Weekend Roundup – And CMO Around Town

Interesting articles from around the web, and a week in the life here at CMO Central. Today I’ve got not just interesting articles, but also a few videos that I think you’ll find as interesting as I did.

I’m covering news on female breadwinners, travel hacking, bag lady syndrome fears, retirement, paternity leave, and some fascinating videos. I’ve got a TED talk about the personal finance crisis, and reflections from a man about being with a powerful woman.

Let’s get going!

Female Breadwinners

This week, I noticed that Diane Harris, former editor in chief of Money magazine, shared a fascinating article on when women make more.

Here’s the link to the New York Times article. The tidbits I found most interesting:

  • “Seven in 10 adults also told Pew that for a man to be a good husband or partner, it was “very important” that he be able to support his family. Only about three in 10 said the same about women.” – I’m not overly surprised by this news. Despite the reality of couples financial situations changing, peoples views remain rather traditional.


  •  “Couples who married in the 1990s or later were at no greater risk of splitting up when a woman outearned her husband, compared with couples married in the 1960s and 1970s, when a higher-earning wife was more likely to lead to divorce.” – This is good news for me, because I was married in 2001.


  • “…earning-related stress arise(s) later, when a woman wanted to relinquish her breadwinning role, often to spend time with children or change to a more flexible, and possibly less lucrative, career.” – I can see this happening, but I would imagine that male breadwinners feel a similar stress. Anyone who has a lucrative career may want, at some point in their lives, to downshift or change fields. And if that person, male or female, is the breadwinner, their options feel limited. Men who read my site, please chime in if that’s true.


  • “When women feel they are doing more than their fair share (of household responsibilities), their relationships have been found to suffer.” – This also sounds accurate. Women often feel the pressure to take on more household responsibilities, no matter whether or not they have the more demanding job. In my household, our split of household responsibilities has shifted over the years as we’ve gone through different working arrangements.

Female Breadwinners – Not Pin Money Anymore

Diane also shared this survey from Money Magazine around female breadwinners. Many women don’t earn “pin money” anymore! From the article:

“When women earn as much as or more than their spouses, the results show, they take a far more active role in financial planning, getting deeply involved in everything from budgeting to retirement planning.”

I love seeing women getting more deeply involved with their money. It can be difficult at times, because growing up, you may not have had a female money role model you can emulate. Or perhaps your parents didn’t think that they would need to teach you about money, because they assumed a man would be taking care of that for you.

When I got started learning about personal finance, pretty much every book and website I read was written by men. The books and websites by women seemed to be almost exclusively focused on frugality and saving money. There’s one exception I can think of off the top of my head. It was “Making The Most Of Your Money” by Jane Bryant Quinn. I own the original, but I see there’s a revised edition. (affiliate link)

Travel Hacking – Is The Future In Jeopardy?

J.P. Morgan is losing quite a bit of money on their credit cards according to their most recent annual report.

I posted this on Twitter, and got several reactions that pointed out how J.P. is putting a positive spin on the news. They’re focusing on how engaged the users are. However, whenever a company loses $300 million, typically they’re going to look at how they can stem those loses without hurting revenue.

Look what happened with their original release of the Sapphire card. The bonus was so good, they lost $300 million in a quarter in 2016. And what did they do? Cut the bonus in half.

Companies nowadays are on a “Red Queen” style race against customers trying to beat the system. There are forums, Facebook groups, and websites (and likely more) totally dedicated to maximizing credit card rewards and minimizing spend. Companies don’t typically mind unless they start losing money.

They’re offering the bonus as kind of a loss leader. They plan that you either stick with the card and charge enough to offset the bonus via merchant and annual fees, or that once you have the card you’ll buy other financial products from them. If the ROI (return on investment) is positive, they’ll keep going.

But if it turns negative, expect to see changes. This could mean potentially less generous rewards, or stricter approval processes that are designed to keep out churners. Perhaps they’ll tweak the 5/24 rule.

Bag Lady Fears

I noticed this interesting post from Ms. Zi You (previous Women on FIRE interviewee) about her bag lady fears. She goes in depth as to why she feels a million dollars is not enough to retire on, and other considerations for early retirement.

Bag lady syndrome is actually pretty common among women. The term was first invented in the 1970’s, and describes a fear that we’ll end up homeless and carrying around all our stuff in shopping bags. From the Forbes article linked above:

“In a 2013 Allianz study of 2,213 women with household incomes of $30,000 or higher, 49% of respondents, and a third of those with incomes of $200,000 or more, said they “often” or “sometimes” fear losing all their money and becoming homeless.”

