, we get saved from sinking ships first (is that still a thing?), live longer and don’t have to suffer through a suit and tie at work or summer weddings, but when it comes to the bottom line, women are at a bit of a disadvantage. Here’s why.

Retirement

Living longer means we’re going to need more money in the bank when we finish working. And usually, it’s the other way around, particularly if we’ve taken time out of the workforce to raise kids.

According to Australian Super, the average super balance for men still adding to their accounts is $71,645, while women hold an average of just $40,475. That gap grows over time, with the average man’s retirement payout $198,000, compared to $112,600 for women.

This means women need to plan well for retirement, by adding contributions sooner to super, combining different super accounts and getting sound financial advice early on.

Haircuts

I have a tendency to draw out the time between haircuts to about 10 months, unlike the six weeks as suggested by my friendly hairdresser each time I see him. This is a great way to keep costs down, but every time I go it’s still a sting to my hip pocket, leaving me wishing I could get a $10 haircut from the guy down the road like all the boys at work.

The difference between a men’s and women’s cut (no colour, no fringe, no gloss, no toner, no treatment) at my salon is $35. Another salon in the area shows a price difference of $50 between men’s and women’s cuts, while yet another shows a difference of $70. Sounds like daylight robbery.

So stretch the time between visits when you can, and maybe don’t be so loyal to that up-market salon along the way.

Income Gap

This is definitely still a thing. The government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency says the national pay gap currently sits at 17.1 per cent.

The agency says this is due to a number of factors, such as women and men working in different industries and different jobs, a lack of women in senior positions and a lack of flexible senior roles.

While there are plenty of recommendations like quotas, training, and implementing flexible working options, when it comes to individuals, it’s all about making your case. This means active self-promotion and asking for those pay rises.

 

Need More Motivation? The Massive Reward For Kicking More Into Your Super

 

Health Insurance

Planning on having a baby? It’s time to up that health insurance cover to obstetrics and hospital.

A quick search shows a difference of about $70 a month between singles cover for basic benefits (from $60 a month) and for those ‘planning for a family’ (from $130 a month).  Now there’s no point for a guy to be covered for childbirth, so this is really where the savings are.

For couples planning for a family, cover is about $275 a month, so if split, is still about the same as singles in the same situation.

I’ll admit there are other benefits both men and women need according to their health situation, like physio, dental and optical, so the savings might not be that great; all I know is health insurance for having a baby looks expensive.

If it’s a must for you, be sure to shop around and trim the price gap between you and your male counterpart.

Beauty

One day each month in Japan, women have what is called a ‘maintenance day’.  Many women, young and old, go to salons, beauticians and hairdressers for all their face and body beauty maintenance. Think eyelash extensions, haircuts, waxing, nail art, eyebrow tinting and facials. Sounds exhausting. And expensive.

Even if you don’t get all these treatments done professionally, women still need way more products than men.  Some necessary (think monthly), some indulgent (think hair masks, make-up, body scrubs). A look at any girl’s bathroom should prove this.

While a lot of it is unavoidable, because we all want to look our best, buying online, in bulk and at sales can cut the cost.

While all these things might make it a bit harder to save, there are plenty of upsides of being a girl too.  PMS has been used as a legal defence for murder, so that’s pretty cool. And, just ask Beyonce: Who run the world? Girls.

Image: Jim pop, via Flickr