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She Works Hard for the Money

By Kacy Faulconer |

My mom always worked. When we were kids, she worked for a dentist. Smart. We got great deals on dental work and braces. When I was in high school she worked at Brigham Young University. Smart. We got half tuition.

Was it my mother’s life dream to be a receptionist for a dentist and later work as an administrative assistant to the vice president of BYU? Not really, though she excels in her work and is beloved by her employers.

She went to college and graduated in History. She taught for a while before she was divorced and if she could have chosen any career, I think she might have chosen to be a teacher. But she didn’t get to choose.

My dad, on the other had, dreamed of being a veterinarian. He did well in school and worked hard to achieve this goal. Apparently his dream also included another lady and not me or my older sister. He got what he wanted and my mom got to move across the country with 2 little kids to find a job to support herself. Sometimes things turn out differently than you plan.

When I was pregnant I developed an irrational fear of my husband dying. We’d been married for 4 years and while I, of course, didn’t want him to die, I never really thought about it until I was pregnant. Being pregnant made me feel vulnerable and dependent on him.

My husband has been starting up businesses for the last 10 years. We’ve had some ups and downs. And just like divorce and death, you can rarely predict the downs.

In addition to all the catastrophic things that can effect a woman’s finances, sometimes you’re just underemployed and need more money. I think everyone feels like they could use a little extra cash most of the time.

There are really only 2 things we can do to effect our cash flow: 1) Spend less money. 2) Bring in some extra cash.

Women all over the internet are working on these 2 things whether they are couponing, surfing the web for deals, pinning homemade laundry soap and handmade gifts or managing their own Etsy shops, selling photo shoots, and running ads on their blogs. We are an industrious group! The internet is a great tool for women who are trying to supplement their income or make their paycheck go further.

There are exceptions to every rule, but it just seems like moms have to get a bit more creative about bringing in the extra cash. My friend does comedy improv and voice-over work to supplement her family’s income while “staying home” with 5 kids.

In addition to spending less and bringing in extra, I think it’s important to keep the following tips in mind no matter what tax bracket you fall into:

  • Be informed about money–even if you aren’t the primary breadwinner. Know your accounts and policies.
  • Hope for the best but plan for the worst.
  • Get an education and prepare for a job, even if your dream is to quit and raise babies.
  • Live frugally–spend less than you make.
  • Model good spending habits. Children learn their attitude towards money from their parents.

What about you? Are you hustling to bring in some extra cash? Planning menus to stretch that dollar? How do you stay informed about money and who pays the bills in your household? Share your craziest money-making enterprises and your best frugal secrets in the comments!

A big thanks to Citi for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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About Kacy Faulconer

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Kacy Faulconer

I'm Kacy Faulconer. I'm your friend. Read more from me at Every Day I Write the Book. Read bio and latest posts → Read Kacy's latest posts →

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9 thoughts on “She Works Hard for the Money

  1. angie says:

    those are great tips, they are simple and effective. i especially agree with teaching your kids about money management when theyre young

  2. Meg says:

    This is the best advice I can image giving some young women: “Get an education and prepare for a job, even if your dream is to quit and raise babies.”

    I just saw too many of my friends blow out their careers only to never get married and end up dependent on their parents. I’ve also seen girls who were dating guys for a very long time assume they would get married only to wake up alone and underemployed. So sad.

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      It’s totally sad, Meg. This is definitely the advice I’ll give my daughters. (And sons.)

  3. Lauryn says:

    I have seen too many women in older generations of my family conpletely dependent on their husbands because they didn’t understand their finances and options. Learn!!

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      Agreed, Lauryn! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Nicki says:

    I love that your friend does improv! What a cool way to earn some extra cash!

    1. Kacy Faulconer says:

      I know, Nicki. It’s really cool. I love to see women who manage to market their specific talents.

  5. Heidi Totten says:

    I think not getting married until I was 30 taught me a lot of needing to be self-sufficient. It makes me seem different and out of the crowd of moms now because I am always working on about 4 different “projects” that are really businesses that I have started. I had a conversation with a friend the other day who is like me and she said, “I wish I could be normal. I wish I could just be confident that we will always be okay with my husband’s salary. I wish that I didn’t have to endure other moms looking at me like I am wacky because of the way I live my life. I just WISH I could be normal!” Truth be told – I admire men and women everywhere who live the life of an entrepreneur. It’s a hard life, but it is rewarding when you have your successes. I’m particularly grateful for people who are willing to mentor those who want to follow in footsteps. I have been lucky to meet some amazing mentors (Um, your husband included at Sunday dinners) who are willing to let me pick their brain, or who have been willing to coach me through the pitfalls. My advice to women in business is always to find yourself a mentor who is willing to help you. We are all in this thing together, whether we realize it or not.

  6. emily says:

    I personally LOVE these ideas.

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