6. Don't be taken in by 'sales.' Hill herself admits that she's vulnerable to this temptation. "There's just something about a 'sale' sign that I find hard to resist. Sure, I know that I simply do not need yet another pair of black heels (or that quilted clutch, that espresso end table, etc.), but when I see a beautiful pair that's been marked down, I still hightail it right over to the rack," she says. But she's taught herself to recognize the temptation and the move on—right out of the store.
7. Talk about money with your beau. Women often make the mistake of assuming their boyfriends are on top of their own finances without ever broaching the subject, says Kedar, who also co-wrote Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey with Thakor. "That's not to say you have to be involved in every detail, but we've heard too many women getting the short end of the stick. When we say, 'Get financially naked,' we mean when you're in a serious, committed relationship, understand what each other owns, owes, your credit score, and how much you each make," adds Kedar.
8. Don't put your husband in charge of money. Traditionally, marrying couples turned over the finances to one spouse to manage. But women who want to keep their investing and budgeting skills sharp for life should keep a hand in their finances. Since women live to age 80, on average, versus 75 for men, even those in solid marriages are likely to have to manage their own money one day. According to the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, only one third of women between the ages of 75 and 84 are married (because they are divorced, widowed, or never married). Over 85, the number drops to 13 percent.
9. Make it a habit. Smart financial decision-making happens dozens of times a day. Do I buy my lunch or bring it? Do I take a cab or bus? Do I invest in an index fund or keep my money in a savings account? Learnvest.com, a new website aimed at young women, encourages keeping personal finance on your mind by developing an action plan after taking the free diagnostic test offered on their website. Alexa von Tobel founded the website after realizing that she was never taught about money in any formal way, despite a top-notch education. She wanted to create a source of information that was easy to understand and accessible to women. As she explains on her site, "Personal finance can be daunting, and it is critical for women to have a roadmap for personal financial independence, now more than ever."