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How young women can make the most of their time at home

It used to be that a young woman in America would leave home, go to college, and find a good husband. That was the path to financial security.

Today, things are much different for young women.

According to Business Insider’s report on a new analysis by Pew Research Center, “a larger share of young women are now living at home with their parents or relatives than at any time in the past 70 years.”

It’s no secret that one big reason for this is that the unemployment picture for those 16-24 is more than twice the national average—what NPR reports as the “lost generation of workers.”

The dismal employment prospects for young women, coupled with the fact that many are getting married later in life, has led to more and more of them living at home longer.

For many, this could be a lost time, spent struggling to find a job. But, there is another way to look at an extended stay with the folks—as a time of preparation for a prosperous future.

The following are four ways to maximize your time at home to create a financially free future.

  1. Focus on your financial education

    Chances are, most young women won’t have learned much in college, if anything at all, about how money actually works. Take the time you have now to begin an intensive program of financial education. Read books, attend seminars, play games like CASHFLOW, and connect with others who are like-minded.

  2. Work to learn

    Most people look at a job as a means to make money. The rich look at work as a learning experience that will pay big dividends down the road. Rather than look for the highest-paying job, find work that will allow you to learn the skills and insights that you’ll need to be successful later in life as an investor and business owner.

  3. Find a mentor

    In addition to working to learn, also find someone you admire who has been successful in life and build a mentor relationship with him or her. Get a set time on the calendar to meet regularly, and ask them to introduce you to others in their circle who might help you grow as well.

  4. Take some risks

    When you live at home, the loss that comes from failure is low and the knowledge you gain from it will be high. Have an idea for a business? Give it a try. Want to begin investing? Start small and see what happens.

At the end of the day, those who are successful in life take ownership of every situation they find themselves in—including the times when they’re down financially. Now is your time to own your time at home. If you do, I promise that when it comes time to strike out fully on your own, you’ll be years ahead.

Original publish date: November 19, 2015

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