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3 Ways to Get More Value Outta Pink Dollars

  July 28, 2020  |    #Live Fabulously

The missing value of our pink dollars

Pink dollars? Dorothy dollars? Lavender dollars? Are you using yours for the highest good? If you want to help build a strong LGBTQ community with the resources to push for progress, there are several things you can do to make that happen.

Hear our strategies for using pink dollars:

How to make the most of your pink dollars

1. Spend more of your money in the queer community

  • Reach out to local LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce
  • Shift expenses to LGBTQ-owned + operated businesses

Queer Money Facebook Group poll

  • 24 sometimes look for LGBTQ-owned businesses
  • 10 never look for LGBTQ-owned businesses
  • 3 mostly look for LGBTQ-owned businesses

2. Work toward individual financial security

  • Diversify income streams and increase income
  • Save more and seek accounts with highest interest rates
  • Pay off and avoid further debt

3. Give money/time to causes + leaders that promote equality

  • Direct deposit out of your paycheck to charities you support
  • Financially strong individuals = financially strong community

See how LGBTQ money is different sponsored by Prudential:

Let’s go from Insta-fabulous to full equality (hint: it’s in our pink dollars)

Who are these Insta-gays with their fabulous Insta-lives? When and how’d they get all this money and, if so many gays are so fabulous, why hasn’t the queer community reached full equality?

It was most recently reported by Witeck’s that the purchasing power of the LGBTQ community is about $917 billion, nearly $1 trillion. That’s likely higher today.

Regardless, the pink dollar represents the strongest minority group within the US even while we make up between 4 – 7% (and growing) of the total U.S. population. Likewise,  our global purchasing power according to LGBT Capital is about $3.7 trillion – also likely higher today.

That’s a lot of our pink dollars that could be used for both our fabulously fun lives and pushing for full and total equality the world over.

Consider that Experian found that the average same-sex couple earns about $7,200 more than our straight peers and the Williams Institute found that only about 20% of us have children.

When straight families are having children, the gay couple next door is adopting three Frenchies. When straight parents are funding 529 Plans to put their kids through college, queer couples are funding vacation club accounts.

But we’re wasting our pink dollars

MassMutual’s LGBTQ Financial Security study found that 58% of queer people worry about money weekly. Seventy percent of us, relative to 63% of the general population, claim that we’re behind in our retirement savings.

Prudential 2016-2017 LGBT Financial Experience Survey showed that 48% of us consider ourselves spenders rather than savers, relative to 32% of the general population.

Could this be due to our ‘ live for today’ philosophy? Possibly. MassMutual’s study also showed that more than half of us consider spending for today is more important than saving for tomorrow.

Madison College released Understanding the LGBT Opportunity in Financial Services in September 2015, and it showed:

Just 52% of same-sex couples held mortgages in comparison with 62% of heterosexual couples, and only8% of same-sex households owned their property outright as compared with 13% of heterosexual couples. Also, gay men are 25% more vulnerable to living in poverty than heterosexual persons, according to multiple surveys; 20.7% of single LGBT persons live on incomes under $12,000.

But, hey, we’re all going to Santorini next year when this pandemic is over.

And we’re compounding the throwing away of our pink dollars to high-interest rate credit cards. Last year, Americans paid $122 billion in credit card interest rates and fees, and queer people are disproportionately higher contributors to that.

What can we do about that?

Ridding the queer community of credit card debt

You’ve heard of the Avalanche and Snowball methods for paying off debt? Well, neither method will help you pay your credit card debt off as fast, save you as much money and improve your credit score quite like what we’ve got in store for you.

This trifecta of pink dollar wins, becoming debt free fast, saving money and improving your credit score, is why what you’re about to learn is the best way to pay off credit card debt.

The B.E.S.T.

We amassed $51,000 in credit card debt all the ways mentioned above to make ourselves feel better because we were bullied and picked on and told we were going to hell and all the things you’ve probably experienced and all the reasons our community wastes so much of our pink dollars.

When we committed to becoming debt free, we had 15 years of experience in financial services and knew a little something about money despite what our bank accounts said.

We also tried several times to pay off our debt and we learned from those experiences. We knew we could come up a better way to pay off our credit card debt – better being faster.

So, we did. We came up with the Debt Lasso Method.

Imagine saying this about your pink dollars

I really believe now that my husband and I – we will have an enjoyable retirement in Florida, and we won’t have to wait until I’m 75. – Fred N

We’re more prepared for emergencies than we have been in a long time. I don’t like having to pay this bill [sump pump repair], but we now have the money to do. We’re less stressed. – Karen D

My husband and I have spent the last four months traveling in the southern United States. We’ve never had this much freedom. We couldn’t have done that if you didn’t help us pay off all our debt. – Claudia P

See what we told Good Morning America about the Debt Lasso Method:

Using our pink dollars for personal good

While the queer community recently achieved federal employment protections, it remains to be seen how that plays out. As we recently shared on Queer Money®, this is one small step toward progress. We have many more to take.

