Young women are better than men at 'adulting' in every way—except this one

THE GOOD PLACE -- "Dance Dance Resolution" Episode 203 -- Pictured: (l-r) William Jackson Harper as Chidi, Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop
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The results are in: Millennial women are better than men at "adulting."

That's according to financial website Earnest, which conducted a survey of more than 1,000 young adults to see how women match up against their male peers in terms of financial responsibility and acting like, well, grown ups. Young women outperform in every way — except one: Earning more money than their parents.

About 31 percent of young men and young women report that they've hit that milestone.

Earnest asked millennials to list specific goals they find important — having a steady job, buying a home, doing taxes — and to check off the ones they've achieved.

"Across the board, millennial women are more likely than men to say they have already reached a milestone [that] they said represented financial adulthood," the survey says.

"The gap between men and women was particularly wide in the areas of independent living, taxes, insurance and transportation. Women are [also] doing slightly better than their male counterparts when it comes to paying off student loans, home buying and investing."

So why aren't more young women also outperforming when it comes to making more money than their parents? It could be due to the gender pay gap.

According to the Institute For Women's Policy Research, women are paid 20 percent less, on average, than their male counterparts performing the same job.

For millennials, especially right out of school, though, the gap is lower. Data from the American Association of University Women says women typically earn about 90 percent of what men do until the age of 35. "After that, median earnings for women are typically 74–82 percent of what men are paid."

And the future looks promising. Since 2000, one-third more women more women than men have graduated college, according to a Pew Research study. Because of that, some predict they could soon become their generation's top earners and their wages could surpass men's by 2020.

Here's how much money I spent when I stopped budgeting for a week
Here's how much money I spent when I stopped budgeting for a week

Overall, Catherine New, senior editor at Earnest, thinks that a good chunk of male and female millennials earn more than their parents because of where they live. "There is the question of greater geographic mobility, which is related to following higher paying jobs," she tells CNBC Make It.

"Earnest's 2015 study shows that nearly 60 percent of recent graduates who went top schools and live in Silicon Valley, went to school in a different metro region before moving west. In other words," she explains, "graduates these days are much more likely to move for a new job and it's lifestyle changes like this that can impact earnings."

Young men and women overall are also better with money than older people. A national survey tracked how 1,000 Americans aged 21 to 75 manage their wealth. It found millennials are better than older generations at financial planning, financial awareness and having confidence in being able to reach financial goals.

Another survey found that, if millennials keep pace with their responsible financial habits, some could even retire $1 million richer than Baby Boomers and those in Generation X.

"Even as the millennial narrative says this generation is being overly spendy on things like avocado toast," the survey says, "it turns out people ages 22 to 37 are actually doing much better than the average American at managing their money on a daily basis."

So young and women alike seem to be trending in the right direction. Looking to push further ahead? Here are some common money mistakes to avoid, and here are some tips to get even better with your money.

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