Your Money Matters: How women can avoid paying the “pink tax,” tips from Sean Hughes

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Sean Hughes

Amatulli & Associates Financial Services
Tri-Town Commons
8025 Wicker Ave Suite I
Saint John, IN

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A recent report by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs compared 800 products and found that women were consistently charged more than men for products that were identical - except for the packaging.

For example, a major retail chain was selling a red scooter for boys and a pink version of the same scooter for girls. The scooter marketed to boys was priced at $24.99. The pink scooter for girls? $49.99. It’s important not only to shop around at different stores, but to check out different sections in each store.

Speaking of toys, the study found that the girls versions of certain accessories, such as helmets and knee - elbow pads, were priced 13% higher than similar boy versions of the same . In fact, the same major retailer who sold the different priced scooters, also sold a blue toddler helmet for boys for $14.99. The same helmet in pink for girls jumped to $27.99.


When it comes to haircuts, women spend an average of 25% percent more - even on haircuts that require the exact same amount of labor as a men’s style. On the average, women pay a whopping 48% more than men for things like shampoo. Women should opt for more gender neutral or even men’s hair products.
On the surface, prices for a stick of deodorant for men and women seem to be about the same - but, look closely and you’ll notice that men’s deodorant sticks tend to be about half an ounce larger than women’s. Women can save by buying unscented men’s deodorant. If you check the label, men’s deodorant includes the same active ingredients. It’s the same product for less money.
It doesn't matter if you're buying children's clothes or adult clothes, you're likely going to pay more across the board -- with girls' clothing costing roughly 4% more, while women's clothing will likely be 8%. Believe it or not, even "onsies" for babies can sometimes cost nearly a dollar more for girls than boys.
Women pay .4 percent more in interest rates on home loans than men. Over a 30 year mortgage, that could add up to thousands of additional dollars.

Car Insurance

Men pay an estimated $15,000 more over their lifetime for car insurance than women.


Tips on how to avoid these extra costs from Sean Hughes:

Save, Save, Save
A recent survey shows women are saving 7% of their salary, but I would like to see that number even higher. I recommend dedicating 10 - 15% of your salary to your 401(k) or other retirement accounts.
Negotiate Salary
The majority of women feel like they are underpaid, but only 43% have asked for a raise. However, three out of four who asked for a raise got it. Don’t be shy about asking for a raise if you can back up your request with some reasons why you deserve it.

Homemakers Take Control
Even if you don’t work outside the home, it’s your retirement, too! Take an active role in the planning process. If you and your spouse file a joint tax return, you can each open an Individual Retirement Account, even if you only have a single source of income. As of 2015, you can contribute up to $5,500 a year to an IRA. If you’re 50 or older, the contribution limit goes up to $6,500.

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