Do the Math. Your Mom is Probably your Family’s Highest Earner

Mother’s Day is the one day of the year specifically dedicated to the appreciation of all of the things that moms do for us. When it comes to household finances, data shows that the matriarchs in your family deserve acknowledgement for helping the family save year-round.

If a mom got paid, how much money would she make?

Traditionally, mothers have taken on the vital work of homemaking and child rearing. Salary.com’s annual “mom salary,” which outlines the average cost of hiring someone to manage all of the things mom does for free, found that in 2016 a full-time, stay-at-home mom would earn $143,102 annually for cooking, cleaning, and caring for her kids. Another shocking find was that a working mother would earn $90,223 for her own share in taking on those duties, in addition to the responsibilities of her actual job.

Who is paying the bills?

Those projected salaries only reveal a portion of a mother’s influence on the household budget. As women have achieved a larger presence in the job market in the last half century, mom’s have also adopted a greater role in influencing and controlling critical financial decisions for the entire household. Another study found that, in nearly half of all households surveyed, women carry the primary responsibility for bill payments and financial planning on top of managing daily home purchasing decisions.

While the fiscal influence of mothers probably shouldn’t be your first thought in appreciating all that your own mom does (this is a financial blog) there is real effort and passion behind those efforts to keep the family liquid. Whether your mother is a breadwinner, a homemaker, the family accountant, or, most likely, a combination of all that and more, she has earned her share of appreciation this Mother’s Day and generally every day of the year.

Show mom how much you care this Mother’s Day, and stay within budget.

Still, as Mother’s Day is fast approaching, now would be an appropriate time to begin showing your appreciation of the woman who raised you. And, in a display of solidarity with mom’s thriftiness, you may consider bypassing expensive presents and meals for a more homemade, labor-intensive approach.

Cards and craft-made collages of you as a toddler are a reliable go-to if your aim is to tug at those motherly heartstrings. Additionally, taking on the role of home chef is a reliable approach in showing your appreciation of mom’s hard work.

If you want to go all-out this year, without betraying the budgeting skills of the woman you’re celebrating, take the second Sunday of May as a chance to take mom out to some of the spots she took you as a youngster and relive some of the more recreational responsibilities of motherhood. Maybe you two used to a certain park to feed the ducks, or she would wheel you on bike rides through your hometown. Any of the activities that may have stuck with you will certainly have stayed with her, and revisiting those memories are a quick way to show how much you appreciated all that mom has done for you.

Even if you do end up splurging on jewelry and a pricey bouquet of flowers, don’t forget to consider all of the hard work and difficult decisions that go into being a mother and give your own a proper show of gratitude for her own parental and fiscal savvy. Obviously, Zebit Market is a great place to shop and pay over time for a gift you know she will love; a necklace with her (or your) birthstone, a cookbook for you to bake together, or get an eCertificate to her favorite restaurant to dine as a family.

And if you want to really show mom that she’s been noticed, ask her about how she deals with finances. Does she leave all the bills in a basket to be paid at the same time every month? Is she a frugal shopper who frequently uses coupons to get good deals? Just showing her that you’ve been paying attention, or at least have some curiosity about how she manages the family’s finances could send a deeper message than any gift could.