#LikeAMother: Tell girls: “Always have your own money.”

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I keep hearing the same story again and again from professionally successful women. Variations on:

“My grandma told me: ‘Always have your own money.'”

It could be a mother, aunt, neighbor, Girl Scout leader, teacher, cousin, mentor or favorite coach.

The bottom line: An older, respected woman looked her straight in the eye, and in her own but direct way said:

Do not ever depend on a man financially.

Money is power, and never, ever give up that power. 

You are powerful. Never chose to give up that power. 

You are responsible for your own life. 

You are not a victim.

I believe in you. 

Many of the women who tell me these stories are in their 40s, 50s and older, and their champions were women of a generation or two more senior than that. This is important because it is clear that women found ways to be financially independent — whether through work, or even squirreling away cash in their own name or shoebox in the back of a closet — even if they had but a fraction of the economic and career opportunity you and I enjoy.

They got it. And they made sure that the women who came after them got it, too.

If we are going to close the pay gap, move women forward, create true equality, we must make sure that our children get it. Listen to this episode to learn how and why.


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Emma Johnson is a veteran money writer, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, REAL SIMPLE, Parenting, USA Today and others.

The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children (Penguin, 2017), was a #1 bestseller and was featured in hundreds of media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, Oprah.com and the New York Post, which named it to its ‘Must Read” list.

Her popular blog Wealthysinglemommy.com, and podcast Like a Mother, explore issues facing professional single moms: business and career, money, sex, relationships and parenting. Emma regularly comments on these topics for outlets such as CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine, Woman’s Day, The Doctors, and many more. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” one of “20 Personal Finance Influencers to Follow on Twitter” by AOL DailyFinance, “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and “Most Eligible New Yorkers” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker on gender equality, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality.

Emma grew up in Sycamore, Ill., and lives in New York City with her children.

2 thoughts on “#LikeAMother: Tell girls: “Always have your own money.”

  1. Absolutely. Today there is no reason a woman should give up her power or not be able to earn and control her own money.
    With so many ways to make money from home, around school and kids activities if you need to or flexible working options, you can continue to have a career and income while being a mom. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    Great podcast and tips!

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