“Historically, the industry has largely ignored women: Advertisements tend to feature older, graying men, with women serving as the arm candy,” writes Kimberly Palmer in Smart Mom-Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family.
Women have an incredibly huge influence on purchases of all types directly and indirectly. This is not new (although ignored by the mainstream financial industry). What is new is the increasing growth of women who control wealth, especially those who will do it alone at some point in their lives.
That’s where Smart Mom-Rich Mom comes in.
What Smart Mom-Rich Mom is About
Smart Mom-Rich Mom begins with couponing. Why? The author argues that the financial industry has ignored the financial reality of women. There is an unwritten code that praises women for snipping a “2 for 1” coupon but doesn’t praise them for rebalancing their portfolio. There is an unwritten code that praises women for being mothers but doesn’t accept the reality of trying to work while raising children.
This “unwritten code” is what Kimberly Palmer is challenging. Palmer argues that now is the time for society to take heed of women and money beyond the world of “thrifty mothers”. Women, she says, need to be educated, prepared, and accountable in the world of money to remain financially afloat. As Palmer repeats several times throughout the book, most women (whether through choice or circumstance) will have to make financial decisions on their own. To establish her urgency, Smart Mom, Rich Mom provides stories of women who were left unprepared to manage their finances after a partner’s death, divorce, or becoming a parent.
Her overall message is that women can’t and shouldn’t wait until something happens to get smart about money. This re-education begins at home. Smart Mom, Rich Mom urges mothers to establish proactive habits toward money (saving, investing, long-term planning, etc. ) and income generation (full-time work, part-time work, freelance, etc.). By taking charge of their money, women will be in a better financial position through all of the phases of their life.
Kimberly Palmer has over 10 years of experience in writing about money including positions at US News and World Report and her current role as Work and Jobs Editor at AARP. She is also a speaker, author of several books, and adjunct professor at American University. In addition to all of the above and raising a family, she also started an Etsy side business.
What Was Best About Smart Mom-Rich Mom
Smart Mom, Rich Mom provides a broader view of a women’s financial life than most books. This was Kimberly Palmer’s goal and she carries off this goal with personally insightful information. Readers will get a strong sense of Kimberly Palmer’s ability to help others because she has lived the life she is talking about. Kimberly Palmer is a working mother with two kids. This experience, along with her background allows us Palmer to hone in on important details that her audience needs to pay attention to.
What Could Have Been Done Differently
Smart Mom-Rich Mom isn’t the kind of book with “10 Quick Tips to Earn $100 Easily” kinds of tips. It also does not provide investing advice, like stock tips. It provides a broad overview of some of the important decisions women need to make in regards to money. If you are looking for that, you might find it in another book. The book provides excellent advice (in fact getting very specific), but the point of the book is to get women to start thinking about how to manage their money, not actually how to do it step by step.
Why Read Smart Mom-Rich Mom
Smart Mom-Rich Mom provides advice that is applicable to all women (as well as men because money is money!), but it will be of special interest to working mothers who want some beginner’s guidance on money management. The book delves into the big areas that readers need to pay attention to and why. The other group who might benefit are older women who have never really managed their own finances. The book provides empowerment and true stories of women who were successfully able to balance money with the rest of their lives.