Uniting Mothers as Advocates with Raena Boston

If Money Were Easy

Hosted by Mary Beth Storjohann and Neela Hummel

Uniting Mothers as Advocates with Raena Boston

If Money Were Easy
If Money Were Easy
Uniting Mothers as Advocates with Raena Boston
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Episode Summary

On today’s episode of If Money Were Easy, Mary Beth and Neela talk with Raena Boston, Co-founder of the Chamber of Mothers and thought leader in the women’s and maternal rights space. Together, they discuss the impact of uniting mothers as advocates for change regarding childcare and paid leave. Raena shares eye-opening statistics about the stark difference in childcare investments between the United States and other countries, urging real federal investment to ensure families aren’t burdened by skyrocketing childcare costs. They discuss the need for uniform paid leave, the challenges faced by mothers, and engaging with lawmakers in the language of capitalism. Tune in as they explore the transformative work being done by the Chamber of Mothers and organizations like Paid Leave US, and see how you can advocate for change and play a role in the mission to create a better future for our children.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The staggering gap between U.S. investments in childcare versus other countries
  • How everyone can end up being affected by the lack of federal investment in childcare and paid family leave
  • The best way to spark conversations around childcare and paid family leave and why it should be talked about more
  • The best way to support educators to ensure they receive a living wage
  • Ways to empower women and mothers and advocate for change
  • The maternal health crisis and statistics from the Chamber of Mothers website
  • How Chamber of Mothers engages with politicians and advocates to make change
  • The struggles faced by parents with increased childcare costs
  • The negative impact on parents and providers from the increasing childcare costs
  • What continues to drive Reana to do the work she does

Resources Mentioned on the Show:

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Transcript of the Episode

Mary Beth [00:00:14]:

Hey there, welcome to the If Money Were Easy podcast, the show where we teach you how to expand what’s possible with your money. We’re your hosts Mary Beth Storjohann–

Neela [00:00:23]:

And Neela Hummel–

Mary Beth [00:00:24]:

Certified financial planners and Co-CEOs of Abacus Wealth Partners. Today on the show, we are going to be talking about uniting mothers as advocates with Raena Boston. But before we jump in, a brief disclosure from our compliance department. This podcast is for educational purposes and is not intended as investment, legal, or tax advice. Any opinion shared is not an opinion of Abacus Wealth Partners.

Neela [00:00:49]:

We are excited today to welcome our guest, Raena Boston. Raena is a thought leader in the women’s and maternal rights space with a fresh, imperative voice. She is a working mom of three kiddos, fierce advocate, Co-founder of the nonprofit focused on mother’s rights, the Chamber of Mothers, and an HR professional. Outside of her professional and advocacy work, she writes and creates content for her online platform, the Working Momtras. The Working Momtras is a community designed to help empower moms to unsubscribe from the scams of motherhood, resign from doing it all, and instead lean into their inherent worth. Raena has appeared on Good Morning America, PBS NewsHour, and many of your favorite podcasts. She is regularly tapped to provide thought leadership on the intersection of working motherhood, paid leave, and childcare. Raena, welcome to the show.

Raena [00:01:41]:

Thank you so much for having me.

Mary Beth [00:01:43]:

Thanks for being here. So this first question right out of the gates. Tell us about the landscape that mothers are facing today in the United States. What are we staring down?

Raena [00:01:55]:

Okay, so we’re starting on a high note I see. 

Mary Beth [00:01:57]:

We’re going right in. We always like to start out high and then work our anger right back down. So we just go for it. 