Hear how the Supreme Court recently protected LGBT rights (and what we should do next):

That said, the Equality Act is still stalled in Congress. Therefore, we can still be denied housing in services in up to 30 states based on our LGBTQ-status. Further, there’s inadequate staff-training in retirement centers and nursing homes to care for older LGBTQ folks. Possibly worse, queer couples can still be separated from our spouses or forced back into the closet if we go into assisted living.

There are more resources available today for retiring LGBTQ people, but they’re not necessarily cheap. If you’re retiring within the next 10 years, start doing your research of options here today.

For these reasons and more, it’s critical for our community to become better savers, investors and givers within and for the queer community. Traditional advice says to save between 3 – 6 months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency savings account.

Because of the lack of full equality, we suggest saving even more. But how? That’s a lot.

One way is to better leverage the best savings and investing tools available today. For checking and saving accounts with great rates, see Capital One’s 360 Accounts.

It’s also for these reasons, LGBTQ people need to make retirement planning and savings more important than statistics suggest we currently do.

For example, queer people need to open employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, pensions, SEPs or Simple IRAs, when they’re available. By contributing the minimum required to get our maximum employer match, we’ll make huge strides toward our individual and collective financial security.

If an employer-sponsored retirement plan isn’t available to you or you luckily have more money to invest, invest in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), such as a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.

This, too, doesn’t need to be done alone. There are amazing resources to help LGBTQ people invest better.

1. Blooom for 401(k) or 403(b) (and IRAs)

Get 401(k) and 403(b) investing help from Blooom. Investment advice for 401(k)s and 403(b)s is limited and it can be hard to pick and manage the investments on your own.

Let Blooom do all the work for you. Get your FREE Blooom analysis by clicking here.

If you have a Traditional or Roth IRA at Schwab, Vanguard or Fidelity, Blooom can still help you.

If you’re concerned about the current market volatility and its effects on your 401(k), 403(b), Blooom as three special O’s to help you with your investing during these turbulent times that you can see here.

2. M1 Finance

If you’re an independent investor, try an account with M1 Finance. M1 Finance is free for retirement accounts with a minimum of $500 that you can access by clicking this link here.

M1 Finance is a flexible investing automated platform and great for individuals who are comfortable managing pre-built and customized Exchange Trade Funds (ETF)-based portfolios (see below), though they can model pre-built portfolios by Wall Street experts and AI-designed models.

  • Trading’s free
  • There are no asset under management (AUM) fees
  • There are no account fees (for brokerage accounts with a minimum of $100 and retirement accounts with a minimum of $500)

M1 Finance also does socially responsible investing, which is huge for our community.

Investing with M1 Finance by starting by clicking this link here.

3. Acorns for small pink dollar investing

Think you’re too broke to invest for retirement? Wrong. Investing through Acorns here has made investing with small pink dollars easy!

With your spare change, Acorns lets retirement account owners invest their loose change. It’s a great way to get started with investing, especially when you think you have no money to invest.

Let Acorns get you on this simple path by clicking this link.

It’s, also, important for queer people to consider buying long-term care insurance (LTCI). LTCI can help with basic needs, such as cooking, eating and cleaning. LTCI can mean living in retirement villages that handle the manual labor necessary to maintain a home or can be the assisted living that provides physical assistance such as feeding and bathing.

Speaking of insurance, we should be appropriately insured, meaning 360-degree protections. That’s because we’re a higher-risk community and set-backs affect us more.

1. Get health insurance through GoHealth

Searching for, finding and getting health insurance easier and more affordable thanks to GoHealth.

After you answer a few questions, GoHealth will research leading health insurance companies, from Cigna to BlueCross BlueShield to Kaiser and more, to find you a select list of the most appropriate health insurance plans for you and your family.

Don’t delay. This is too important. Search GoHealth today!

2. Get life insurance through Haven Life

Gone are the day of having to tolerate the arduous task of talking with an insurance agent, then get oversold on life insurance you’ll never use. That’s because you can fully research, find and apply for term life insurance offer though MassMutual at HavenLife.com.

Plus, you can get immediate life insurance coverage – not waiting!

Prudential’s study also showed that fewer of us than the general population have financial planners. LGBTQ people who don’t have a financial planner should get one here.

This is important because, as an HSBC study showed, individuals who have a financial planner have nearly 29% more in retirement income wealth than those without a financial planner.

Maximizing our pink dollars

How can we do better?

