Gay money is big money
I’m a size queen when it comes to money and even more so gay money. Here’s why gay money’s important and how we can all get more.
The gay Benjamins
In the U.S., the purchasing power of gay money is estimated at nearly $1 trillion! That’s more than the Asian, African American and Hispanic communities. By population, gay money is massive. In fact, it was roughly 14 percent of all disposable income in the U.S. in 2016. On a global scale, our purchasing power jumps to $3.7 trillion.
Gay money is important
Why should we talk about gay money? Because size matters.
As gay money makes up nearly 14 percent of U.S. disposable income, it means the queer community heavily influences the way America spends. It means, as a community, we must use our money to influence the national dialogue and enact positive change for the queer community.
Our purchasing power is the reason we’ve seen an increase in marketing to the queer community. It was in 2015 when many companies wholeheartedly embraced the queer community with open arms. Companies like MassMutual, Campbell’s Soup, Kohl’s, Ikea and Chevrolet went digitally and visually to mass markets and said: “We’ve opened our doors to gay money.”
As we learned in 2016, though, we still have concerns about equality at both the state- and federal levels. For example, there are still 28 states where a queer person can get fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Therefore, it’s vital that we stay alert and recognize the strength of our gay money.
Gay money is strength
Our strength lies in how we spend our gay money and our spending is incredibly different than our straight counterpart’s spending.
Gay and lesbian couples earn more than straight couples. The average lesbian couple, according to Experian, earns $7,200 more and the average gay couple earns $8,000 more than our straight peers. The disparity in spending is even wider.
Nearly 80% of queer couples aren’t raising children, says the Williams Institute. Per a 2013 USDA study, it currently costs about $245,000 to raise a child from birth to the age of 18, not including college costs. As queer couples, we skip a major expense that our straight counterparts don’t.
There is an amazing opportunity for the queer community to make our gay money more impactful. If used strategically, our dollars can enact positive change for years to come.
Are you using your gay money wisely?
How you spend your money is up to you. I’d, however, like to present you with a few facts and opportunities for making your gay money more impactful on you and the queer community.
In 2012 the Prudential LGBT Financial Experience Survey, queer households had an average of only $6,000 more in savings than straight households, straight households with those $245,000 children.
Do you see the opportunity? A significant portion of what could be saved is being spent.
Where are we spending our money? Per the most recent 2016 Prudential LGBT Financial Experience Survey, we’re spending our gay money making ourselves feel good.
For years, John and I spent the same way. This is how we acquired $51,000 in credit card debt. Over time, we learned that we were making up in our adulthood for feeling inferior and inadequate during our childhood. While this provided temporary enjoyment, it brought long-term unhappiness and served neither us nor our queer community.
What can you do to better serve yourself and the queer community? We have four suggestions on how to use your gay money:
- Save more of your income – Start with saving enough in your employer-sponsored retirement plan to get your employer match, otherwise, you’re leaving money on the table.
- Make more income – Increase your streams of income by starting your own gay blog.
- Avoid debt – Don’t get distracted by debt or the shiny things you can buy with debt and pay off any debt, including student loans, as fast as possible.
- When you spend, keep it in the family – If even just 10 percent of our $917 billion was spent within the queer community, we’d create and retain massive amounts of wealth to make us even stronger and more influential. Find a local Queer business by searching the NGLCC’s list of local Chambers of Commerce and connecting with queer businesses in your community.
- Vote with your dollars – When you can’t spend within the queer community, spend on companies that support the queer community. Your local queer advocacy organization can help you.
I believe in a strong queer community. We need to build our community on a financially strong foundation. A financially strong foundation means avoiding the financial distractions of student loans, mortgages and consumer debt and saving and spending our gay money wisely. To build your own strong financial foundation to help build a strong queer community, start your very own gay blog to increase your income and our queer voice.
It’s not as hard to get started as you think, plus we spelled the process out step-by-step and negotiated an exclusive discount with our business partners to help you get started with your gay blog for cheap.
Other articles for you:
- Gay Pride & Financial Prejudice
- Why Your Last Date Took Your Last Dollar & How to Get It Back
- Has the Fight for Queer Equality Gone into the Closet?