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Kimberly Chats With Carmen Wong-Ulrich, Our Celeb Mom Spotlight


Family Finance Tips for Moms 



By Annie Friedman

When it comes to family finance tips for moms of color, Carmen Wong Ulrich, host of CNBC’s “On the Money”, and mother of 3-year-old Bianca, is just the person to ask.  A former special projects editor at Money magazine, the new money columnist for Glamour magazine and author of the under-40 must guide guidebook, Generation Debt: Take Control of Your Money, Carmen knows a thing or two about managing your money.  She’s got great advice for Mocha Manual moms on how to be money smart. By securing your family finances and planning for the unexpected, these simple tips will help you now and in the future.

1) Always have your own. “It’s okay if you stay home and stay care of the kids, even if the paycheck doesn’t come in your name. Don’t leave yourself out of it. If you’re afraid of being out of the workforce for a while, there are a number of part-time and work-at-home options. Just always be a part of the financial discussion. 
2) Build credit and have bills in your name. “Build your own credit history and pay it off every month to show you are responsible.” 


3) Share. Be smart. “It’s ridiculous to put you and your family in debt for name brand strollers and items. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your money and don’t mortgage out your financial stability to keep up with others. There are so many other ways to look cute. When I had my daughter, Bianca, my husband and I were starting up our freelancing business and were working with a tight budget. My friends and family supported each other. I got a crib, and a bassinet, and a stroller from people I knew. Get quality stuff and don’t regret living smart when your children are born.
4) Pay attention. “One of the biggest mistakes is not paying attention. Not knowing where your money is going and how much it is costing you are the two of the biggest mistakes you can make. Pay the bills but also focus on building wealth. Pay attention to things beyond the bills by looking at your long term plans and where your retirement money is. Everybody can pay attention; it is not based on income.”
More about Carmen: Her book has appeared on the recommended reading list of The Wall Street Journal and her advice has been highlighted in The Washington Post, SELF, Redbook, ELLE, Men’s Health, U.S. News & World Report, Bankrate.com, Women’s Day, MSNBC, BusinessWeek.com, TheStreet.com and Yahoo!Finance. Carmen has a master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. from Fairfield University, and lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and daughter.  Learn more about Carmen here   


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