Raena [00:02:06]:

Okay, well, where does one begin? There is no federal paid leave in our country. I think we are up to 13 states that either have or are rolling out paid leave programs. But on the federal level, there’s nothing, and 13 states isn’t 50. So there’s a lot of people without access to paid leave. And I just want to say here that being without money for months at a time when you’re recovering from childbirth is extremely stressful. And the data shows that it contributes to mental health issues and it’s just not good. It’s not good. And then I’m going to roll right on into we’re in a care crisis. Childcare in the United States is what is called a failed market. And I’m going to try and summarize this as best I can. I’m not an economist, but basically we are treating childcare, which is infrastructure, as a private good, and it needs public funding, it needs federal subsidization in order to be sustainable. So what we have now is we have parents trying to bear the full cost of this public good and it’s not possible. So we have people leaving the childcare industry. I think the last stat I saw is that during the pandemic, I think there was like 100,000 people or something like fewer people that left childcare. And it’s because the wages just can’t keep up because parents would have to pay the cost of that. There’s no subsidization whatsoever. And what that does is it leads to higher costs, it leads to labor shortages. It’s just not good. 

Neela [00:03:51]:

It’s crazy. It’s like such an inefficiency. You think about it, you’re a mom of three, having paid for any kind of childcare. It’s a huge monthly expense. And then you realize that the childcare workers aren’t really making all that much. It’s just a massive inefficiency, right? 

Raena [00:04:08]:

So I think one of the things I saw is that dog walkers make more per hour than childcare workers. And think about that. These are the people that we’re trusting to take care of our kids, to help educate them to be a part of our village. And we all know that those are not wages that will allow anybody to pay rent to keep food on the table. There’s something else that I read recently. One of the people that I follow a lot on this issue, his name is Elliot Haskell, and he works in public policy, works in childcare advocacy, among other things. And a stat I saw shared is that there are people who have to go to food banks that are working in childcare facilities because they just don’t make enough.

Mary Beth [00:04:56]:

So I can speak a little bit to this one on not personal experience, but both of my sisters are actually preschool teachers. And so we all understand we have our children in daycare. And so even understanding what you’re paying to preschools and the drip down of what those wages end up in peoples’ take home pockets, it’s not livable, especially in California, it’s not livable on those care wages. And it’s fascinating to me that the cost creep for childcare, the cost creep what we as mothers and parents are paying into the system and the red tape that the childcare providers are experiencing, and then the amount that’s actually trickling down to the providers. And it’s expensive to be in business. Obviously, we want the top best care for our children. But it’s fascinating in terms of we’re being broken and burdened from the cost already, I think, in so many ways. And it’s not to say these preschools or daycares are pocketing all of it, right? It’s just the pure cost of providing the service. But I think that’s the interesting thing. It’s the burden carried by the providers and the increasing burden carried by the parents. I’m sure we’ve all talked about – my parents talk about what they paid for childcare when we were growing up to what we’re paying now. And it’s astronomical. 

Raena [00:06:05]:

It is not like it just ends in the daycare years. We’re seeing shortages with aftercare as well. Once your kids get into elementary school summer care, there’s shortages there as well. And all of that leads to increased costs paid by parents. 

Neela [00:06:20]:

It’s crazy. I have three kids as well, and once my oldest got into elementary school – and I was talking to a client and she said, “Get ready, there’s going to be this whole spreadsheet thing that comes out around summer to start planning after school activities and camps, et cetera,” and I was like, what do you mean? Oh my God, it’s not year round. And so then as a parent, you’re kind of scrambling to figure out this patchwork of care, and nine times out of ten, the programs that you want are either very expensive or are like from 9:45 to noon. 

Raena [00:06:54]:

Exactly. 

Mary Beth [00:06:55]:

I missed the train this year. I’m learning about camp still and I did not do a good job over the past year. So, Raena, tell us about your journey in this work and where you started. You have your own platform, Working Momtras. I know you’re a Co-founder of Chambers of Mothers, and where did your journey begin in this work and how has it evolved over the past? I don’t know, three to four years at least, if not longer, over time? 

Raena [00:07:17]:

So I always say that becoming a parent really radicalized me. I mean, I always was a person who thought that we should have paid family leave. I’ve always believed in Universal Pre-K and all of those things, and I think it’s one thing to believe in it and then to experience it. So I’m actually based in Florida. We do not have any state paid leave. And so with my first two children, I didn’t have access to paid leave. So the first kid I took twelve weeks unpaid, which was like bankrupting for us. And then with my second kid, I actually changed companies, did have access to paid leave, however, I was seven months pregnant when I took the job and I was there for two months and needed to be there for three months in order to qualify for the paid leave. So I returned at six weeks postpartum. And then right after that in Florida, we were in hurricane season, so Hurricane Irvine was projected to be a direct hit. And I lost all of the breast milk that I tirelessly pumped over that six weeks. So it was like 100 ounces or something like that. 

