Deposit a portion of your income in a savings or retirement account. Don't accumulate new debt, and pay off any debt you currently have. Establish a realistic timeframe for your savings goals. Create a budget and keep track of all your expenses. Invest in the stock market only if you understand the ins and outs of the gambles you make. Spend money only on the essentials, and look for cheaper options where available, from housing to food, transportation, or energy usage. Save for an emergency fund. Spend money on luxuries only occasionally.
These findings are comparable to government data that show in 52% of married couples in which the mother and father worked full time, the father earned more in 2014. In 24% of these households the mother earned more, and in the remaining 23% the mother and father earned about the same amount. Fathers earned more in the vast majority of households (86%) where the father worked full time and the mother worked part time. 5 In the Pew Research survey, among mothers in two-parent households, those who work full time (24%) are more likely than those who work part time (4%) to report that they earn more than their husband or partner. Even so, 44% of full-time working mothers in two-parent households say their spouse or partner earns more than they do; 32% say they earn about the same amount. Among part-time working moms, 78% say their husband or partner earns more than they do.
Your children don’t have to live at home for you to gently suggest that they make some kind of contribution to the family to “earn” your financial help. For instance, Courtney Gibson, 24, who moved to New York City from Orlando two years ago, relies on her family to pay for her cellphone, health insurance, and utilities—about $500 a month. Otherwise, Courtney, a sales associate at an upscale department store, couldn’t afford her dream of living in the city. Her parents are supportive, but mom Lori, 53, who owns a boutique and a wine bar, says, “I try to make her work for it.” Courtney maintains the websites for her mother’s businesses, sends out promotional emails to customers, and manages social media. Still, Courtney says, “it’s embarrassing to be getting help from my parents when I’m 24 with a full-time job, but my mom tells me not to feel bad.” Says Lori: “Everyone needs help when they’re starting out.”