Kimberly Palmer, Financial Reporter and Author, on the Responsibilities of Work and Motherhood

The financial expert and mom talks about embracing the pressure of providing for her family.

Having written about money for ten years as a financial reporter, Kimberly Palmer was eager to impart her financial expertise on the people who require it most—women. “When I became a mom, I just started seeing everything through a different lens,” she says. “My financial priorities changed and I became aware of the fact that the financial advice that women get is limited and focused on things like couponing.” Enter her new book, targeted to moms, and offering practical, savvy advice about the bigger financial issues that women—especially mothers—face.

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She shared with us why she’s made it her mission to educate women about money and how she’s embraced the (enormous) responsibilities of work and motherhood.

1. We’re the CFOs of our families

My mission with my book was to encourage mothers to embrace our power as the “chief financial officers” of our homes. We’re making long­term choices about saving for college, our emergency funds, our retirement accounts and so on. So much rests on us, and it’s important for us to make good decisions so we’re building financial security. I want to help women build wealth over time by making smart choices now.

2. Embrace the financial responsibilities of motherhood

Right after my daughter was born, everything changed. I was really concerned; it was 2009 and the economy was tenuous. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to provide for her or that everything would fall apart through life’s unexpected twists and turns. I was afraid of not being able to build the life for her that I wanted to. I have a vivid memory of looking at her gorgeous, newborn head and thinking, “My job is to take care of her, and that includes making money and providing for our family.” The lightbulb moment for me was embracing the responsibility of work and motherhood.

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3. It’s all about efficiency

The biggest challenge in my career was writing my book while also being a mom to two young kids and doing my full­-time job as a financial reporter. I essentially had three jobs. It was all about being as efficient as possible—I wanted to be a good mom and wife and to do good work. It taught me to come up with time management systems and ways of staying organized that I still used today.

4. Be prepared

There is actually a 90% chance that, at some point in our lives, women will manage their families’ money completely on their own. That’s because of things like divorce, but also just the fact that women tend to outlive men. It’s so important for us to really embrace that role and be prepared.


Image courtesy of Ivanka Trump
Illustration by Jonny Ruzzo