The Pink Tax: Four steps you can take to avoid the tax
The “Pink Tax” is a term used to describe the phenomenon where goods and services marketed specifically to women, are priced higher when compared to similar goods and services marketed to men. This discriminatory pricing is found across a wide range of products, from personal care items such as razors and shampoo, to items such as professional clothing and services such as dry cleaning or financial products. The Pink Tax is a significant problem for women, as it can result in them paying thousands of dollars more over their lifetime than men for comparable goods and services.
The Pink Tax also has a particularly harmful impact on women’s planning for retirement. Women already face significant challenges when it comes to saving for retirement, due to factors such as the gender pay gap, time taken off work for caregiving responsibilities, and longer life expectancy. The Pink Tax only exacerbates these challenges, making it even more difficult for women to save adequately for retirement.
In order to overcome the financial impact of the Pink Tax, women need to be aware it exists and take steps to avoid it whenever possible. This can include:
- Shopping around for the best prices on products and services. Comparison shopping can help women find the best deals and avoid paying more than necessary. Women may also want to consider a less expensive “no-name” product.
- Buying gender-neutral or products marketed to men whenever possible. Many products marketed specifically to women are essentially the same as those marketed to men, so women can save money by purchasing the cheaper, gender-neutral version.
- Negotiating prices. Women should not be afraid to negotiate prices with vendors, particularly for big-ticket items such as cars or homes.
- Speaking out against the Pink Tax. Women can raise awareness about the pink tax by speaking out against it on social media and by supporting organizations that are working to end this discriminatory practice.
The bottom line is, if women are spending more, women are saving less and this only hurts their saving and retirement planning goals in the long-run.
This March 8th, International Women’s Day, take a moment to share this blog post and bring awareness to family and friends who could benefit from saving more of their hard-earned money.
What some young women have to say about the Pink Tax:
I think its ridiculous how things can cost more when they are marketed towards woman specifically. I try to avoid it by browsing the prices of all the products. I was once looking at shaving cream and the one marketed towards women was smaller in quantity and more expensive that the generic product with no difference in how it works.
– Maria (Winnipeg)
I think the pink tax it’s a bit ridiculous that we have to deal with it, because almost all the time the products that are getting pink taxed aren’t even good quality or higher worth. Like for example, a razor, men’s razors shave a lot better but for some reason they are cheaper than women’s.
– Valentina (Winnipeg)
Founder and Project Coordinator, MoneySmart Manitoba
Manager, Education & Communications, Manitoba Financial Services Agency