10 things that costs more for women (or men)

4 Damaging Lies the Media Tells About Women & Money

Consumers might pay different prices depending where and when they buy, their memberships, and a host of other factors. But what about their gender? For some goods and services, there are differences in the prices men and women pay -- maybe only a few dollars or percentage points here and there, but they can add up over time. It's most often women paying more, which could be seen as doubly unfair, given the oft-cited statistic that women working full-time make only about 78 cents for every dollar men take home. But in some cases it's men who pay a premium.

Women pay more for haircuts.
This is sort of expected, because most women have more hair than most men. But costs are higher even when a woman gets the same haircut as a man, according to research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Consumer Policy in 2000. Hairstylists in Denmark were outraged when that country's Gender Equality Board ruled in 2013 that men and women had to be charged the same, and style professionals defended the price difference by saying they spent more time on women.

Women pay more to launder shirts.
While dry-cleaning for pants and suits costs roughly the same, women's shirts cost more than men's. Sure, they may be made of delicate fabric or have embellishments, but even those that are identical to men's except for the label cost more to get laundered. The culprit in some cases is industrial pressing machines that are sized for men's shirts, an economist told The New York Times, although that doesn't explain why small men aren't charged for hand-pressing.

Women pay more for cars.
Here's a gap that's shrinking, according to a recent study analyzing the new car market. Car dealers make almost $250 more than their lowest price when selling to older women. Young women, though, do at least as well as men in their demographic in price negotiations. The researchers posit that greater educational opportunities, earning power, and work experience give women in younger generations an advantage.

Women pay more for car repairs.
Even if men and women pay the same for a car, keeping it running may still cost a woman more. In a 2012 study crafted by researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, women calling to replace a specific car part were charged an average 6 percent more than men if they admitted having no idea what the part should cost (but if they asked for a discount later, they were a little more likely to get one than a man was). The researchers found that when a caller provides their own price estimate, "all gender differences disappear."

Women pay more for personal care items.
Most states tax personal "property" at the checkout but make exceptions for necessities -- non-luxury items such as food and medications. One would think female care products such as tampons would fall in that category, but they don't, even on tax holidays when other goods are tax-free for a day, according to Fusion. This "tampon tax" isn't limited to tampons; deodorants that seem similar in price for both sexes typically come in bigger sizes for men than for women, and shampoo, shaving cream, and body wash tend to cost more for women than men even though they have essentially the same ingredients and formulations. Same goes for razors.

Women pay more for clothing.
One prime example is jeans, especially now that "boyfriend jeans" are in style. Prices for Levi's 501 CT jeans vary by style, but similar washes cost $68 for men and $128 for women. Similar shirts, too, cost more for women than men, and it starts from infancy. A report by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs called "From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer" says clothing for girls costs about 4 percent more.

Women pay more for health care.
Women between the ages of 19 and 44 spend much more on healthcare than men. Granted, these are the childbearing years, but later in life the gap persists. Healthcare spending for women 65 and older is about 25 percent higher than for men in the same age bracket, according to 2010 data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Women pay more for mortgages.
This might be most disconcerting of all for women, accounting for many thousands of dollars over a lifetime: A 2011 study found women saddled with higher-interest mortgages. Although the study's authors theorized that women were less likely than men to search for the lowest rate, a follow-up in 2015 showed even worse outcomes for black women. And researchers from the Woodstock Institute found that female applicants in Chicago were less likely to get a home loan at all.

Men pay more for car insurance.
This is especially true for men under the age of 25. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data going back to 1975, men tend to drive more miles, be riskier and more aggressive drivers, and get into worse accidents. (That being said, the Consumer Federation of America finds that some major car insurers hike women's rates by an average of 20 percent when their husbands die.)

Men pay more for nightlife.
Ladies' night at a bar or nightclub usually translates to free entry and drink specials for women. Although this practice caters to straight men by enticing women into bars, some men see it as discriminatory that they're stuck paying cover and full prices -- and have taken businesses to court (with mixed success).

Related: 15 things you should stop wasting your money on.
15 things you can stop wasting your money on
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10 things that costs more for women (or men)

1. Cable TV

With the advent of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Apple TV, there's hardly a reason to splurge on a fancy DVR system or even basic cable — so long as you're willing to be patient.

Most shows are added at least 24-hours after airing and some networks won't give them up until eight days.

See some great alternatives to cable TV here.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

2. Bank fees

Banks love to slap you with fees at the drop of a hat, but that doesn't mean you've got to put up with it.

"Consider going with a credit union, which are better than banks in many ways, to avoid some of these fees," says Andrew Schrage, founder of MoneyCrashers.com.

"If you travel abroad often, make sure you use credit cards without foreign transaction fees, otherwise you'll be paying an extra 3% to 5% on all your purchases."

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

3. Extended warranties

Retailers push hard to sell you extended warranties — and conveniently pump up their sales figures at the same time.

Don't do it, Schrage warns.

"The only instance I'd recommend a warranty is in the case of a laptop. Otherwise, the warranties themselves can often cost as much as simply buying a used or new replacement for your item, or repairing it," he adds.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

4. The roof over your head

If you're blowing most of your income on a loft in Midtown, you're making a big mistake, says Jeremy Gregg, executive director of the PLAN Fund.