Neela [00:08:23]:

Oh, ow. I’m sorry.

Raena [00:08:26]:

Yes. And so when I had my third kid, it was the first time I knew going in that I was going to have – I was out for almost six months – and I think five of those months was paid because my employer offers paid family leave. And at the same time as this is happening, I am also seeing Build Back Better is including things like Universal Pre-K, and we’re going to have paid family leave for twelve weeks as a nation. And I am feeling proud to be an American and I have that baby in October. And what happens is I’m feeling just overwhelmed with everybody’s going to get to experience this, nobody’s going to be left behind like I was the first two times. Just felt so proud of that. And then I watched the Universal Pre-K get pulled from that provision and then paid family leave went from twelve weeks to four weeks to no weeks to just pulled completely. And at that moment, I feel like something snapped in me, feeling like we were on the verge, we were on the precipice, like we were not going to be on those charts of nations. That like one of three or four, however many it is, that don’t offer paid family leave. And I got on the news, so I went on NewsHour, I just was feeling so much rage. And at the same time there were other creators in the motherhood space on Instagram that were feeling the same way. And so we came together, we were like, “Is it a union, like, what is it, how do we organize?” And that’s how Chamber of Mothers was born. We started to partner with Paid Leave US, which has now since sunset. And it was a lot of, hey, who in your community lives in West Virginia so we can get some people to Joe Manchin’s office to get a sit down with him. It was a lot of that organizing. And so again, Build Back Better. Four weeks got put back in and then paid leave was ultimately scrapped from the provision. And I think we all felt a lot of defeat in December of 2021 when that happened. And we were like, what’s next? So we kept going and we decided to expand our pillars to not only include paid family leave, but improve maternal health is another one of our pillars and then affordable and accessible childcare. And so that’s what we’ve been working on is just securing those things and growing with local chapters. And it feels a bit like a startup because none of us have ever done this before, but here we go. 

Neela [00:11:04]:

I love it. It’s like get mad and then get to work. And there’s not necessarily a script on how to do this. And I love the example you gave about West Virginia. So maternal health, childcare, and paid family leave. How are you going about those? What other approaches are y’all taking?

Raena [00:11:21]:

So there’s a few things that we’re doing. So one is we know that there’s a lot of organizations that have been doing this work for a long time, and so we are growing our network of coalition partners so amplifying messages that they already have out there, teaming with them when there is an initiative that they’re working through and there’s more to come on that. So that’s one thing. Two, we’ve been growing online and just getting the word out to other mothers who are feeling fed up and fired up. So that’s been our Instagram community, it’s been our newsletter. We’ve also expanded to local chapters. So we had a pilot of local chapters that we’ve started to roll out in areas where the founders are. And we’ve had meetings that were talking about what kind of changemaker you are, because I think that this work can feel very overwhelming. It can feel like it’s another thing that I have to do. Where do I begin? This feels so big, it feels so beyond me. But you don’t have to be the person that’s knocking on doors. Maybe you’re the person that is contributing resources. Maybe you are the person that is planning events. Maybe you’re the person who’s making connections. And so it’s been a lot of that. And the other thing is we have been taken on by a pro bono firm, lobby firm, and they’ve actually been connecting us to lawmakers. So we are actually getting to do fly-ins, go to DC, engage members of our community to come with us and we’re meeting with members of Congress to talk to them about why we need paid leave or childcare. Right now we’re really focused on the Momnibus, which is focused on maternal health outcomes. So that’s going to be our next fly-in next week, is just to be talking to lawmakers about that and trying to get their sign-on.

