Moms are making their mark in the workforce. Women now earn nearly three times what their mothers did. But, they’re still earning less than their dads and their husbands.

Even though women are making progress, there’s still room for improvement

• Women are a more integral part of the workforce and of their family’s finances.
• A recent study shows women in their early 40s earn an average of $18.50 an hour- $8 more an hour than their moms. (source if you choose to use stat: The PEW Charitable Trusts )
• But, it’s still significantly less than their husbands- who earn nearly $27 an hour.

A few things moms can do to improve their financial situations

1. Take Inventory
• Whether you’re single or married, write down all your account/joint account information: investments, bank accounts and savings accounts.
• Take inventory of all sources of current income and talk to your spouse.
• Do this while your spouse is still around. I work with too many widows who don’t have information about their money/investments after their spouse passes – or after a divorce.

2. Save, Save, Save
• Women must save more than men do.
• Women generally live longer. Life expectancy for women is 81 and men is 76. (source if you choose to use stat: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention )
• More than 75 percent of women will eventually be widows. (source if you choose to use stat: Daily Finance )
• A woman’s career may be interrupted because of her responsibilities as the primary caregiver for children, or even for her parents when they get older- making savings even more important.

3. Always Negotiate Salary
• 62 percent of women say they believe they are underpaid. (source if you choose to use stat: Glamour )
• Statistics show they are right – women are making 81 cents to a man’s dollar in this country. (source if you choose to use stat: Bureau of Labor Statistics )
• Here’s the irony. Only 42 percent of women asked for a raise. However, 4 out of 5 who asked for a raise got it.(source if you choose to use stat: Glamour )

4. Take a Leap
• To close the pay gap, women will need to take a leap in their careers.
• But research shows women hold back from applying for jobs because they are concerned about whether they currently have the skills.
• Women only apply for jobs if they think they meet 100% of the criteria listed.
• Men will apply for a job if they feel they meet 60% of the requirements (according to an internal report at Hewlett-Packard).

5. Learn to Say No
• A bleeding heart can be murder on a budget.
• A woman will often fund her children’s education before her own retirement or loan money to relatives that may never be repaid.
• Women need to pay themselves first – if you have ever flown, you have heard the flight attendant remind you to put the life vest and oxygen mask on yourselves first, even before you help family members.

Moms can help the next generation of women face an even brighter future
• Start by talking to your kids.
• It seems moms are getting that message. 92% of women (moms in their 30s and 40s) are talking to their daughters about money- making it the number one topic of conversation, more than sex, drinking, drugs or politics.
• But talking is just the first step. It’s important for moms and dads to be good financial role models with your day-to-day finances, your long-term goals, and your savings.