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The modern working mother is a formidable force. Juggling the demands of a career, household, and raising children requires an extraordinary blend of skills, resilience, and resourcefulness. Among the many hats she wears, financial management is one of the most critical.
Working mothers often find themselves at the helm of household and business finances, and they play a pivotal role in teaching their children good financial habits.
The Financial Mastery of Working Mothers
For working mothers, managing household finances and business matters is a delicate balancing act. They must ensure that bills are paid, budgets are adhered to, and savings are accumulated. However, they are also responsible for overseeing the financial aspects of their careers or businesses. This multifaceted role demands both organization and financial acumen.
Research indicates that working mothers often excel in this arena. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 40% of mothers in the United States are the primary breadwinners for their families. This shift highlights their increased involvement in financial decision-making and underscores the importance of their economic prowess.
Ingrid Zapata Read, Founder of Working Momkind and Community Builder, manages a community and online resource connecting moms from all walks of life to resources across postpartum, career, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. Balancing motherhood with one’s career is a commonly discussed topic.
“Most of the moms I’ve chatted with say that the number one reason they decided to venture into entrepreneurship was to have more flexibility so they could spend more time with their children,” shared Read. “But entrepreneurship is not easy, and a common theme I hear is how tough it can be to build a consistent revenue stream or, at the very least, match their last monthly salary. It’s this mix of ‘I’m doing this for the passion’ and ‘Gotta make sure we can afford life.’ Balancing dreams with the reality of family expenses is like a financial tightrope walk. The struggle is real, but I enjoy seeing these moms turn their dreams into dollars.”
These reasons are the genesis of a partnership between actress, host, dancer, and producer Jenna Dewan and Wells Fargo. Dewan knows firsthand the challenges of maintaining a well-structured household while pursuing a successful career. To help her keep her finances organized and on track, she’s collaborating with Wells Fargo to promote the Fargo virtual assistant, which simplifies financial management.
“A big trick for me was realizing my strengths and weaknesses,” said Ms. Dewan. “Organization is not something that does not come naturally to me; it never has — so finding things like Fargo, this app, to help me with that and to have that organization, simplicity, and intuitive help was everything for me.”
The Wells Fargo Virtual Assistant, commonly known as Fargo, is a dynamic tool designed to streamline financial management. One of its main goals is to provide a virtual assistant that empowers consumers, particularly working mothers, to manage their money like seasoned professionals.
“Planning for the future, managing your financial health and well-being, all of that’s been valuable and something I’ve had to learn,” Dewan shared. “I have an overall simplistic goal with budgeting things. I ask myself, what is an immediate necessary financial need? What is my overall for the year? What are my goals, and where am I trying to go? I try to have a bit of a general idea and a general budgeting plan. Then, I am open to flowing with that and figuring that out. But I definitely think it’s about looking at things in the big picture and then the immediate image.”
Along these lines, Fargo provides users with valuable financial insights that can be immediately implemented. Its intuitive interface and user-friendly design ensure that users remain in control of their finances, even amid a hectic schedule.
Teaching Financial Literacy
Working mothers recognize the importance of financial literacy and endeavor to instill it in their children from an early age. They understand that imparting good financial habits to their kids is an invaluable life lesson that will serve them well in adulthood.
“My daughter Evie is getting to the age where it’s starting to be a topic of conversation in a good way,” said Dewan. “Recently, she did a lemonade stand, worked her butt off, and earned a lot of money. And it was like, okay, what do we do with this money? It was a good time to discuss budgeting and what it means to have financial health and well-being. Hopefully, you started early. That means it translates to when they’re out of the house and to adulthood.”
Research from the National Endowment for Financial Education underscores the significance of parental influence on financial behavior. Children who learn about money management from their parents tend to exhibit more responsible financial behaviors in the future.
“Teaching my almost 6-year-old about financial health has been an adventure, and I’ve found a hands-on approach to be the key,” Read said. We’ve been using this piggy bank with multiple slots, giving my son the power to decide what he wants to do with his money—spend it, save it, donate it, or invest it. It’s all about ensuring he understands the value of each choice and can make educated decisions.”
Working mothers lead by example, showcasing responsible money management practices. They involve their children in discussions about budgeting, saving, and making thoughtful financial decisions. Doing so, they help demystify the world of finances and create a foundation of financial literacy.
As an entrepreneur, Read feels one of her goals is to instill in her son the idea of investing as he grows older, laying the foundation for a financial mindset beyond spending and saving. “Ultimately, it’s about making financial lessons fun and applicable to his world,” she said. “And giving him the confidence to navigate money matters as he grows. And who knows, maybe one day he’ll provide me with investment tips!
Financial Lessons from Working Mothers
Since parents can play a pivotal role in shaping their children’s financial future by imparting key lessons and fostering positive habits, there are some ways to lay the foundation for a lifetime of financial success:
1. Budgeting: Working mothers emphasize the importance of budgeting. They teach their children to create and adhere to budgets, ensuring that income is allocated wisely. This invaluable skill helps children distinguish between needs and wants and make informed financial choices.
2. Saving: Saving for the future is a core principle imparted by working mothers. They encourage their children to save a portion of their allowance or earnings, reinforcing the concept of delayed gratification and the benefits of financial preparedness.
3. Investing: As their children grow, working mothers introduce them to investing. They explain how investments can generate passive income and create financial security over time. These lessons help children understand the power of long-term financial planning.
4. Debt Management: Working mothers teach their children about responsible borrowing and managing debt. They stress the importance of using credit wisely and avoiding excessive debt. These lessons equip children with the knowledge to make informed decisions about loans and credit cards in the future.
5. Charitable Giving: Many working mothers instill a sense of social responsibility in their children by encouraging charitable giving. They demonstrate the value of helping others and the joy of positively impacting the community.
A Gift for the Next Generation
Working mothers are formidable financial managers, balancing the complexities of household and business finances with finesse. They serve as role models for their children, imparting invaluable financial lessons that will shape their adult economic behavior.
The partnership between Jenna Dewan and Wells Fargo highlights the importance of tools like the Fargo virtual assistant in simplifying financial management for working mothers. It empowers them to stay organized, make informed financial decisions, and seamlessly navigate the demands of their careers and households.
Ms. Dewan wisely highlighted how managing it all will never be a perfect balance. “As a parent, you often feel like you have all the burners on at once and wonder how you manage everything. No matter what, your children are your priority at the end of the day.”
As for advice for mompreneurs hoping to pursue their own goals while teaching their children how to handle their finances, Read advises to focus on what you’re building and not get distracted by the noise. “It’s tempting to look at what others are doing but stay committed to your path. Don’t let the pace or success of someone else make you feel like you’re not doing enough. That said, take a moment to honor how far you’ve come. Remember, progress is a journey, not a race. Your moment will arrive; until then, embrace the adventure!”
As working mothers continue to excel in their financial roles, they ensure that the next generation has the knowledge and skills to achieve financial success and security.