Mary Beth [00:13:04]:

So first I want to say I love the idea of talking about what kind of changemaker you are and inviting people into the conversation as to how they can show up. As you said, it could be so overwhelming in terms of where you can begin and what resources you have available. Do you have financial resources, do you have time resources, how you can contribute? So I think it’s amazing that just facilitating those conversations and inviting people in and giving women permission and mothers permission to show up in the way that they can best do so for their communities is huge. And then I wanted to recap some of the statistics that came off your website, actually in terms of maternal health, and go into the conversations with politicians, but basically off the website. The Chamber of Mothers website for maternal health, it says, the physical and mental health of U.S. mothers, so vulnerable to systemic failures and bias, is in crisis, with 93% of moms reporting burnout, 72% of women with moderate to high anxiety levels, compared to 29% pre-pandemic and a maternal mortality rate that is one of the worst in the world, especially for women of color. So that’s the landscape here. And so your group, your team sounds like you have a village of all of these people that you are connected to these teams and resources, pro bono law firms. How are you able to show up with politicians? What are those conversations like for you all and what’s that experience like for you to be in those rooms and advocating? 

Raena [00:14:19]:

So we’ve only had one so far and the next one is next week and I think we’re going to have another one before the end of the year. And so a lot of it looks like we are preparing our talking points and just sharing with them what we’re experiencing, what members in their states are experiencing, that sort of thing. I will have more details on what that looks like after next week, what that feels like, but it is a lot of prep of understanding. I feel like we have to couch it like this but it’s also like, yeah, we know moms are experiencing burnout, we know moms carried the pandemic on their backs and prevented the economic collapse. And also you can’t have a workforce, you can’t have a nation of burnt out people. What is the economic cost of that? What is the cost of people deciding that they’re not going to have any more children because they can’t afford childcare? And so it’s a lot of also having to speak to this is what’s happening and also here is the cost of that happening. Paid leave isn’t just nice to have, there’s an economic cost to us not having it. 

Neela [00:15:28]:

It’s interesting you talk about that. It’s this invisible work. I know you’ve got statistics on your site too, talking about the loss of GDP. What is the loss of GDP and having a burnt out workforce, what’s the loss in GDP because of this unpaid work that we’re not actually formally counting as part of GDP? It is just as much of a health crisis as it is an economic one. And so thinking about it like what is at stake from an economic standpoint and is that part of the argument in communicating with these legislators? 

Raena [00:15:59]:

Yeah, I often say that we have to speak to them in the language of capitalism and I feel like it’s a balance, right? Because I don’t want any moms that join up with our cause or who feel passionately to feel like that’s all that I think about or that’s all that we think about them is just the dollars and cents, that’s not it at all. But the stories of a mom telling me that she’s planned her pregnancies as best she could because people experience infertility around summer because she’s a teacher and doesn’t have access to any paid leave, that’s a problem. So I’m carrying those stories of things that people tell me that are truly heartbreaking or someone saying to me I can’t afford childcare, period. What we’ve had to do is tap into our HELOC in order to pay childcare expenses. So when I say it’s a delicate balance, I’m carrying those people and we’re carrying those people’s stories with us when we’re also talking to these lawmakers in the language of capitalism. 

Mary Beth [00:17:01]:

What keeps you going? So let’s talk about this is a beast and a behemoth of work that you are undertaking and amazing for the community that you have built and how it has grown. And this isn’t your full-time job. Let’s talk about what that looks like and what keeps you driven and in it with having three kids at home, having a job, all of that you’re balancing and carrying and this myth, this scam of doing it all, how are you staying in it and keeping yourself afloat? 

Raena [00:17:31]:

So part of the mission of Chamber of Mothers is we know this is a long game. I personally know that I do not want to bestow to my children the dysfunction that I’m going through as a parent. I don’t want them to inherit this. So we are working towards creating the nation that we want to bestow to future generations. So that’s one thing that keeps me going is that I don’t want my kids to experience this mess. And I have two sons and I want them to feel empowered to take – if they decide to have kids – I want them to feel empowered to take leave. I want them to feel empowered to support their partner in that way and to bond with their children. And I think another thing is community. I think that this would be very dreadful and abysmal and sad work to do alone, but to be able to do it with a group of people who are all working toward the same thing and trying to create tangible, meaningful change in this country, that is a buoy for sure. And also another thing is you have to prioritize joy when you’re doing this work. It is not sustainable to do this work and not experience joy, not do things to keep yourself going in this work. It doesn’t benefit anybody for you to be burnt out doing this work. So I think that prioritizing joy as much as possible is also a huge part of this work. 

