RSS Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Featured Advisor

Kim Butler

Partners for Prosperity, Inc.

City:Mt. Enterprise

State: TX

I have 20+ years of handling alternative investments in cash, growth and income for clients nationwide.  I strive to help my clients with all things financial in every way possible over the phone and the web.  I own an alpaca farm which I enjoy working during my downtime.  I also enjoy gardening, writing and reading books.  I also train other advisors on Prosperity Economics.

Click to see the full profile

Share |

Frugality vs. Mommy Guilt: Opposing Forces for Saving and Spending

Mommy guilt trumps frugality, according to market research that indicates women tend to be savers -except when it comes to their children and grandchildren.

| BY Adriana Reyneri

Mommy guilt trumps frugality, according to market research that indicates women tend to be savers -except when it comes to their children and grandchildren.

Women consider frugality to be a key strategy for becoming rich, according to Millionaire Corner research of investors from a variety of wealth levels. “Mass Affluent” women – those with a net worth of $100,000 to $1 million not including primary residence - attribute their wealth primarily to hard work and frugality. Pinching pennies ranks above many other factors, including education, smart investing and taking risk, according to a Wealthy Women Ezine published by Millionaire Corner in 2011.

At the same time these affluent women express a high level of concern over the financial well-being of their children and grandchildren. Close to three-fourths (74 percent) of Mass Affluent women say they are worried about the financial situation of future generations, compared to 62 percent of their male counterparts.

This elevated level of concern can make mom a soft touch for children and grandchildren looking for a loan or hand out. Apparently, the habit starts with the birth of a child. “Moms are feeling overwhelming pressure to overspend on products for their babies even as they significantly cut back in nearly every other area of their lives,” according to a Kelton Research press release in January announcing a study titled “Brand” New Mom.

According to Kelton, guilt rather than practicality is driving many of these spending choices. The study found that more than half of expectant moms say they are “consumed” by thoughts about what products they need to buy their babies. More than one-third (37 percent) said they felt guilty about not being able to afford a specific baby product.

Adding to the stress of motherhood, 59 percent of moms said they felt stressed about their personal financial situation or the larger economic environment, Kelton reported. More than half the 1,900 moms surveyed said they worried about affording baby products, and three-fourths have cut back on dining out, clothing for themselves and entertainment. In contrast, only 13 percent have cut back on spending for their baby. More than half (52 percent) of moms are willing to buy store brand products for the household, yet only 30 percent will buy store brand products for their babies.

New moms appear susceptible to the “overwhelming, often confusing, and anxiety-producing array of advertising and promotional messages hitting moms from every direction,”  said Kelton. The study found that 85 percent of moms are far more aware of ads related to babies and pregnancy than those for any other types of products. More than one-third (35 percent) of experienced mothers admit ads influenced them to spend more than budgeted when their first child was a baby.  It appears frugality is no match for maternal instinct.