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- Join us on Thursday, May 6 for NextAdvisor’s Moms & Money event to hear personal finance experts discuss how to cope with the challenges and opportunities facing moms in 2021.
The last year has been challenging for everyone, but especially for moms. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many American families without jobs, child care, and in-person schooling, and those new burdens have landed mainly on the shoulders of women.
Around 25% of women say their family’s financial situation is worse today than before the pandemic, compared to 18% of men, a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds. Women working remotely during the pandemic are about twice as likely as dads to say they had a lot of child care duties while working, according to a Pew Research Center study from last October.
But while the pandemic has brought many challenges for mothers, they aren’t necessarily new. Women were already more likely than their partners to say they had more parenting and household responsibilities before the pandemic, and faced certain challenges at work because they were balancing work and family responsibilities. The pandemic has exacerbated that. Many women have had to leave the workforce altogether to take care of children and extended family members. Since February 2020, women have accounted for 55% of jobs lost, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by the National Women’s Law Center.
The unique challenges that moms face every day don’t always get a lot of attention, especially when they are about money. But a growing online community of personal finance experts are changing the conversation around money, motherhood, and building family wealth.
These 10 personal finance pros and coaches are using social media to teach other mothers what they know about money, from enforcing money boundaries and unwinding familial money baggage to becoming CFOs of their families.
Here’s why you should give them a follow.
Farnoosh Torabi, personal finance expert and host of the “So Money” podcast, is all about financial empowerment for women. On her podcast, she has candid money conversations with well-known entrepreneurs, authors, and celebrities. In one of her recent episodes, she spoke with author Catherine Alford about how moms can use the skills they already possess to become confident money managers.
Torabi is herself the chief breadwinner in her family, and in her book, “When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women,” she uses her own experience and research to explore how a woman’s paycheck can affect her dating life, relationships, and marriage.
She’s also a mom to two young kids, an experience she drew upon to write about why she’s not giving her son an allowance, and how to talk to your kid about money at every age. A big takeaway from Torabi’s experience: Raising money-conscious or money-respectful kids is an ongoing effort.
“It’s important to remember that some kids have a bigger appetite for learning about money than others,” she says, “and, as parents, we should meet them where they are.”
Anna N’Jie-Konte, a business owner, wife, and mother of three, is a passionate believer in the economic empowerment of women and minorities in America. She is the founder of Dare to Dream Financial Planning, a financial advisory firm aimed at bringing communities of color into investing. As the host of the “First-Gen Realness” podcast, she regularly shares advice on building generational wealth because she says it’s a way to liberate people of color from systemic oppression. She also speaks on topics like the gender investing gap, the racial wealth gap, and investing.
Fluent in three languages, N’Jie-Konte is a first-generation American who grew up in New York City, the daughter of accountants employed by the New York State Department of Labor. Her father came to the U.S. from Africa, and her mother is from Puerto Rico.
“I for one feel profoundly blessed to be counted among this group and incredibly proud of my parents’ sacrifices to help me realize the American dream,” N’Jie-Konte recently wrote in a Business Insider article. “However, I am also acutely aware of many of its challenges.”
Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino
Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino, creator of Wealth Para Todos, is a former math teacher turned personal finance enthusiast. While sick on medical leave in March 2019, she started to build her financial knowledge by reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos.
Since then, Soledad has paid off over $20,000 in student loan debt, built a six-month emergency fund, and maxed out multiple retirement accounts. Based in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids, she’s now working to become a certified financial planner to ensure more people of color and those who identify as LGBTQ can receive financial advice from someone who understands firsthand their unique money challenges and goals.
She recently shared on NextAdvisor how calculating her FIRE (financial independence, retire early) number set her on the path to financial freedom. At 33, she was unemployed, married with two children, and renting in an area with a high cost of living — during a global pandemic. Less than a year later, her and her husband are now on track to become work-optional at 47.
“That’s how quickly a FIRE number can change your life,” Soledad writes. “As I calculated how much we would need to invest to retire early, my husband and I started to view FIRE as a game that would make planning for retirement fun.”
Shang Saavedra, personal finance influencer at Save My Cents, came from a farmer’s family that survived the Cultural Revolution in China. She eventually obtained a degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
From working on her own side hustles to developing consumer strategy for Fortune 500 companies, Shang has grown her income by multiples and her wealth into seven figures. She was able to achieve enough wealth to become work-optional at age 31, which inspired her to start her online personal finance platform, Save My Cents. Shang’s goal through Save My Cents is to inspire people to manage personal finances with an abundance mindset and achieve FIRE.
