Money and the Natural Mom

As you might know if you read my other blogs, I’m a co-host of the Moms Money podcast. I really haven’t had much to say about money on this blog, preferring to keep to mothering topics. But that’s about to change. :-)

Now, a disclaimer.

The fact that I have a home based business, co-host an internet talk radio show about money and am going to talk about money from time to time here doesn’t mean I’m “all about money”. I’m not a materialistic person. In fact I much prefer to live a simple uncluttered life. I own 3 pairs of jeans. I own 10 pairs of shoes. I drive an older car. I listen to the same 5 CDs over and over. I shop at thrift stores often. I’m frugal.

I also know that the most important things in life, like my relationship with God, family and personal growth, have little to do with money. I have structured my business around my kids, not the other way around, and it will always be that way.

Still, money and personal finance IS an important topic. People who don’t “deal” with their money well are generally less happy than people who are smart with their money. Their lack of attention to good financial savvy causes them much unhappiness. Money is like your teeth – if you don’t take good care of it now and prefer to ignore it, it will come back and cause you a lot of pain later! I am even of the opinion that being a good steward of money is one way to show God how thankful we are for his blessings (remember the illustration Jesus spoke about the talents?).


With all that said, I’ve been on a real tear lately about personal finance. As I said on the first Mom’s Money show, I made a decision once in my life that caused me untold pain. And I made that decision because of money. I vowed that I would never be in that position again, so I took action to make sure that money didn’t come between me and happiness again.

I’ve had sessions with a personal finance coach, have read tons of books on finances and have toyed with the idea of launching a new blog about moms and money. But, I already have a blog. So why not put some stuff here? LOL!

One thing I *have* spoken about before is that something I’ve noticed in the Natural Mom (as well as the Christian) community is a fear of money. I have had close relationships with women who were very talented at something and who were also very broke and unhappy about their brokeness. One of them could paint beautifully and had painted murals both for herself and other people. The other had a real crafty talent. I’m almost envious of women like that because I don’t have an artistic bone on my body. ;)

When I suggested to these women that they start a small business in their spare time to earn some extra cash (that they complained about never having), they balked. They made excuses. They showed their fear of money. In fact that’s one reason I decided to launch the Natural Moms Business Guide – to help these women get online with their talents and earn some money to make thing easier for their families and give them some self esteem (c’mon, admit it ladies – we feel better about ourselves when we don’t have to ask someone for money!). Mommy blogs, as profitable businesses, also have a lot of tax benefits. Using online tax software helps keep track of each of the tax deductions available for mommy bloggers.

Now, fear of money and bad attitudes around money are certainly not unique to Natural Moms – it’s just that I think some of us feel a little smug and justified by our positions. We say things like “money can’t buy happiness”, “money isn’t important to me” “love makes the world go ’round” (and other half truths), and please pass the hemp skirt and Birkenstocks. And we feel like we’re all the crunchier and greener and empathic-er for having these feelings. But I’m convinced it’s a ruse – what do you think?

So to get these things off my chest, I’ve decided to add a new category here on this blog all about money. I look forward to having discussions with you about this. :)

See also: All The Money in the World

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30 Responses to Money and the Natural Mom

  1. Carrie, I commend you for being so open about your feelings on this topic. I also look forward to this new catagory on the blog.

    I’ve also had issues with being paid what I’m worth, charging what a product is worth, and I’m sad that I’ve felt that way in the past.

    It’s important to value your talent, your time, your knoweldge. It’s a process with many people and sometimes it takes a friend to awaken you to the topic.

    When you have others tell you you’re worth the money sometimes it opens your eyes.

    Very well said, Carrie. Looking forward to what you have to share.

  2. Oh awesome. This will be greatly appreciated on this blog in my opinion. I think I have a love/hate relationship with money. I had to snicker when you said you had only three pairs of jeans. I have one pair and Scott said the other day Jen I think its time to buy another pair as those are looking pretty worn. So what they still serve their purpose don’t they?

    Growing up my parents really didn’t manage money that good and I am bound and determined to do totally opposite. Which I think I am doing pretty good right now. I am really frugal with our spending and it kills Scott that I will not pay over 10.00 for a pair of jeans. I mean come on why does people feel the need to spend 50.00 on a pair of jeans?

