The Real Cost of Being a Woman… And What You Can Do About It

One thing’s for sure; it’s an expensive business being a woman. From ridiculous taxes on tampons to the cost of lipstick, being a lady requires deep pockets.

So, why is it more expensive to be a woman? And, more importantly, what the hell can you do about it? Here, we look at how to handle the nasty price tag stamped on your gender.

PMS… It’s seriously a bitch

Periods may be a tad taboo for some people, but let’s not be shy, because your monthly is raising some companies some serious revenue.

Take Nurofen for example. A 24-pack of regular Nurofen will set you back around $5.50, but slap period pain on the packaging and you pay around $11.30 for that same 24-pack. The solution to this may be a no brainer, but when you’re hunched over cramping it’s hard to say no to that elusive promise of period pain relief.

If that wasn’t already enough, the average woman will have approximately 500 periods in her lifetime, this equates to at least 11,000 single items of sanitary protection during her fertile years. That’s a lot of cash to splash on pads and tampons.

The bottom line: A home brand packet of pads will do the job just as well as a packet of Libra pads. If you’re cramping, a hot water bottle,  light exercise or simple yoga stretches will relieve the pain just as effectively, if not better, than expensive placebos.


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Designer labels are so, well… designer

The cost of fashion is no laughing matter, and too many women are paying the unnecessary price of high-end fashion.

Platform heels, party dresses, and the perfect accessories is just another day in the life of being a woman.

Women’s clothing can be notoriously expensive, but unlike our male counterparts it’s harder to get away with wearing a $15 pair of Kmart jeans and not get chastised by judgmental girls.

The bottom line: When it comes down to it, not every pair of well-fitting jeans will break the bank. There are plenty of trendy clothing stores stock the latest in women’s fashion minus the hefty price tag. Or, if your local shopping centre is seriously lacking, jump on EBay or join a buy and swap group on Facebook, where stylish and cheap can come in the same sentence.

Beauty maintenance

Did you know that some hairdressers charge by how much they cut off?

And let’s not start on the fact that a man’s haircut can cost close to half the price of a woman’s.

Then there’s the price of cosmetics, perfumes, hair products and the extra dollar sign chucked on razors that come in pretty pink packets.

If you’re really committed, you’ll also have to face the cost of professional waxing, nail care, and tanning.

Although a lot of these items aren’t essential, it’s undeniable that there’s a certain allure surrounding them that’s hard to resist, not to mention the pressure women face to look good. (But that’s a whole other problem).

The bottom line: If you have a look on YouTube you’ll quickly learn there’s a lot you can accomplish with household items. It’s not a myth; good moisturiser doesn’t need to cost you half a day’s work!

Mechanics drive a hard bargain

When you need your car serviced you’re walking straight into the lions den, literally! It’s a sad truth that a lot of women just don’t know that much about cars or the costs associated with repairing them. This is when knowledge is power and mechanics start to take advantage. Generally speaking women pay more because the moment you step into a garage you’re in a male-dominated zone and away from your comfort zone.

The bottom line: Just remember, strength in numbers. Dads, boyfriends and brothers can all save you from the traps of being a female car-owner. Or, if you’re into the whole feminist thing, walk in strong and confident and let those boys know you mean business. And don’t be afraid to walk away if you think you’re being ripped off. 

When it comes down to it, the real bottom line is that all of the costs of being a woman outlined here have a work around, you just have to be willing to try.

And, as fun as they are to whine about, you can save some serious cash by avoiding the commercial traps.

Images: Unsplash