The Cost of Being Female

In 2005, 20-something females in the U.S. made $25k on average, where men in the same age group made $29k (according to an Analysis of Integrated Public MicroData Census Samples.)

Before getting off into my own analysis on the high costs of being female, I wanted to point out this rally interesting post by Andrew Beveridge over at… “No Quick Riches for New York’s Twentysomethings”

One interesting factoid from the article’s accompanying charts is that 35.6 percent of female’s surveyed about their pay in 2005 had a college degree, whereas only 22.7 percent of men completed any form of higher education. Yet men still make more money. Except in New York, where it looks like females are actually making more than men. I’m raising my glass to the gals in New York who obviously are asking for what they want and getting it. For the rest of us ladies, we still have some catching up to do.

Therefore, I find it kind of ironic that the costs of being a woman are (almost) inherently so much more expensive than being a man… or are they?

Women spend money on…

Makeup, Tampons/Pads, Fashionable Clothing, Shoes, Birth Control Pills, Shavers (which need to be replaced more often because shaving legs kills blades fast), Waxing, Hair (cut, dye, highlight), Nails (manicure, pedicure), and the list goes on and on and on…

I’m sure some men (i’m talking straight men here) would say either they end up spending just as much money taking women out to dinner (if they are the type that pays for their date) or maybe they’re even full-blown metrosexuals who splurge on $200 jeans and a $150 shirt, along with a masculine eyebrow grooming session. But broken down to the bare minimum requirements of being female versus male in a normal position at a typical job with a regular life, the cost of being female has got to be more than the cost of being male.

My boyfriend wears the same exact outfit everyday. He wears a button-down black shirt with black pants. Given, this is not typical male behavior, but it isn’t really that odd for a guy to chose to avoid fashion and instead buy $20 pairs of black pants and somewhat cheap black shirts, and there’s a few year’s worth of clothing.

Could a woman really get away with wearing the same exact outfit every day? I imagine others would find her more weird than they would the guy. Meanwhile, women also are expected to spend some money on makeup. Not all women HAVE to spend money on makeup, but when you go on a job interview, a woman looks more professional with some foundation, blush and lip gloss, eyeliner and mascara. Total cost? Anywhere from $30 to $200+, depending on brand selection.

What do men spend money on? If they’re not into fashion, they can get away with spending on maybe four nice suits that will last them for years. Ties are pricey, I guess, but how many ties does the typical guy own? My ex-boyfriend, who is a lawyer making a six-figure salary, spends barely nothing on clothes. He buys a sweater or new shirt here and there, but otherwise his wardrobe has pretty much remained constant. But men aren’t expected to have good fashion sense. They’re also not told by the media day in and day out that they’re ugly and need to spend gadzillions of dollars to be presentable.

I’m interested in hearing your feedback on this topic. Do women really spend a lot more than men on a yearly basis, or am I imagining things?

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4 thoughts on “The Cost of Being Female”

  1. What do men spend money on?Women. Actually, I have seen some studies which say that single men spend more money than single women. Men tend to spend on gadgets, cars, entertainment, restaurants, alcohol, etc. In addition, they aren't as thorough in looking for deals when they shop as women are.But if you wanted to get an incredibly interesting (and accurate) take on why men and women spend what they do, you should check out Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (

  2. I dont drink, smoke, gamble, womanise. Take away 4 vices πŸ˜‰ Though i work in the IT field, am not a gadget freak. My cellphone is 1.5 yrs old, my MP3 player is an old 4gb creative zen. My PC is 2 yrs old and hasn't been upgraded.The last time i shopped for clothes was almost 11 months ago. Even when i do, my prices dont go beyond $50. I don't do fine dining. I save and invest close to 50% of my income. A few of my friends taunt me. My simple reply is "I dont care".But yes, I agree, a woman cant have this kind of a lifestyle. πŸ˜‰

  3. I think it's probably about the same. My fiance always pays for dinner out and all kinds of little goodies here and there (ie. if I want icecream or Starbucks on the weekend). A lot of his money is spent on his business as well.

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