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It is absolutely ridiculous that the cycle of poor money management continues in our society, especially with women. As I listen to my teenage daughter and her friends, I get fired up about how poorly they understand money. We are failing to teach the next generation of women about money. If we want to shrink the economic divide between men and women, there are at least 5 money lessons for daughters that moms must teach before sending their daughters off into the real world.

Before all those moms with boys send me hate mail, there are money lessons we must teach boys. The lessons are different and I will cover those in another article.

Sobering Statistics

Pew Research Center noted that in 2018, women earned 85% of what men earned. Ugh!

Women tend to work in lower-level, lower paid positions, according to Payscale.

Magnify Money (part of Lending Tree) found women have less in retirement savings than men. Additionally, women tend to invest in more risk-averse investments like CDs and money market accounts

According to Allianz, women feel less financially secure in 2019 than in 2016 and more than half wish they were more confident in their financial decision making.

If we want our daughters to be financially success, we need to change the money conversation.

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5 Money Lessons for Daughters

1. Shop to a Budget

Society seems to overlook the spoiling of girls more than boys. It is okay to be a princess.

As moms, we want our daughters to fit it and not be bullied particularly when it comes to appearance of wealth. Buying the right clothes and allowing our daughters to buy that Starbucks every day on her way to school helps her fit in. It is something a mom can control.

The problem with buying your daughter designer shoes and expensive makeup is she won’t initially be able to afford it once she is out on her own.

Additionally, what money lesson is she learning? Are material items more important than personal substance?

Girls need to know how to budget and make tradeoffs. Stop associating tradeoffs with being poor or less worthy. This doesn’t have to be an awful event. Getting an in-home manicure instead of getting your nails done at a salon can be fun.

Finally, lead by example. Your daughter will not want to drink Starbucks everyday, if you are not going to Starbucks.

2. Math is Not a Boy Thing

Many years ago, my daughter came home and stating that “she and most her friends would never be good at math and her teacher said that was ok because we cannot be good at everything.” She went on to talk about how moms are bad at math.

It took all my effort not to storm into her 3rd-grade classroom to have “a discussion” with her dingbat teacher.

Instead, I laughed at my daughter and told her that I was awesome at math. I might have used the phrase “super awesome”. My math proclamation was all it took for my daughter to decide that she would be awesome math.

Don’t let your daughter believe old school stereotypes about math being a boy thing.

Unfortunately, there are still moms and teachers who think that boys are naturally better at math than girls. Your daughter will hear this junk. Make sure she understands it comes from a place of ignorance.

Math is critical for personal finance and is the foundation for many high paying jobs.

3. Break Job Stereotypes

What do you picture in your head when you read Electrician, Stockbroker, or Engineer?

Is it a picture of a man doing the job?

These are high paying jobs, which are traditionally considered jobs for men. If women want to make more money, they are going to have to work in traditionally male dominated fields.

Start pushing your daughter to consider these STEM positions. A chemist makes nowhere near the salary of a chemical engineer. A good accountant makes significantly less than a good stockbroker. Women are more likely to get a degree as an accountant or chemist instead of as astockbroker or engineer.

This is probably the most critical lesson of the money lessons for daughters. Really evaluate the job opportunities associated with the degree. Don’t let your daughter sell herself short.

4. Own Personal Finances

There are still young women who go to college looking to find a husband who can support her. Additionally, some women let their spouses manage all the finances.

Teach your daughter that she is responsible for her financial future. It is best to share financial responsibilities if she is married. Not staying informed about the family’s financial picture is never acceptable.

Too many times, a spouse is blindsided by how their partner mismanaged their personal finances. Don’t let this happen to your child. Make sure she understands the need to be actively involved in the family finances.

Additionally, women lag in retirement savings. No doubt, there is a statistically proven wage gap. However, as the Lending Tree article cited above mentions, women are not as aggressive in selecting investments for their financial portfolio.

The reason may be as simple as our society accepts boys being aggressive. Boys play contact sports and “boys will be boys.”

When girls are aggressive, they are considered out-of-control or emotional.

The story needs to be changed, especially when discussing investing. Women need to put more into their 401Ks, Roth IRAs, and other investment vehicles. As important, stress the need for your daughter to become educated about finances and understand the risk/reward opportunities.

Women will continue to lag behind financially if their investments are in low risk/low reward options. This is a mindset problem rooted in societial expectations.

5. Being Unique is Wonderful

In 7 Traits of Financially Successful People, one important trait is being comfortable with being different. The money lessons for daughters listed above are about taking the road the less traveled.

As a mom, teach your daughter that unique is wonderful.

Being a cookie cutter woman who wants to just fit in will be unfulfilling. Yes, it may help getting through the teenage years easier, but it puts a woman on a hamster wheel where you are never good enough.

Successful people standout and take risks. Fitting in leads to a life of trying to keep up with the Joneses. Don’t let your daughter go down that path of misery.

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Changing society’s attitude towards women takes time. It just does. As moms, there is so much we can do to prepare our daughters to be financially successful.

In recap:

  1. Shop to a Budget – Stop being a princess
  2. Math is not a Boy Thing!!
  3. Break Job Stereotypes
  4. Own Personal Finance – Stay Informed
  5. Be Unique and Wonderful

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