If the queer community donated 1% of our purchasing power to charities and politicians that support us and push for progress, that contribution would equal nearly $1 billion in donations.

If we saved 10% of our purchasing power for our individual and collective financial security, we’d invest an $10 billion annually. If that $10 billion earned a conservative 7% annually for 10 years, we’d have nearly $150 billion and be the 56th largest economy in the world.

Those are huge numbers. When we look at the numbers in that context, it’s easy to see the potential power of our pink dollar for the common interests. So, we must show more pride in our pink dollars.

Pink dollars are only as good as the good they do us as LGBTQ individuals and as a queer community. Let’s ditch the gay cliché of pretending to be fabulous when we’re fabulously broke.

Let’s make a new cliché of being fabulously responsible, charitable and empowered.

Help the LGBTQ community with your pink dollars

On this episode of Queer Money®, we’re sharing three strategies to help you get more value from your pink dollars. We begin with a challenge to spend more of your money within the queer community, sharing ideas on how to shift your expenses to LGBTQ-owned and operated businesses.

We go on to explain why it’s crucial to work toward your own financial security, offering insight on how to increase your income, save more and pay off debt. Listen in for advice on giving your time and money to causes that promote equality and learn what YOU can do to get the most out of your pink dollars—and benefit the queer community as a whole.

“The financially stronger we are as individuals, the stronger we are as a community and the more money and time we have to invest in the people and the causes that are important to us.”Click To Tweet

Income streams for more pink dollars

The true power of our pink dollars

‘It’s the Super Bowl every day in the digital landscape world, and the brands that aren’t focused on creating an inspiring message to the LGBTQ audience—they’re missing a chance to shine.’ New research shows that your pink dollars are more powerful than ever.

Sean Howell is the Co-founder and President of Hornet, the world’s premier gay social network. The platform recently released a research study in conjunction with Nielsen that explored the efficacy of LGBTQ-themed advertising on the queer consumer. The survey compared the effectiveness of inclusive marketing strategies with generic ads from the same brands, measuring engagement in terms of brand recall, familiarity, and affinity, as well as purchase and recommendation intent – the power source of your pink dollars.

Sean shares the story of The Hornet, explaining how the network has grown to a remarkable 25MM members. He explains the key takeaways from the LGBTQ Ad Format Effectiveness Study, discussing the benefits for advertisers who show an affinity for the community. Sean describes how advertisers can appeal to the LGBTQ community to earn our pink dollars and why it makes business sense for businesses to do so.

Sean Howell of the Hornet elaborates on this critical study on Queer Money®:

The benefits of showing an affinity to the LGBTQ community in advertising

  • 40% higher ROI (intent to buy)
  • 60% higher likelihood to recommend

How advertisers can appeal to the LGBTQ community to win pink dollars

  • The community represented in advertising (i.e.: gay couple shopping)
  • Recognize diversity within the LGBTQ community

The key findings of the Hornet study

  • LGBTQ – themed ads drove stronger brand recall
  • Inclusive brands are seen as progressive, caring

The power of your pink dollars

  • 5th or 6th largest economy in the world
  • Brands need policies to protect us

The significance of brands moving into LGBTQ space

  • Willing to accept a conservative backlash
  • LGBTQ allies in Gen Z make up a big market

One of the best ways to use your pink dollars

Purpose-driven spending was one of our keys to getting back on track financially.

We’ve personally found ourselves slipping into a pattern of spending money on things that aren’t important to us but provide immediate and temporary satisfaction.

We’re not spending on credit. Our emergency savings account is fully funded. We’re on track to reach our retirement goals. We’re just not spending wisely day-to-day, and that’s affecting our shorter-term discretionary financial goals – or our spending that has a purpose – our community.

If you can’t enjoy the big things in life, enjoy the small things. But, if you enjoy small things too much, you’ll never enjoy the big things. - David Auten of Debt Free GuysClick To Tweet

Dr. Dimartini’s quote inspired the Queer Money® podcast below, and we’ll paraphrase, “Fill your life with the important things because, if you don’t, it’ll automatically be filled with the unimportant things.” If you’re feeling unfulfilled, it may be that your life is full of unimportant things and purpose-driven spending will get you what you want.

Hear the benefits of purpose-driven spending on Queer Money®:

The LGBTQ community needs smart philanthropy

When we reach financial security as individuals, we inherently become a stronger community. When we used that individual financial security to push for progress, we become an even stronger force for equality.

Tim Gill talks smart philanthropy on Queer Money®:

Resources for your finances

Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll receive payment at no cost to you if you buy through these links. We only recommend products we use or thoroughly vet and would recommend to our moms.  Buying too many of these is how you live fabulously broke. To live fabulously with financial security, start here.

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