While there’s great debate about the gender pay gap, a recent report in Kiplinger highlights the equally distressing fact that women must pay more for many things, throughout their lives. Kiplinger cites a New York City Department of Consumer Affairs study that analyzed the city’s local prices on roughly 800 products from toys and children’s clothing to personal care and senior health care products and found that women’s products, on average, cost 7 percent more than similar products for men.
What’s a gal to do when the deck seems stacked against her?
Beware of the pink tax. Double check products marketed to women. “Before buying the pink razors just because you are a girly girl (or because quite frankly they look way cuter than the black ones), ask yourself, does the color make any difference? Some of those products are shampoos, deodorants, body wash, and pain killers (yes, a pill with exactly the same ingredient that says “PMS” will cost more just for that reason!),” says Sofia Santiago, founder of The WikiWomen Academy for the Development of Professional Women in Arlington, Virginia. Keep emotions out of spending.
Grow a mustache. Kidding. “Bring a male friend or advocate when you buy a car,” says Santiago. Have a good idea of the Blue Book value of cars you want and a maximum you’ll pay.
Ask the right questions. Speak up and don’t skip details. That inner voice telling you something’s wrong is probably right. Says Beth Blecker, a financial advisor in Pearl River, “Get help. Fear of paying a consultant’s fee can cost a lot more in missed opportunities.”