In 2021, Shang decided to take a step back from her corporate job to focus more on her role as a mother. She has openly shared her infertility journey with her audience, and how much IVF cost her, as well as how much she spent the first year of having her baby.
“We were so very lucky to be covered,” by insurance, Shang wrote in a blog post. “I know of people who have gone into debt for IVF. It’s an agonizing decision, and either way, it’s hard.”
Dyana King, the creator of Money. Boss. Mama, is a “do-it-my-way” money mindset and budget coach who stumbled into the personal finance world after signing up for an auto loan that took one of her biweekly paychecks.
After becoming debt-free, she’s now on a mission to help other single women, especially single moms, maximize their 9-5 income to get out of debt and build wealth using a “non-SlimFast” goal-based budget. She wants to give budgets a new reputation to entice women to take back control of their money, by giving it a plan.
“I’ve said time and time again that generational wealth is my main goal,” King recently wrote on an Instagram post. That means being “able to send my children out into the adult world with not only a solid financial education but also the funds to live and not just survive.”
Dasha Kennedy is a self-proclaimed “financial activist” with a clear cause: create a safe space for Black women to learn about money management.
That’s why the St. Louis native created The Broke Black Girl, an online platform that connects, educates and empowers women of color about building family wealth, entrepreneurship, and getting out of debt. It also a space for women to openly discuss their financial hardships and seek free assistance from the professionals in the group. Kennedy says The Broke Black Girl’s Facebook group has exceeded 60,000 women within one year.
Many of Kennedy’s personal experiences also inspired her to launch The Broke Black Girl. She was a teen mom, married and divorced, with two children by the age of 26. She didn’t learn about personal money management until 25 and wanted to empower other women of color to follow in her footsteps.
She left her 9-5 within eight months of creating her online community to start her own business as a financial educator and continues to share her no-nonsense advice online, from schooling her audience on the importance of understanding the value of a prenup to tips on having money conversations with your children.
Jamila Souffrant is a podcaster, money coach, and founder of Journey to Launch, where she shares her journey to reach financial independence while helping others do the same. As a mother of three young children living in Brooklyn, New York, she wants people to understand that wealth and financial security is not just for rich people — it’s for everybody.
She frequently talks about FIRE, managing entrepreneurship, and how that can all intertwine with our family life and financial habits. When she’s not podcasting, she’s a resident financial expert on a weekly segment on News12, the most watched local TV news station in NYC.
Souffrant’s “Journey To Launch” podcast has over 2 million downloads and recently won podcast of the year at the 11th Annual Plutus Awards. Jamila and her husband saved $169,000 in two years and have no debt besides their mortgage.
Dominique Broadway went from managing million-dollar investments for major firms to branching out on her own as a personal finance coach and entrepreneur. Shortly after launching Finances Demystified, a company that provides personal finance coaching and planning, she was named one of the top financial advisors in the U.S. for millennials, at the age of 28. Broadway set up a $50,000 investment portfolio for her 18-month old daughter, and thanks to that her kid is on track to become a millionaire by age 16.
After exploring the country with her family during school breaks as a kid, Summer Hull developed a travel bug that only got more intense with age. While studying social work at New York University, she started racking up frequent flyer miles by flying on deals. By the time her two girls came along years later, she had a full-blown love and appreciation for what miles and points could do for families looking to travel on a budget.
Hull decided to launch her Mommy Points blog in 2011 to show families that miles, points, and loyalty programs weren’t just for business travelers. She immediately became one of the leading voices in the travel blog world for showing families how they can use their rewards to travel. In 2018, Mommy Points was acquired by The Points Guy, where she now serves as the Director of Travel Content. (Like NextAdvisor, The Points Guy is owned by Red Ventures.)
Nicaila Matthews Okome
Nicaila Matthews Okome is the creator and host of the “Side Hustle Pro” podcast, which spotlights Black women entrepreneurs who have scaled their side hustles into profitable business. Launched in 2016, the podcast has been featured on the TODAY show and has had over five million downloads.
Nicaila is also the founder of Podcast Moguls, a podcaster accelerator program that shines a light on untold narratives. She works with emerging podcasters to create and launch their podcasts, grow their influence, and build a profitable business through podcasting.
Born in Jamaica and raised in the Bronx, Nicaila is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania and has a MBA from the University of Michigan. She’s a new mom and openly talks about balancing her role as a mom with work.
“I got to decide when I wanted to go back to work, how much maternity leave I wanted to take, if I want to take off a whole week for my baby’s birthday,” Okome wrote in a recent Instagram post. “Now that’s not to glamorize working for ‘yourself’ because it opens up a whole other can of responsibilities, but it is to say, podcasting as a side hustle can lead to a path of freedom and flexibility (when you put in the work).”