The Washington Post interviewed Kimberly Palmer, author of Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family. Palmer wanted to write a book specifically for mothers because she feels as if women with children get shortchanged when it comes to financial advice. She wanted to go beyond coupon codes and discounts to help women with big-picture issues like college and retirement savings, insurance, and workplace policies.
Palmer encourages married mothers to be aware of family finances and investments. The former senior money editor at U.S. News & World Report admits that there was a time when she couldn’t access the spreadsheet that listed her family’s accounts. Mothers tend to think that keeping up with the family finances is just one more thing they need to do when they already do so much but Palmer discusses how important it is and “she views attention to a family’s finances as vital as that yearly checkup for kids.”
Palmer wants mothers to think about the example they are setting for their children. Talk about comparing prices in the store. Explain that you are giving up eating out to save for a vacation. Even before your children arrive you are setting a precedent: Palmer says new mothers want to buy everything on the lists of baby must-haves when they should be setting aside money for a child’s future instead. To her, it is important to save no matter how small the amount and that even if your money is tight, you can have relatives who ask what to get for your child give money that can go towards savings.
She also discusses how wealth is more than money. For Palmer, a “rich life” includes negotiating for flexibility at work so she can take an afternoon to bake with her daughter:
“…it goes back to money — if we make smart choices about money, then we can have that free afternoon with our kids. It gives us that power.”