Sometimes I look at my brother and wonder, how? How can you afford the new work van, the new tools, and the holidays? I know he isn't riddled with debt, so how does he do it?
Then it dawned on me: Peering beyond the age-old fact that men earn more money than women, men also have fewer 'life' expenses than women.
Strap yourself in and grit your teeth, as I'm about to discuss a whole lot of vanity (and a charming assortment of other things it means to be female) that my brother, father and partner do not need to bat an eyelid about.
My beautiful blonde colleague is not actually blonde, but she pushes her regrowth to the final limits before she is deemed brunette. Why does she do this? Because getting her long locks coloured and styled costs her $400 a pop. Yes, she visits a high-end salon, but her justification is the amount of money she would have to further spend having streaky mistakes rectified if she went somewhere cheaper.
I somehow don't think my brother thinks of this when he has his six-weekly, short-back-and-sides, $15 snip.
While the method of tackling 'that time of the month' varies from woman to woman, the average Australian woman has approximately 456 periods over her life. Considering the different 'items' needed to be socially acceptable during this time of the month, periods cost the average woman $18,171 over their lifetime.
Revisit the tax on this please Government, because now all I can see is a giant tampon when I look at my brother's new van.
The cost of make up
I'm not insinuating that all women wear makeup, or that it should be a mandatory morning ritual. I am a minimalist (lazy) when it comes to painting my face. I'm a BB-cream-and-mascara kind of gal. Which is fine, except my BB cream only lasts me two months and costs me $75, so I spend $450 a year on a tinted moisturiser that fades after three hours and has a questionable SPF.
I cannot afford to look like a doll all day every day. My biggest makeup purchase was a Chanel lipstick that I'm too scared to use. To those who do it, and do it well, I take my hat off to you.
More clothes are required
Put simply, the difference between a man attending a black-tie event or his day job that requires a suit is the addition of a bow tie. If women have a fancy event on, they need to leave work early (prior spray tan optional), shave their legs, don a new dress (we can't have double-up dress photos on social media now, can we?) and fill their bags with BAND-AIDs for the shoes they haven't attempted to walk in yet.
Let's also consider packing for a holiday.
Men: shorts, jeans, t-shirt, towel, underwear, thongs, nice shoes, hat.
Women: Skirts, shorts, day dresses, evening dresses, two hats, bathers, thongs, singlets, nice tops, a jacket, sandals, runners, heels, towel, hair straightener, makeup, makeup remover, jeans, pants, pyjamas, accessories, and a prayer that they don't weigh the suitcase upon check in.
Contemporary society and mainstream media have a lot to answer for with marketing that has convinced women they need botox or the shampoo that will prevent split ends forever. This aside, there are irrefutable factors (such as having a vagina) that makes living life as a female more expensive.