Neela [00:18:58]:

Part of this work. I love that so much. So for the people listening, how can they support your cause if they’re fed up also, as so many of us are with a system that is clearly broken. I mean, there are just massive inefficiencies in there, how do you recommend people support these causes? 

Raena [00:19:17]:

Sure. So one, join us. So go to ChamberOfMothers.com and get on our email list and hear what we’re up to. Two, donate. All of these things like fly-ins cost money. Rolling out chapters costs money. Getting programming for people to get organized and do this work takes resources. And so those are the main two things: Join us, follow us on social media, and get involved. And if you see that there’s an area where there is a local chapter, join those. If you’re interested in bringing a local chapter to your area, put your name in the hat. We’d love that, too. 

Neela [00:19:53]:

And as certified financial planners, we’d be remiss not to mention that the Chamber of Mothers is a certified 501(c)3 organization and you could fund it using your donor advised fund. 

Mary Beth [00:20:03]:

So I want to talk for a minute. Now we have the three pillars and I know as a follower on social media of your work and the platform that you’ve built over the past few – I don’t know how many years it’s been now – I’m saying three to four. I feel like it’s five. I’m not sure. I’m not sure how long. 

Raena [00:20:18]:

What is time? 

Mary Beth [00:20:20]:

What is time post-pandemic? I knew you pre-pandemic and so just followed you then. So talk to me a bit. I know there’s side topics that you all engage in as well and I know youth are in Working Momtras, I believe Chamber of Mothers does as well. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you were in the conversation around Roe v. Wade and the impact that has had on reproductive rights. I know Uvalde and gun safety laws and what has been your experience there – it’s such a layered, complex, tangled web, right? Let’s talk about it. I know they’re all layered on in terms of rights and burnout and different mental health issues but how have you all chosen what to use and lend your voice to and what not to? And what has been the experience of speaking out in some of the side areas as well. 

Raena [00:21:00]:

So we actually consider that to be a part of our maternal health pillar because I know that my health is impacted when I’m worried about sending my kids to school. That is just not a concern or worry that I should have. And I know that a lot of women are concerned about no longer having reproductive freedom. Like that impacts your mental health as well. Especially what we know about women who have abortions are oftentimes mothers already and so that all impacts your mental health. It’s all a part of maternal health. So I think we are thinking about how do we engage in those discussions. 

Mary Beth [00:21:41]:

Those are not the mainstream, it’s not like the flashing thing but it’s a supportive aspect of the pillar. 

Raena [00:21:49]:

Exactly. And there’s also groups that are doing this work. So Moms Demand has been doing the gun rights work, the gun safety work, all of those organizations, we are here to support them, amplify, work with them, share what they are doing, what they are up to, how you can get involved with them. That’s important, too. I also feel like our approach is because there are groups that have been doing this work for a long time, that means we don’t have to do it all. This is an example of us not having to do it all and sometimes it’s just amplifying or directing people to this resource so that we can focus on our three pillars. 

Neela [00:22:30]:

So for all the many legislators that we have listening to this podcast, I’m sure there’s so many, but if you were to design the perfect policies and they just copied it, what would those policies look like for you to be like, “I think our work here is done.’ Might have to ask you to dream because I know you’re in this for the long game. It would be awesome if it was a short game, but what would some of those foundational pieces be?

Raena [00:22:54]:

The easy part for me is just thinking about childcare. I think on average, the US invests like $500 per kid or something like that. In other nations, it’s like $15,000 per kid. I would love to see real investment, real federal investment in childcare. Meaning we could guarantee that early childhood educators made a living wage that they were not also watching our children and wondering how they’re going to eat or having to use a food bank in order to have food. So I would love to see real subsidization of childcare at the federal level. I would love to see a federal paid leave program. Not only is it confusing for people who maybe live in states that have a paid leave program and don’t know, because they’re also hearing like, the United States doesn’t have paid leave but are unaware. It’s confusing. And then on the business side, there’s a cost to companies having to keep track of what’s going on in 50 different states. 

