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Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions.

This week’s episode is dedicated to a conversation about how Black women can balance the emotional trade-offs of building wealth.

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Our take

Putting money away for retirement is something people start doing at different stages in life. If you’re able to put enough money away before having kids, it can make saving for your children’s future easier. However, saving early isn’t something everyone is able to do, especially Black moms.

They may find themselves in a position of having to choose between saving for their kids and saving for retirement. It can be a difficult choice to make and bring about anger and guilt. Some moms may feel overwhelmed when they’re barely making ends meet and don’t believe they have enough to invest at all.

Shifting your money mindset to one of abundance is one way to move past those emotions and start building wealth. Beginning with small amounts — $10 or $20 a week — can add up to a lot over time.

It’s also important to remember that putting on your oxygen mask first is a way to set your kids up for financial success. Once you’ve reached a level of financial security, you may decide to set aside small and consistent amounts for your kids in a 529 college savings account.

Have a money question? Text or call us at 901-730-6373. Or you can email us at To hear previous episodes, go to the podcast homepage.