If you have kids like I do, you know how costly it can be to raise a family.
In fact, the more children you have, the more those monthly bills can take a toll on your finances.
Federal data show that it costs more than $250,000 – yes, over a quarter million dollars – to raise a single child in America from birth until age 18. And that’s not even including college costs!
That’s why I was so glad to see the new book Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family, by personal finance expert Kim Palmer.
Palmer uses her strong interviewing skills and lengthy experiences as a financial columnist to share stories of many women who managed to live the rich life – not just financially, but emotionally and personally too, with a bounty of family blessings.
I love the fact that Palmer – a mother of two – shares her wisdom in a caring, compassionate but no-nonsense fashion to which every Mom can relate.
Here are just a few of the nuggets you’ll get from Palmer’s latest book:
- How to be a much smarter spender – by doing everything from getting refunds that you’re owed to double-checking health insurance bills and credit card statements
- How to boost your savings with creative techniques and motivational strategies – like volunteering in a nursing home, writing your 80-year-old self a letter, or using an app such as Aging Booth to create an older version of you. Research has shown that seeing an elderly picture of yourself gets people to save more because you’re thinking more about your future self (I am so going to do this!)
- How to decrease many expenses associated with being a new parent, including the costs of clothing, furniture and toys
- How to organize key financial paperwork and documents, as well as tips to bounce back from problems like debt or divorce
Smart Mom, Rich Mom is a book that will be especially helpful to mothers in the Millennial generation, and that includes both working moms and stay-at-home mothers.
According to MetLife’s 14th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, nearly two-thirds (65%) of Millennial moms live paycheck-to-paycheck compared to only half (51%) of Millennial women without kids.
Furthermore, only 53% of Millennial moms feel in control of their finances, versus 60% of Millennial women without kids. Palmer’s advice is sure to guide Millennial mothers in taking the financial reins and becoming more economically empowered and enlightened.
As a Millennial herself, Palmer has first-hand knowledge of what it means to want to maintain a steady paycheck and advance your career in your 20s and 30s, while juggling marriage and family too.
Best of all: Palmer is a young woman who truly practices what she preaches.
Back in 2011, I interviewed her for an article on my blog entitled “Financial Lessons We Can All learn From Generation Y.”
Prior to that, I’d also written an AOL piece about Palmer, a savvy individual who bucked the “low money down” approach to homeownership, and instead saved up 20% for a down payment on a home. Even back then, her advice was spot-on and practical – not pie-in-the sky tips, and not suggestions that were out of reach for anyone willing to make smart money moves.
In her case, Palmer and her husband got their first home the old-fashioned way — by working hard, staying focused on their goals and making personal sacrifices that allowed them to amass a hefty down payment ($70,000, if I recall correctly).
That’s pretty darned impressive. But if you take Palmer’s tips to heart, you could do the same thing and have similar successes while raising your own kids.