I wonder how many men worry about this? Women tend to be more risk averse than men, and I think perhaps the bag lady fears are connected.

Retirement News

Forbes released an article about four ways professional women can adjust to retirement. I would add that women, like men, shouldn’t retire from something. Rather, they should retire to something. Having a plan before retirement of what, exactly, you want to do will help you from falling into a post-retirement funk.

If your job is your identity, you’re going to have a problem when you retire. The same is true when being a mom is your identity. After the kids leave, or the job ends, you’re adrift.

It’s important that you have an identity as yourself, not tied with work or motherhood, so you can be the best version of yourself when life changes.

Speaking of retirement news – millennials are the generation best prepared for retirement, according to a recent article. Why? Because of auto-enrollment and auto-increase features on 401k’s (defined contribution plans)

Interesting Videos

Do you like TED talks? I do. Check out this video about the personal finance crisis.

This is an older one, but I enjoyed this video of Oprah and Stedman’s relationship. Pay attention to what he says about being with a powerful woman.

CMO Around Town

Last Sunday, my 26 Retirement Calculators article was featured in both the Side Hustle Spotlight and Physician On FIRE’s Sunday Best. I’m looking forward to tackling all the reader recommended calculators soon!

I stopped by the #womenrockmoney Facebook group to discuss why it’s important for women to be involved with their finances.

Unfortunately, last Sunday I was also horribly sick. How sick? I didn’t get out of bed until 2 PM. For me, this is pretty much unheard of. I have a lot to catch up on!

It was Cow Day at Chick Fil A this week. We have a Chick Fil A in our town, which is relatively new, and we haven’t been there since the grand opening. My husband and the boys dressed as cows for the free food. Bonus – now we have new pajama shirts. They also ventured to the library on the same day, checking out a bunch of new books.

Alex was sad at Chick Fil A. You see, they had people in full cow costume at the grand opening. Not today, though! My husband tells me that he often asks to go “to the cow store”. You can see his older brother trying to cheer him up!

Cow Day at Chick Fil A Visiting the library

Brothers making pizza





My middle son turned eleven this week! He wanted to celebrate by making homemade pizza, and going for a swim in our local pool. This weekend we’re preparing for a family party. Last year, I made him this amazing Minecraft cake, but this year he wants cupcakes. Since it’s his birthday, I’m going to do whatever he wants. Not sure yet if the cupcakes will have a theme – stay tuned on Instagram to find out!

If you’re interested, my homemade pizza recipe can be found here, and I also have some tips for kids birthday parties that includes this birthday poster. It’s been an annual tradition for almost fifteen years now!


Homemade Pizza Birthday Poster Going Swimming






Otherwise, it was a crazy busy week at work, and will be a busy weekend. In addition to the party, we’ve got to start prepping for camping, go to a scout meeting, and I have a TON of backlogged work to do on the site.  This has been one of those weeks where I’m doing the minimum, because that’s what I can do with the kind of commitments I have. Some weeks are better than others!

What are your plans for the weekend? Any thoughts on the articles? Let me know in the comments!

Be sure to follow my blog for more great posts via e-mail or WordPress, or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter and say hello! You can also check out what I’m buying or baking on Instagram,  what I’m pinning on Pinterest, or the latest books I’m reading (or want to read) over on Goodreads.


IT professional, MBA, working mother of three, avid reader, geek and personal finance nerd

4 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup – And CMO Around Town

  • July 14, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I fully understand the Bag Lady fear. Mine is a little different, in that I fear ever being a financial burden on my boys. I’m happy to work a couple more years to stash a bigger nest egg to avoid it.

    • July 15, 2018 at 2:03 am

      I’m also concerned about that. I want to make sure that I’ll never be a burden to my kids.

  • July 15, 2018 at 2:00 am

    My husband has the “Bag lady fear”. He is the more concerned then me. Having an emergency fund definitely help me deal with this type of fear.
    Our Chick fila had someone dressed as the cow. But it was packed with the line wrapping though the seating at the store.

    • July 15, 2018 at 2:04 am

      Ours here wasn’t as packed-apparently some people didn’t even know about the promotion. Chick Fil A is still pretty new to the Northeast, at least where I live, so it’s not widely known yet.


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