7 Things Women Couldn’t Do With Their Money 50 Years Ago

Seven things women couldn’t do with their money 50 years ago and the specific steps women can take TODAY to take ownership of their financial futures

Fifty years ago, just 11% of moms were the primary source of income for their families.

Today, 40% of moms are breadwinners. And women make up 47% of the workforce.

But it’s not all roses and sunshine. When you look at the statistics around how women manage their money, it’s pretty depressing.

Even though women are more likely to save than men, they’re less likely to invest.   

Which might explain why, in a recent survey…. 

Only 7% of women said they were ‘very confident’ in their ability to live comfortably in retirement. Seven percent!

I have a theory about why that is…. Up until fairly recently, most women didn’t manage their own money or even have agency over their own financial futures.

Think about it this way –


If you’re a millennial, your mother probably lived at a time when women were paid 62% less than men. Click To Tweet


So I started to think more about what managing money actually looked like for our moms and grandmothers back when they started out on their financial journeys…


7 Things Women Couldn’t Do With Their Money 50 Years Ago


1. Get a credit card

Up until 1974, a bank could deny an unmarried woman a credit card.

They could also require a husband to cosign before issuing a credit card to a married woman.


2. Get a no-fault divorce

Before 1969 when the No Fault Divorce law was passed, a woman had to prove that her husband was at fault (through adultery, etc), and if her husband denied it or counterclaimed, the divorce could easily be overturned.


3. Get a business loan

It wasn’t until 1988 (which means I was already alive!) that the Women’s Business Ownership Act shot down state laws that required women to have a male relative sign her business loan.


4. Apply to “male-only” jobs

Before 1968 when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission struck down this practice, it was common for employers to specify if their job opening was for men or women.


5. Have job security while pregnant

Women could be fired from their job just for, get this, being pregnant, up until 1978.


6. Have control over their own home equity

Up until 1981, a husband could take out a second mortgage on property that he and his wife owned together, without her signature (or even her knowledge!)


7. Be home with their child

As recently as the nineties, companies didn’t have to provide maternity leave. 


In 2017 we undeniably have more freedoms and opportunities as women than were available to us 50 years ago.

But the numbers still show that women are MUCH more likely to live in poverty than men, especially as we grow older….


The income of women aged 65 and older is 25% lower than that of their male counterparts.

By age 80, that gap widens to 44%.

As a result, women over age 65 are 80% more likely than men to be impoverished.


So how do we solve this? How do we take control of our financial futures?

If you’ve followed my blog closely, I’ve written about how I tripled my income in 2015, how to ask for money and 40 ways to start making more money now.

While finding extra ways to increase your income is a great first step for staying out of poverty, it has to be followed up with comprehensive money management – with or without a partner.

That means….

  • Saving
  • Investing


You deserve to build a strong financial future on your terms. So don’t settle, go and do it.

You can start the process of implementing these action steps by joining the free 7 day Cash Confidence Challenge. Become a CONFIDENT financially independent woman – starting today through your retirement years!


10 responses to “7 Things Women Couldn’t Do With Their Money 50 Years Ago

    1. Yeah, it was rough. My grandmother used to tell me all about her life and ours is sunshine and roses compared to that. I had a 2 year maternity leave (in Romania it’s 2 years :)), even if I didn’t use it, since I work from home, so I’d rather work 2 hours/day and earn a decent income, but, if I was employed, it would have been pretty sweet. We have all these gadgets that make our lives easier, my pregnancy was super easy, I asked for a c-section and got it (never regretted it), everything is easier for us now.

  1. I’m shocked to learn of these stats that existed while I was growing up! I’m so thankful to live in an increasingly supportive time in history, for women. I’m determined not to retire in poverty!!

  2. In India there was no need for such rules as mostly family conventions and traditions didn’t allow too many women to work. While things are changing rapidly for the better, there are still enough sections of the society that categorically tell a woman she is not allowed to work (have seen some examples at close quarters).
    This is quite an enlightening post and makes one feel grateful as a woman to be born in a more liberal era.

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