What We Can Learn From ‘Money Moms’

When you have money questions, sometimes a friendly chat with others in similar situations can spark helpful answers. If you’re a mom, those conversations can take place within moms groups. There are local groups like Utah Money Moms, private Facebook groups for single moms and entrepreneurial moms, and many websites geared toward moms interested in sharing smart saving, spending and earning tips.

These groups exist because there is a demand for them, says Amanda Christensen, founder of Utah Money Moms as well as an accredited financial counselor and extension professor at Utah State University. On the Utah Money Moms site, women can pick up tips on topics such as how to save money, how to discuss finances with a partner and how to trim expenses.

“I created the site in an attempt to make personal finance more approachable for women,” she says, citing the gender wage gap and research that shows fewer women feel confident about finances compared with men.

Groups and resources targeted at moms can be especially helpful, says Maria Bailey, author of “Marketing to Millennial Moms,” because moms benefit from learning from one another, especially when they are facing similar challenges such as juggling child care and other costs of young children.

“We’re seeing a rise of these groups, especially among younger and Gen Z moms, out of a sense of empowerment,” Bailey says, adding that “young moms in particular have a strong sense of self.”

If you’re looking to get helpful information out of a money-oriented moms group, experts offer the following tips.

Find people with similar challenges

Pamela Horack, a certified financial planner who calls herself “Your Financial Mom,” recommends finding moms who are at similar life stages to you, whether that’s buying diapers or sending kids off to college.

“We’re experiencing the same life events at the same time, and money is a part of that, so it’s really important for women to be able to bounce ideas off of each other,” Horack says. A group of like-minded moms offers a support system of sorts as you navigate day care costs, plan family vacations or manage allowances, she adds.

Moms are also often interested in finding ways to support their families, whether by exploring options to earn extra income or looking for strategic ways to save, Bailey says. “Moms are motivated by finding solutions and nurturing, and talking about money is part of that,” she says.

Emma Johnson, creator of the private Facebook group Millionaire Single Moms and author of “The 50/50 Solution,” says women in her group have shared valuable advice on issues related to divorce and money management for single moms. “I get messages from women all the time that the Facebook group has changed them,” she says.

Share tips on day-to-day life and long-term planning

Moms can have a lot on their financial plates, from the weekly grocery budget to longer-term saving for college and retirement. Horack says the most helpful moms groups cover that entire spectrum of issues.

“Everybody is really worried about budgeting, because if you can’t budget now, then you’re not going to have money for your retirement later,” Horack says, adding that sharing ideas about tracking expenses and trimming costs can be extremely helpful. “Getting your fixed expenses under control is a good strategy; then you can have money available when non-monthly expenses come up,” she says.

Horack also suggests discussing how to teach kids about money, which is another popular parenting topic. Even a discussion about the words you use with kids when discussing money and the subtle messages you may be sending can be a useful conversation, and other moms might have perspectives you hadn’t previously considered.

Watch out for scams or inaccurate information

The proliferation of online moms groups has attracted scam artists, which means anyone seeking camaraderie online needs to be on guard. Johnson warns against interacting with anyone online who asks for your personal information or money.

She says she often has to kick people out of her private Facebook group when they start trying to sell goods or services to members. To keep online groups free from potential scams, Johnson says, you have to actively manage them.

It’s also a good idea to remain skeptical of any advice you see online until you verify it with your own research.

Be inclusive

Sometimes, expanding your group beyond moms can make sense, Christensen notes. She says she’s currently rebranding her “Utah Money Moms” site so it will no longer have “mom” in the name in an effort “to be more inclusive of all women, regardless of their role.”

Many of the most popular topics, including setting financial goals and tracking spending, apply to parents and non-parents alike, which means we can all learn from one another.

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