Neela [00:24:00]:

Hear ye, hear ye. Yes.

Raena [00:24:02]:

I also think that we often talk about paid leave as an expense to business. But I already know working in HR, it’s a retention tool, keeps people in the workforce, keeps the economy going. 

Mary Beth [00:24:16]:

We’d cheer you if we could, based on the seats that we’re sitting in. The retention side of it. 

Raena [00:24:22]:

I would love to see, and if I’m dreaming, like six months of paid leave. Six months. Twelve weeks is an arbitrary number. FMLA was always meant to be something. FMLA, which, if you don’t know, is what protects your job if you take twelve weeks off. But there’s a lot of nuances to that. Like, there has to be 50 employees at your company. There’s a lot of things that could knock you out of being able to access that. But twelve weeks was always arbitrary. FMLA was passed 30 years ago, was always meant to be built upon. It was always meant to be a starting point. And we’re still starting 30 years later. So I would love to see six months of paid leave for families. 

Neela [00:25:03]:

We started real like a bummer. And we’re like, this is where it could be. This is the path so we can get there. 

Raena [00:25:11]:

And on the maternal health side, I want people to have access to doulas. I don’t want these things to be a luxury or for rich people. Everybody needs extra support. I would love to see more than one postpartum checkup for people, pelvic floor physical therapy covered by your insurance, things that people just have access to in other countries. I want us to start there. 

Mary Beth [00:25:35]:

Yeah. I will be completely honest. Growing up, how I grew up, and going through my pregnancies. The idea of a doula did not come into my life until post children, post having kids is when the concept of having a doula was introduced to me. And so now it’s a shoulda, coulda, woulda, but I just didn’t know. And so even education around the resources, integrating them into communities, there’s a lack of access, a lack of knowledge.

Raena [00:26:00]:

So it would be good for communities that are pushed to the margins who are really facing some fatal birthing outcomes because of bias, because of a lot of things. And doulas can be a bridge to that. Again, I think so much of our policy is built on what is the cost, but we’re not thinking about the fact that we’re already paying the cost somewhere. If somebody doesn’t have access to health care that could have made a difference a long time ago, we’re going to be paying for it down the road. And so I even wish we could just frame this all as an investment. Paid leave is an investment. Childcare is an investment. If you want capitalism to keep churning, you got to have people. So those babies, those kids are going to grow up into people that populate the workforce. So we need to invest in that. 

Mary Beth [00:26:52]:

In keeping with your theme or comment about finding the joy and knowing that this work is the long game, there’s probably been a few highlights. Like, I know the Chamber of Mothers went to the White House, I believe, at one point in time. What have been some highlights for you, knowing that it’s a slog, but what have been the sparks of joy? Is it in the community or have there been micro accomplishments or wins along the way? 

Raena [00:27:16]:

I think it’s being in community with one another. So I got to host a chapter meeting in Tampa in April, and I think it just felt good for people from all different parts of their parenting journeys, people whose kids are about to be graduating from high school, to people who have a newborn, just being in community with them and they’re taking their precious time to also feel the same way and also be in community with one another and also maybe not know what to do, but know that this feels like a good first step. Feels good. Another thing that’s brought joy is none of the Chamber of Mothers’ co-founders, we didn’t know each other. We literally just assembled like the Avengers one day. And deepening those relationships has been really cool. It’s just been really cool to be with people who show up week after week working on this and working behind the scenes and fitting this in between their parenting and their jobs because it’s important. Getting to know them and being in relationship with them has been really cool. And then also all of the people that reach out to us, whether it’s sharing their story. What an honor for you to share what you’re going through and trust us to deliver that message to elected officials or even just hold that space is such an honor. It’s hard work and it is transformative. It feels radical in a lot of ways. It feels like we are pushing towards something. And also I get to share this work with my kids because they’re like, when are we going to get invited to the White House? I’m like, I don’t know. I’ll ask Joe Biden 

Neela [00:29:09]:

What are you going to do to get there? 