    So being a natural mom, does that have to mean I am going to be broke all the time and HAVE to live my frugal lifestyle (which by the way even if I won the lottery I would still live my frugal lifestyle) NO it doesn’t. Listen embrace your natural talents and take them to the next step and set-up business.

    This brings me to the time I found this lady that made beautiful slings. She just did it for the fun of it, but she would talk about needing money as well. I suggested that she set-up a website to sell the slings and I would help her with it. She said thanks but no thanks. Why leave an offer like that on the table, when she could have a successful business selling her great talents? No it may not make you rich but it can help out in the personal finance department.

    The term money is root of all evil. That is only if you let it be. Money can be your best friend if you work it just that way and not make it take over your life ;)

    Good topic Carrie!

  3. carrie says:

    Nell, thanks for your comment. Learning to charge what you’re worth is a real personal growth issue and that’s one reason why business makes you grow.

    Jen, *exactly* (about your sling friend). That is the same conversation I’ve had with quite a few women! If that Mom were just to stop and think for a moment… if she started charging for her slings, then she could afford to give them away on scholarship to a truly needy Mom.

    I think so much of that stems from the fact that natural moms are afraid to make money from their pet topics. I had the same issue with breastfeeding :)

  4. I think it is an important topic. Everyone…even natural moms…should be concerned about money so why not talk about it? It is not a new niche…it is one of those areas that affects everything in our lives.

    As it is now there are no price tags shocking to me and therefore I am disgusted by the amount of money we (hubby and I) do not managed well…. we blow it all. I regret not being taught about money management and I want my kids to learn it. And since natural to me is in large part being “green” I need to get my consumerism in check and make smarter choices to reduce “stuff” in my life and save money instead spending it all.

    I try to spend in the right places…aka organic, fair trade, wahm, etc…but I still spend too much.

  5. Kristine says:


    I’m really looking forward to this new category on your blog!

    As a financial planner, I talk about money a lot, but I’m a number cruncher, so I usually talk about the how-to aspect (how to get out of debt, how to save for college, etc.).

    I’m looking forward to reading a blog that talks about the feeling aspect of money. I’ll be checking back often!

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  7. Tsoniki says:

    Great topic! I have such a hard time buying things that are not on sale. I need to realize that I need to buy quality items that will last and not focus on sale or clearance items.

    I only have two pair of shorts – but I suppose my excuse of saying they are maternity ones don’t count huh. I do wonder when I should get rid of clothes I’ve had in my closet for YEARS (like six). I should probably do it today but have some weird attachment to them.

  8. Kim says:

    I think it is great that your are expanding your blog to talk about money. It so so important that everyone be able to manage their money well whether they have a lot or have very little.

    I absolutely love going to garage sales and thrift stores. I have bought a lot of my boys’ clothes at garage sales.

  9. carrie says:

    Great point Tsoniki on quality… I have to remind myself not to buy the cheapest thing too. I’ve been that way since I was a kid. I always hated spending money… but it’s not about the money. :)

  10. Tishia Lee says:

    Money is such an important thing and I wish that I would of been taught about finances way back when because now that I’m a 30 something with poor credit it effects EVERYTHING in my life.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts about money :-)

  11. Kelly says:

    You mention shoes… I currently own just one pair of leather sandals and one pair of leather shoes and one pair of pumps that I haven’t seen since I moved here in April. (Shoes are not a big priority for me any day – and definitely not during the summer.)

    I know the thought of only three pairs of shoes sends some women into a faint LOL!

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  13. carrie says:

    Tishia you’re so right! That’s why I believe money is like teeth – pay attention now or pay later. I really want to teach my kids better habits.

  14. Diana Walker says:

    Hi Carrie
    What a powerful blog this is! I find that the top 3 things that hold people back are….
    1. Lack of money
    2. Lack of health
    3. Lack of time
    I’ve taken many, many workshops over the years – like “Millionnaire Mind Intensive”, and I have broken through many money issues and money barriers.
    I actually am very blessed because I have always earned lots of money. But I also had an “Easy Come, Easy Go” attitude…. and also the thought that having too much money wasn’t “spiritual”…. so I have worked on myself and my attitudes a lot. It is so inspiring and comforting to know others are working on their issues too!

