Inflation affects us all in different ways, but women are especially vulnerable to inflation as they often have fewer resources to cope with its effects. Women are often paid less than their male counterparts for the same job, even in developed countries, and they continue to struggle with unequal access to education, healthcare, and other services.
An online women’s forum discussed the negative effects of inflation on their lives in the long term, and here are 11 of the most common answers.
For women, one of the most significant casualties of this period of inflation is delaying or even forgoing buying a home. For renters, the increasing cost of monthly rent payments prevents them from saving on a down payment for a house.
2. Disposable Income
Despite working a full-time job and a part-time side gig, a respondent on the thread feels they can’t get ahead financially because they have to use their part-time wages to pay for essential bills and expenses instead of saving.
3. Grocery Shopping
Several people reply that higher prices force them to change their grocery shopping habits. They no longer splurge on spices, snacks, and expensive cuts of meat and visit the grocery store less often. One person states they’re “spending far more on groceries than I’ve ever spent in my life.”
4. Having a Baby
Waiting to start a family or expand their family because of inflation is a common lament on the thread. Between the high costs of childcare and essentials like baby formula, quite a few people in the forum express their concerns about having a baby or growing their family at this time.
Attending concerts, going to the movies, and other forms of entertainment are proving far too expensive for budget-minded women. Some users on the thread were willing to sacrifice other things to participate in these social activities, but most were committed to staying within their budgets.
6. Dining Out
More casualties of inflation for women: dining out, going to bars, and socializing in general. Going outside the home for food and drinks has become so expensive that it’s become an unaffordable luxury for many. One thread member writes, “I always dreamed of living in a big city, dining at nice restaurants, traveling a lot. Now I’m still counting my pennies.”
7. No More Free Time
Workers on the forum describe working overtime to make ends meet, working longer hours if they’re self-employed, and working side gigs so they can afford to pay their basic living expenses. The high inflation rate means free time is a luxury they can’t afford to have right now.
A few people on the thread are committed to traveling no matter what. Still, most contributors describe how their travel plans have been curtailed or canceled because of increased related expenses such as airline and train tickets, hotel accommodations, and rental cars. Even road trips have become out of reach for many due to higher gasoline prices.
9. Gym Memberships
Another casualty of inflation is canceling or not renewing gym and fitness class memberships. When you’re struggling to pay for living expenses, going to the gym or a fitness class becomes a luxury many women can no longer afford.
10. Financial Security
Finally, for many commenters, inflation has destroyed any semblance of financial security they had before, making their current economic circumstances and futures uncertain.
They either have no savings or rely on their savings to pay their bills. Rising prices offset even pay raises. One person on the thread asks, “How tight am I going to stretch a dollar? What next must I drop from my life because I can’t afford it?”
11. Personal Care
Anything from manicures and hair salon visits to makeup and skincare products can be expensive, forcing women to skimp on their self-care activities that make them feel more confident and attractive.
“It’s minimum $35-40 now, without tip. With the price of everything else going up, I’m not interested in spending ~$100 a month on nails,” shares a frustrated user.
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Her articles have appeared in publications such as Wealth of Geeks, MSN (US), MSN Ireland, Flipboard, The Facts, The Cents of Money, A Dime Saved, The Times (Frankfort), Invested Wallet, Chronicle-Tribune, Mama of Five Blog, Lafourche Gazette, The Herald-Press, Kinda Frugal, Peru Tribune, and Financially Well Off. Stephanie Allen got her start in writing by teaching college writing and technical writing courses. She transitioned to working as a contract technical writer specializing in information technology. Her love for writing on various subjects led her to Wealth of Geeks.