It Is Way More Expensive To Be My Girlfriend Than It Is To Be Me

Just for fun, I pretended to be my girlfriend for a month. I am now broke.

My girlfriend, Jessica, is not who you’d classify as a high-maintenance person or a “pinkies-out” girl. (I mean, she’s obviously a princess and not a slob at all and I love you, girlfriend.) But she’s no cupcake.

She’s an editor at BuzzFeed who works really hard and rarely treats herself, so when my editor asked if I would like to pretend to be Jessica and buy all of the bathroom things that she buys in a month, I, in my ignorant man head, thought it would be close to my own experience, except maybe more tampons.

After all, we are now in an enlightened post-lumbersexual era. It is a time when Old Spice has Smellcomed us to Manhood, and it’s “OK for guys to take care of themselves,” as the public radio show “Marketplace” puts it. With my own eye cream, face lotion and beard balm regimens, I thought, “I probably buy the same stuff that Jess does anyway.” (We share the beard balm.)

Through this experiment, I learned something that everyone else in the world knew decades ago: Hot damn, it’s expensive to be a woman.

James Cave
Jessica and James wear Jessica’s makeup.

By our unscientific experiment, it’s nearly 50 percent more expensive to be Jessica, a normal woman in the United States, than it is to be James, a pretentious perma-groomed city twerp. 

Still, even if you take the makeup, lotions and loofahs out of it, my girlfriend will always have to spend more on herself, just on necessities — housewarming gifts for her monthly visitor, for example — because nothing visits me every month.

Even though I’m totally broke until Friday, a few positive accidents came out of this: Jessica now has a replenished medicine cabinet, and I have a grocery list of her favorite things that I can use to cheat and surprise her with pre-approved gifts that I know she’ll use.

Here’s how we stacked up:

Total Cost Of Things Girlfriend Buys: $326.68

  • Amazon

    Olay Regenerist Daily Thermal Mini Peel ($37.94, Amazon)
  • Clinique

    Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector ($41, Clinique)
  • Clinique

    Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector ($49.50, Clinique)
  • Olay

    Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($21.99, Olay)
  • Jergens

    Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer ($7.99, Target)
  • Tarte Cosmetics

    Lights, Camera, Flashes Statement Mascara ($23, tarte)
  • Revlon

    Revlon PhotoReady Concealer ($8.99, Target)
  • Revlon

    Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Makeup- Medium/Deep ($12.99, Target)
  • Revlon

    Revlon Powder Blush ($8.99, Target)
  • Got 2B

    Smooth Operator Smoothing Lustre Lotion ($6.49, Ulta)
  • L’Oreal

    Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold UV Hair Spray ($14.99, Ulta)
  • Smith’s

    Rosebud Perfume Co.Rosebud Salve in a Tube ($6, Sephora)
  • Olay

    Olay Daily Exfoliating Body Wash ($6.49, Olay)
  • Amazon

    NIVEA In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion for Very Dry Skin ($5.18, Amazon)
  • Amazon

    St.Ives Apricot Scrub, Blemish Control ($3.50, Amazon)
  • Amazon

    Crest 3D White Luxe Glamorous White Vibrant Mint Flavor Whitening Toothpaste ($7.06, Amazon)
  • Amazon

    Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser ($8.38, Amazon)
  • Amazon

    Alcon Clear Care with Lens Case ($15.16, Amazon)
  • Tampax

    Tampax Pearl Tampons ($9.49, Drugstore)
  • Drugstore

    Gillette Fusion ProGlide Silvertouch Razor ($9.99, Drugstore)
  • Amazon

    Loofahs ($11.99, Amazon)
  • Amazon

    Q-tips ($2.69, Amazon)
  • Amazon

    Opti-Free Puremoist Rewetting Drops ($6.88, Amazon)
  • And Here Is The Total Cost Of Things I Buy: $152.46

    • Closed On Monday

      Beard Balm ($18.27, Closed On Monday)
    • Amazon

      AXE White Label Dry Spray Antiperspirant, Forest ($4.93, Amazon)
    • Amazon

      skyn ICELAND Icelandic Relief Eye Cream ($44, Amazon)
    • Amazon

      Crest 3D White Radiant Mint Flavor Whitening Toothpaste ($8, Amazon)
    • Baxter of California

      Vitamin Cleansing Bar ($17, Baxter of California)
    • Amazon

      Garnier Fructis Style Surfer Hair Power Putty ($9, Amazon)
    • Amazon

      Dove Men+Care 2 in 1 Shampoo ($3.77, Amazon)
    • Amazon

      Lab Series Max LS AS Light Moisture Lotion ($47.49, Amazon)
    • Would you like to improve your relationship with money? Sign up to join our 30-Day, More Money, Less Stress Challenge to demystify one of the most important and empowering areas of your life. We’ll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day during April. Sign up here

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