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January 12, 2010

What It Costs to Be Me: Women's Average Salaries

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renata nascimento

Photo Credit: Jacob Langvad/Getty Images

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RENATA NASCIMENTO, 30, SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
Occupation:
Buyer for a multinational import/export firm
Annual income: $30,000 (converted from Brazilian reais)
Average income for a woman in Brazil: $7190

Home sweet home: "I live at home with my parents and brother. That's common here — it's just too expensive for a woman to live on her own. I don't pay any rent, I've got my own room, and I come and go as I please."

Bills, bills, bills: "I kick in about $300 per month for electricity, water, and groceries. My car is my other big expense. Every year I have to pay about $1200 up front for car insurance, and gas runs me something like $6 per gallon. But it's a necessity — it sometimes takes me over an hour to get to work if there's traffic."

Only in Brazil: "Most companies provide free lunch for their employees. Mine also serves breakfast. I eat really well at work."

Meal plan: "I usually have dinner at home with my family. The only time I ever pay for a meal is if I'm out with friends. But I don't order big, heavy meals — maybe a salad or a piece of fish. I rarely spend more than $25."

The weekender: "Every weekend I go to the shore — my parents own a beach house about two hours outside the city. Saturday nights are always insanely expensive, even outside São Paulo. Between dinner, drinks, club cover charges, and parking, I usually spend at least $60. That's quite a lot of money here!"

Jeans Index: "I once paid $120 for jeans — I don't even remember the brand."

Recessionomics: "We haven't felt it all that much. I still see people traveling and spending money. It's business as usual here."

Checks and balances: "For the past 10 years, I've been saving up to buy an apartment. Each month, I put 25 percent of my paycheck in the bank. I've worked so hard for so long and now I'm almost ready — this may be the year."


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