His organization provides loans to low-income entrepreneurs, who Gregg says he often sees spend more than half their income on rent and utilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development recommends spending less than one-third of your income on housing.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

5. Unnecessary smartphone data

"Many of us (including me) pick a cell phone plan, then never check to see if it's the right one for us based on our usage," writes author of "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," Ramit Sethi. "Because the average cell phone bill is about $50, that's $600 per year of money you can optimize."

When buying a new cell phone, Sethi likes to pay a little bit more upfront by choosing the unlimited data and text messaging plan. He then sets a three-month check-in on his calendar, and analyzes his spending patterns after a few months to see where he can cut back.

You can use this method for any usage-based services, he says.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

6. Online shipping

Nearly all retailers offer some sort of option that gets your purchases to your doorstep without additional fees.

Zappos and L.L. Bean are among the rarest breed of businesses offering free shipping on every single purchase, but most companies will demand a minimum purchase.

To help track down deals on shipping, use Freeshipping.org. The site stores information on expiration dates, tells you much to spend to qualify, and lets you search by store name or product.

Otherwise, check out CouponSherpa or Retailmenot, which offer discount codes for free shipping.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

7. Cheap art

Environmental designer Pablo Solomon says picking up knockoff prints and other art is a great way to blow cash for no good reason.

"Nothing sends me through the roof like the art sold on cruise ships and at resorts," Solomon says. "(They're) basically glorified posters being sold as originals."

The best way to score deals on art is to track up and comers, he says. You can nab their art early on and laugh your way to the bank after they've made it big.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

8. Fast food

You're only hurting yourself (and your wallet) if you're feeding yourself out of the bodega around the corner from your home or office.

"I am shocked at how many people live paycheck-to-paycheck and yet routinely spend $10 per day on fast food and convenience store food," Gregg says.

If you're looking for an alternative to brown-bagging it, check out how to shop for the healthiest foods at the grocery store for the least amount of money, and start preparing your own food.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

9. Piecemeal insurance

Buying overpriced insurance for things like accidental death and diseases is an easy way to blow your funds.

"Instead of buying piecemeal insurance policies, get good term life insurance and disability insurance," says Sally Herigstad, a certified public accountant and Creditcard.com columnist.

Take a look at the types of insurance you should buy at every age.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

10. Lousy gifts

Personal finance expert Dani Johnson suggests you think twice before rushing out to buy Dad another tie this Christmas.

"You should make a pact with your friends and family to give back instead," Johnson says. "Pool a percentage of money you were going to spend on gifts and give a secret blessing to somebody who is truly in need."

If you want to buy a great gift without completely breaking the bank, check out these holiday gift ideas for under $50.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

11. Weight loss traps

Weight loss pills and supplements marketed as miracles for overweight couch potatoes are most likely traps.

"Not only are there enough pills and potions that you could start a new one each week, but the negative effects on your health outweighs the money you will waste," says nutritionist Rania Batayneh.

"This is a billion dollar industry and the truth is that a lean body does not come in a pill," Batayneh says.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

12. Lottery tickets

"Sure, you can (buy a lottery ticket) every once in a while just for fun, but never make a lottery purchase with any real expectation of winning," Schrage warns.

"The odds are significantly stacked against you, and why waste your hard-earned money on lottery tickets when you could be saving for retirement or treating yourself to a nice meal?"

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

13. Brand new cars

"People get bored with cars quickly. They always want a new car and so they're always dealing with a car payment," says certified financial planner Michael Egan. "But it's a hugely depreciating asset. You don't want to be putting a lot of money into something that's going to be worth nothing after a certain number of years."

Look for used car options, which could save you a substantial amount of money. Check out Kelley Blue Book to get an idea of how much you should pay for a used car.

Another option is leasing a car. You can determine whether or not this is a good option for you by following this flow chart.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

14. Subscriptions

Subscriptions — to magazines, newspapers, and the gym — can add up, and oftentimes, we don't use them as much as we had originally planned.

Sethi recommends implementing what he calls the 'à la carte' method, which takes advantage of psychology to cut our costs.

"Cancel all the discretionary subscriptions you can: your magazines, TiVo, cable — even your gym," Sethi explains in "I Will Teach You To Be Rich." "Then, buy what you need à la carte. Instead of paying for a ton of channels you never watch on cable, buy only the episodes you watch for $1.99 each off iTunes. Buy a day pass for the gym each time you go."

It works for three reasons, Sethi writes: You're likely overpaying already, you're forced to be conscious about your spending, and you value what you pay for.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty

15. A morning latte

Author of "The Automatic Millionaire," David Bach, coined the term, "The Latte Factor," which basically says that if you ditch your $4 latte every morning, you'd have quite a bit of money to contribute towards savings — about $30 a week, or $120 a month). Over the course of a few decades, that money could grow substantially.

Rather, invest in a nice coffee maker, even if the price tag is a bit steep. Oftentimes, spending more on high quality items can help you save in the long run.

It can seem counterintuitive to make purchases to save, but that's what some of the most successful money-savers do. They're not just buying things, they're investing in things — tools and services — that will eventually save them money over time.

Via Business Insider

Photo Credit: Getty


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