  15. Carrie,
    This is a great post. I am working on wrapping my head around a proactive approach to money.

    We are just coming out a very serious financial situation and we are paying bills from 6 months ago. It have been rough….really rough.

    This past weekend my husband gave me some money to shop with because I was in desperate need of some items. I felt so guilty taking it because I kept thinking that there must be something more we need to do with the money. I keep thinking someone else is going to stiff us out of $12,000 so we need to hold on to it. He looked at me and told me that it was time to let go of that stigma and know that it is ok to take care of what I need.

    Money has always been an issue for me. At first I did not know how to handle it. And then once I became a single mom, I lived off of $490 per month and learned how to hoard it. That was my style for over 14 years.

    Just last year, I took a proactive step and said here and no further.

    I still got some stuff to learn in this area, but I am grateful that I am growing and maturing where money in concerned.

  16. I soo can relate here Carrie. I’m not sure I consider myself a “natural” mom though I have some of the traits. I’m not even sure I know what a “natural” mom is, but I myself am a mom and I have problems with money that relate to what you’re saying. In fact I just blogged about it over at
    I look forward to more posts on the topic. I am subscribing to your blog now!

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  18. Adriana says:

    Carrie, I am really glad you are on this mission about money. Luckily for me, my parents taught me (through example) very good money habits.

    I was born in Romania, and we got paid cash, not checks. To this day, I can still see my mother kneeling by her bed on the day she got paid, and making little piles of money: the first one was always for Tithe, and after that, there were electricity, phone, food, etc.

    I am sure that seeing her do that, instilled in me the knowledge that if you are careful with your money, you’ll be OK.

  19. Annette says:

    It’s amazing how money can rule our lives even when we don’t want it to. What a great post!

    My husband and I made a very focused effort to get completely out of debt about 10 years ago and we actually did it… house and all! Talk about a feeling of freedom.

    The discipline has made us much better now too. We probably still spend too much eating out and are working on cutting that back down again, but like Latara I feel like we’re always growing and maturing in that area. That’s a good thing!

  20. Carrie, the first time I tried working from home (when the kids were 2 and 4) I discovered the benefits and ultimate freedom of living a frugal lifestyle. Sadly that didn’t last long, as we couldn’t stick to the controlled budget and decided that I needed to go back to work to purchase a new home, etc.

    I’m glad to read that so many mom’s here have a good understanding with their partners so that together they can arrive at budgets that are in keeping with how they want to live their lives. My husband and I have different approaches when it comes to what the kids need (he likes to give them what they want, ipods, etc., and I’m opposed to it). This is one of the biggest sources of contention in our marriage. I was raised by very budget conscious parents, he wasn’t. I look forward to the dialogue here as I believe we can certainly learn and be inspired by each other. Thanks Carrie!

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  22. I found my way into natural parenting via frugal parenting. It was important to be home with my children so I had to learn more frugal ideas. I started by switching to cloth diapers and learned alot more about not spending money.

    But as you mentioned, I started to take pride in not spending money, rather than pride in saving money, buying only what I need or planning for our future. I found myself concentrating on not having instead of my real goal of having all I need. My emphais has been on what I don’t have instead of what I CHOOSE to have.

    Love the new category!

  23. Angela says:

    Great post Carrie! I love the discussion about shoes and jeans too, lol. I have about 4 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of jeans that fit me. I’m holding on to about 8 pairs that I bought back when I spent lots of money on myself and I was a couple of sizes smaller.

    I have a pretty careless attitude about money and half the time I don’t know how much I even have. I KNOW I need to get better at this. I remember telling a friend one time that I had a $200 check that I forgot to cash. She said to me ‘I wish I had so much money I could FORGET to cash a check!’. Well it wasn’t that I had so much, I just don’t really even pay attention to where it is. Bad I know.

    Good for you for being frugal and good with money — I admire those qualities in a person :)

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  29. Think it’s so cool that you’re going to explore this. It’s a huge area of neuroses for me. Until recently, I could never invoice clients and routinely charged far less than was reasonable for freelance stuff because I felt so awkward asking for any money at all.

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