Power of a Purse: Mothers and Money

So many reasons to talk about money and mothers this month.

  • April is Financial Literacy Month
  • April 20 is Equal Pay Day which symbolizes how far into 2010 women must work in order to earn as much as a man did in 2009.
  • Financial reform on Wall Street is the hot topic in the news.
  • Every day struggles of families on Main Street are the dominating topic in every day conversations.

And one you may not have heard about, but April is also the ramp up to the Mothers & More Power of Purse Campaign culminating on Mother’s Day May 9. While so many are struggling financially today, the reality is that mothers remain some of the most financially vulnerable among us. Across the country, Mothers & More chapters are raising “awareness of mothers’ economic issues through the act of collecting new or gently used purses for mothers in need. The purse symbolizes a woman’s economic power, something we wish for all women, especially mothers in need.”

I highlight many of those economic issues in my book, “This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today,” and much of my own education on the topic came through my involvement with Mothers & More.

What are some of those issues?

  • While the most widely publicized figure about the gender pay gap is that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, mothers earn even less. Mothers earn 73 cents or less than anyone else, and childless men and women are now earning virtually the same. The wage gap has become specifically a mother’s issue.
  • Average Social Security income for women 65+ was $10,685 in 2007, while for men it was $14,055. This is largely because mothers are more likely to take time out of the work force to care for family members and have lower lifetime earnings.
  • “Having a child is now the single best predictor that a woman will end up in financial collapse.” Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi in the Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Families are Going Broke.

Because historically mothers have shouldered most of the unpaid caregiving in our society, we have effectively punished them financially for caring.

But you can do something.

And share with me, what are your money worries for yourself? Your family? For all mothers, fathers and families?

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1 Comment

Filed under Economy, Gender Issues, Money, Motherhood, Remodeling Motherhood

One response to “Power of a Purse: Mothers and Money

  1. Pingback: Power of a Purse Campaign: From Tara Brettholtz, Mothers & More « Kristin Maschka's Blog

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