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  • Review and Giveaway: Smart Mom, Rich Mom by Kimberly Palmer

    I rarely agree to review books, but when I was asked to review Kimberly Palmer's latest book, I said yes because I knew it would be good. And it is.

    Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family (affiliate link) is a must-read book for every mom, regardless of her age or stage of motherhood. Kimberly covers all of the bases, from preparing for motherhood to living well in retirement.

    Smart Mom, Rich Mom Review

    Even if you’re familiar with personal finance and wealth-building concepts, you’ll learn some new things in Smart Mom. Because I am a non-practicing lawyer who has worked part-time at home since my oldest child started elementary school, I was particularly interested in the section about working moms. Kimberly discusses extremely important but rarely-mentioned issues like continuing to accrue Social Security credits, and how continuing to earn money, even at a reduced level, helps to protect your future earning power. She also offers actionable ideas on job flexibility and career paths.

    Although I have two boys, I was intrigued by the discussions about gender bias when it comes to money. Moms are often paid less simply because of the perception that they are less productive. It’s generally easier for moms who have professional careers to have flexible schedules, and their salaries are more comparable to men’s than those of moms in lower-paying jobs. And, studies show that boys are more confident and talk more about managing money with their parents than girls. I don’t have daughters, but Kimberly’s book has made me aware that I am modeling a woman’s relationship to money for my boys.

    I especially love that the book is well-researched, but easy to read. Kimberly quotes not just from studies but the numerous women she talked to while working on Smart Mom, including new moms, grandmothers, single moms, working moms, stay-at-home moms, and more. Their experiences can inform ours as we make our own financial decisions.

    Smart Mom covers the basic areas that all moms need to know:

    Be smart about spending and saving. There’s not much new here for Chief Family Officer readers, since I hope you’re already a convert to mindful spending. Kimberly encourages the use of coupons, asking for discounts, checking for billing errors, and of course, making conscious and considered decisions on how to spend your money. One thing I did learn was to let my children see me in action, such as when I call customer service to correct an error. This is something they will have to do themselves someday, and watching me do it is a great way for them to learn.

    Think like a boss. As mentioned already, Kimberly has a fantastic discussion about working moms. I appreciate that it’s so thorough. She talks about the traditional professional mom, which made me think of my lawyer friends who still work full-time. But she also talks about moms who scaled back, temporarily or forever, entrepreneurial moms who started a business, and other moms who’ve crafted their own path.

    Embrace investing. Throughout the book, Kimberly encourages moms to be at least as involved in managing their family’s finances as their husbands are. And she spends extra time pointing out the importance of investing, whether it’s for retirement or your child’s college tuition. I was struck by the point that women tend to be conservative investors, and was encouraged to consider taking a few more risks when it comes to our portfolio.

    Play defense. Kimberly’s research shows that most moms will, at some point in their lives, be on their own. After all, many couples get divorced, and women tend to outlive men. So it’s important for moms to be prepared with life insurance, wills, access to accounts, and more. Kimberly also encourages us to be aware of our parents’ financial situation, and has suggestions on how to talk to our parents.

    Teach the kids about money. We need to model good financial behavior, and also discuss financial issues and decisions when the kids are young so that these discussions are easier to have when they’re older.

    In sum, Smart Mom, Rich Mom is a book that every mother should read! In fact, while it may not be as cute as a baby carrier or romper, this book will now be part of every baby shower gift I give to a new mom-to-be.

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    One lucky CFO reader will win a copy of Kimberly Palmer’s new book, Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family! To enter, simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below:

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    Books I Read on My Trip

    Books I Read on my Trip | ChiefFamilyOfficer.com

    This post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for clicking through them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    The biggest downside to my trip to Japan was the travel time – when you factor in time spent waiting at the airport, it was 17 hours from when we arrived at LAX to when we touched down in Tokyo. And about the same coming back. So I took a lot of books with me – which, thanks to digital versions, was much easier to do than it would have been ten years ago. Although, accounting for the possibility that technology wouldn’t always be available, I did have a few paperbacks.

    On this trip, I went for entertainment, not education. I felt challenged enough traveling in a foreign country with a ten-year-old, and wanted my reading to be a true pleasure. So here’s my reading list from the trip:

    6th Extinction

    The Sixth Extinction by James Rollins – This is the tenth book in the Sigma Force series, and was just as good as the rest of the books. It’s also a long book, so it was perfect for the loonnnggg flight!

    Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

    “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character: Adventures of a Curious Character by Richard P. Feynman, a Nobel-prize winning physicist – I had added this book to my wishlist after it was referred to by James Clear, and it was even better than I thought it would be. I had thought my son would enjoy it too, but there were a few anecdotes that would be inappropriate for a ten-year-old so I didn’t recommend it to him.

    Ready to Kill

    Ready to Kill by Andrew Peterson – This is the fourth book in the Nathan McBride series. If you like the other Nathan McBride books, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

    Rip Tides

    Rip Tides by Toby Neal – This is the ninth book in the Lei Crime series (yes, if I like a series, I tend to stick with it!). I particularly love these stories because they’re set in the Hawaiian Islands, and pretty accurately reflect the culture there. The descriptions of Maui and Kauai have me wanting to do the tourist thing there, as I haven’t been to Kauai since I was little or to Maui since college.

    UnsoundStolen in Paradise

    Unsound and Stolen in Paradise, also by Toby Neal – The protagonists in these books are from the Lei Crime series, so they’re familiar, but with a new perspective.

