Own Your Worth
Own your worth: SAHM or not, you deserve a seat at the table when it comes to Money.
Over the last couple of months I’ve been spending a little too much time in Mom Facebook groups (yes, guilty as charged), but I’ve found a really awesome community in these groups and reading the experience of other hard working moms makes me feel like I’m not alone…We are all in this together, and even though our circumstances might be different (some might live in
Naperville South, others North, some in Downers, some wealthier, some healthier) we all have similarities too!
What has been disheartening is the amount of posts I keep seeing on this recurring topic where SAHM moms feel they are not “worthy” and associate their net worth (or lack of) with their self worth!
The most common post is “I’m in an abusive relationship, I haven’t worked in X years, I don’t know what financial accounts we have, I need to get out of this marriage but I’m stuck between a tough place and a rock”. This is heartbreaking to read over and over again….
So I’m here to give you some tough love and some lessons learnt so you too can start to master your money and make sure you have a true partnership with your loved one when it comes to your finances.
First off, you’re not alone! 7 years ago I quit my corporate job while 7 months pregnant to become a Financial Advisor. I went from a comfortable salary to $0 …I had my first baby, I was figuring out how to be a mom and keep my baby alive (I knew nothing!) and had lost my “corporate identity” to make no money while I built my financial practice. I was depressed, felt like crap and associated my lack of financial contribution to the family with my self worth! I understand this feeling all too well.
What I will tell you is there’s been plenty of research and statistics to come up with an economic value of a stay at home mom. These numbers go as high as $178,000 for all the things you do around the house! You are absolutely WORTHY whether you get paid in $s or hugs from your family…and if they aren’t hugging you, remind them how much you do for them.
Secondly, a true “partner” will never make you feel less than! I recently had a conversation with my CPA (who also started her practice recently) and she mentioned that her husband made a comment about how she isn’t pulling her weight financially and she “should be” making more!? I wanted to soccer punch his face when I heard that! My husband has always been supportive whether I made more than him or less than him! He treats me like a partner in the relationship and we review our finances TOGETHER because we are married and that is a legal and financial union. As such, I expect him to be transparent and in return reciprocate. You should also expect this from your significant other, and if you aren’t getting it I’d do to couples therapy and try to figure out why he isn’t open about this area. My opinion is if you haven nothing to hide you won’t have an issue with sharing this information.
Thirdly, even when you have a true partner and are transparent about your finances, you
should ALWAYS have a plan B. This means you keep track of your own credit score (because yes, it is yours and no one else’s),
have your own credit card, bank account (with money in it, just in case). I don’t want you to constantly worry about divorce. But I want you to get the respect you deserve, have an understanding of your family’s finances and be an active participant in your family’s financial future. You owe it to yourself and your kids. And you are SO WORTH IT! Remember that.
IF you need any help or have questions about your money I’m always happy to answer your questions. There is no such thing as a stupid questions and you’re never too old to master your money! Also, if you’re struggling financially as a family there’s free help!
Check this out: https://www.financialplanningassociation.org/advocacy/pro-bono-program
I’m part of this program and so are many other local Certified Financial Planners!
Tess Zigo, CFP, CPA, LPL Financial Advisor