Raena [00:29:12]:

And so them even saying like, “Oh, are you talking to the Chamber of Mothers?” It’s so cool to me that they get to see me and see us doing that kind of thing and I get to talk to them about my work. They may not get it all, but it’s cool. 

Mary Beth [00:29:28]:

It’s super cool. And it’s amazing. I mean, the work that you all are doing, it’s an inspiration. And hopefully we get some more advocates here with this podcast. 

Raena [00:29:38]:

I would love that. 

Neela [00:29:39]:

We’ll probably wrap a little bit and move on to our closing questions, if you are game. 

Raena [00:29:45]:

Sure.

Neela [00:29:46]:

Let’s start with what is the best financial advice you ever received? 

Raena [00:29:50]:

I use YNAB and I’ve told Mary Beth how much I love this, but really being able to give every dollar a job, seeing it visually. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD, so it almost feels a little bit gamified. It feels like I can visually see what’s going on because money can feel a little bit nebulous to me. Like, “Oh, we have money, but wait a minute, those dollars are spoken for.” Being able to have that framing of it has been so helpful. And also the time Mary Beth told me not to buy a $1000 stroller.

Mary Beth [00:30:30]:

Couldn’t justify the investment on that side. What would you say is your favorite money mistake you’ve made and why? 

Raena [00:30:40]:

Okay, so in 2020, I’d been driving the same car for like, ten years and I made do with a Mazda Three with two kids. So if you’re not aware, it’s a compact car. Anyway, all the lights came on in it one day and it was still going, but I just was like, you know what, I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough. I had been stalking the car dealership website and I had seen this car that was like, we have a lot of snowbirds and retirees in Florida. And it had like 1500 miles on it. Little cute Mazda CX Five. The price was right, everything was right. And I was like, I’m just going to buy it. I’m usually not that impulsive with big decisions, but I bought it. My other option that I’d been thinking about was a Jeep Wrangler, which would have been terrible because a few months later I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. And so, I mean, it all worked out. Travis got rid of his tiny Mazda Three because he had the same car. I gave him the CX five and I got a bigger car. So I don’t recommend being impulsive about large purchases like that. But it worked out. 

Mary Beth [00:31:49]:

Happens to the best of us, I will say. 

Neela [00:31:52]:

All right, final question. If money were easy… 

Raena [00:31:56]:

We’d all have more of it. 

Mary Beth [00:31:58]:

True. I like that she was ready with– 

Neela [00:32:01]:

That rolling into fill in the blank. She’s like, I’m ready there. Thanks. 

Raena [00:32:04]:

Money is hard. It’s like you all know. There’s emotions. There’s money trauma. There’s so much money’s tough. 

Mary Beth [00:32:14]:

It’s a whole package that we’re working through our whole lives. That’s what we’re doing. We’re all just on that journey, working through it. All right, Raena, tell our listeners how they can contact you. 

Raena [00:32:24]:

You can find me on Instagram. I’m there a lot @TheWorkingMomtras. You can email me hello@theworkingmomtras.com. Find us at ChamberOfMothers.com in our Instagram at Chamber of Mothers. Yeah, I think those are all the places. 

Mary Beth [00:32:40]:

Awesome. 

Neela [00:32:40]:

So great. 

Mary Beth [00:32:42]:

So we’ll be sure to link to everything in our show notes. This was an amazing, just informative, inspiring conversation. And thank you for coming out as a guest. And thank you for sharing your knowledge and the work that you all are doing and how we can join in.

Raena [00:32:58]:

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. 

Neela [00:33:01]:

Keep up the awesome work.

 Raena [00:33:02]:

Thank you. 

Neela [00:33:04]:

Thank you for listening to today’s episode of if money were easy. If you’re looking for more information on how you can expand what’s possible with your money, head to AbacusWealth.com. That’s AbacusWealth.com for more analysis and resources created by our team.

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