    Blood Moon

    Blood Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff – This is the second book in the Huntress/FBI series. The origin story of the serial killer is an interesting one, but I’m not so enamored of the series that I will keep reading unless they are $0.99 for Kindle.

    Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons

    Twenty-Nine and a Half Reasons by Denise Grover Swank – I read the first book in this series, Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes, a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it so I’d been saving the sequel for a special occasion, like this trip. I don’t think it was quite as charming as the first book, but it was still a page turner. (Go get the first one – it’s FREE right now!)

    And in case you were wondering, my son read The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (Book 4 in the Percy Jackson series), and whatever was next for him in the A Series of Unfortunate Events series.

    Incidentally, I don’t have an actual Kindle – instead, I uses the free Kindle reading app on my iPhone and iPad mini. I bring those devices with me on any trip anyway, so I’m not adding any extra weight to my luggage!

    What’s on your summer reading list?

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by adamr.

    What I’m Reading Now

    What CFO is Reading - chieffamilyofficer.com

    For better or for worse, I tend to read multiple books at the same time. I thought it would be fun to share what I’m reading now, and ask you to share what you’re reading (and would recommend) in the comments.

    The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears by Mark Batterson:

    I put this book on my Amazon Wishlist over a year ago after Money Saving Mom mentioned it, and I purchased it when there was a temporary price drop. According to the Kindle app on my phone, I’m only 11% of the way through it, but as I read small sections at a time, I’ve been considering Batterson’s thoughts on prayer, and I’ve found myself praying more. Not in circles, exactly, but certainly more specifically than I usually do. It should be interesting to see if this book produces any more changes in me.

    The Good Mother Myth: Redefining Motherhood to Fit Reality, a collection of essays about not buying into the ideal that to be a good mother, you have to give your kids a perfect, idyllic childhood:

    The Kindle app on my phone says I’m about 20% off of the way through this book. I’ve been reading one essay at a time, and I find that I relate to all of them. It’s been something of a revelation how much I’ve bought into The Good Mother Myth. I don’t think I’ve been unreasonable in what I’ve tried to give my children, but these essays are causing me to do some self-examination and to ask myself what’s really important to me and to my children.

    As my husband has pointed out more than once, these priorities are not necessarily the same. For example, I feel terribly guilty if I don’t cook dinner for my family. But the reality is, my kids usually don’t eat what I cook, unless it’s hot dogs, mac and cheese, or other kid-friendly fare that I’m sick of {and my husband too, usually}. So if the kids are eating food from Chipotle, I shouldn’t have the chorus in my head singing “You’re a bad mother.”

    Like all of us, I’m good at some things and not others. Above all, I am not, and cannot be, a perfect mother. This book is helping me accept that, because I’m not alone.

    Sigma Force series by James Rollins:

    I actually read Book 8 of this series (Bloodline) first because it was highly rated and a Kindle Daily Deal for $1.99 so I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s Tom Clancy meets the Da Vinci Code, and if you like those types of books, I think you’ll love Sigma Force.

    So far, I’ve also read Book 2 in the series (Map of Bones), because it was $1.99 at the time. Book 1 (Sandstorm) was $5.99, so I bought the paperback for my dad for Father’s Day and told him that I get to read it when he’s done. {Of course, it’s since dropped to $1.99 and now I’m sorely tempted to buy it for myself without waiting.} As you might guess, I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this series 🙂

    Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Supertrooper.

    Has anyone read Robert Fulghum’s Third Wish?

    Ten to fifteen years ago, I really enjoyed reading Robert Fulghum’s books – you probably know him best as the author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.My favorite book of his is one that was published a few years later, called From Beginning to End:: The Rituals of Our Lives.(It unfortunately appears to be out of publication, but fortunately, there’s a thriving market for used books these days.)

    Amazon sent me an email about Robert Fulghum’s new book, Third Wish.I eagerly clicked over to read the summary, and was surprised – shocked, even – to discover that it’s a novel. And not just any novel, but one with music composed especially for it, and apparently with a unique (or contrived, depending on the reviewer) writing style.

    I like Fulghum’s philosophy and perspective. I love that he seems to truly care about being a good person. But I’m not so sure this novel is worth reading. So has anyone read it, and if so, what did you think?

    Disclosure: I’m an Amazon affiliate, so any purchase you make after entering Amazon through a link on Chief Family Officer supports this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you!

    A Different Kind of Activity Book

    The Dangerous Book for Boys is apparently a huge seller in Great Britain, though I hadn’t heard of it until reading an article that said the book is as politically incorrect and fun as it gets for boys. Activities include how to tie different knots, make a periscope, and oh yeah, hunt, kill, skin and cook a rabbit. The book also includes stories about heroes, battles, astronomy and other topics. The general gist of the book seems to be that boys should be allowed, even encouraged, to do those activities that boys have done throughout the ages.

    It might be politically incorrect to say that we should raise our boys differently from girls. But ever since Alex started selecting his own toys (construction vehicles) and expressing his own interests (garbage trucks), I’ve been convinced that, generally speaking, boys and girls naturally gravitate toward different toys and activities. And I don’t believe in fighting those tendencies but in using them to teach my children the important values in life. So I’m looking forward to using this book or something similar with Alex and Tyler some day – this particular one is for kids in grades 4 through 8, and at least in England, there are now a bunch of knockoffs.