For the Love of Money

We are launching a series of statewide conversation circles about women and money. Offer your input at: tinyurl.com/MWPMoneyForums

Mikki Morrissette

My motto in life has  tended to be, “Life is too short to make it about money.” I wanted to do what I love, and did not  want to put a dollar value on that — which then seemed to me to make the work an obligation, not a passion. To be paid for what I loved seemed to dirty it.

I grew up comfortably middle class in a small town thanks to both of my parents working their way out of impoverished beginnings. At one point in college, I worked five communications jobs simultaneously — some of them unpaid — not so much because I needed to, but because I loved juggling multiple roles that exposed me to different paths into a journalism career. I had the luxury of seeding my career early and finding my identity within.

Thankfully, for a few years I made a six-figure income in New York City publishing, after being prodded by a friend to ask for more. That enabled me to invest in real estate and have a child on my own. Three men were hired to replace me while I was on maternity leave, my job was reduced, and I negotiated a healthy severance package on threat of a lawsuit. I returned to Minnesota after 9/11, and parlayed my NYC real estate into a Minneapolis home with three renters. For the sake of motherhood — eventually with two kids — I became a flexible freelance writer and workshop leader, based on my “Choosing Single Motherhood” book.

That sounds like a form of success, doesn’t it?

Yet I would not have been able to buy this magazine if it was not for my mother’s dogged determination to earn and save money. I would not be surviving in the instability of entrepreneurship were it not for that rental income.

In my conversation with financial consultant Ruth Hayden for this issue, I winced several times as I came face to face with the embarrassment I feel — as a skilled woman in my 50s, with children who need debt in order to get through college because I have not figured out how to earn the money I need. I survive, but do not thrive. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually I am fulfilled. However, after a lifetime of not acknowledging the importance of financial well-being, I am not balanced.

Ten years ago, I took a workshop led by Hayden. I recently found my copy of her workbook, “Your Money Life,” with several pages filled with notes. I am happy to see that I continue living my values, and that I met my one- and five- year goals in that workbook.

My ten-year goals were dated March 27, 2020. I wanted to afford big travel experiences with my kids this year, and to be publishing with “effortless income.” I wanted to stop being an underearner. I wanted to be saying no to more things that did not lead to income.

I am not there yet. Working on this magazine issue reminds me what I know but have not done.

Women might understand our value today, but as our soon-to-be-published 35th anniversary book reveals, we have not moved the needle significantly on our economic power.

Women have a lot of work to do in order to strengthen our communities. We need to fund a new future.


We are launching a series of statewide conversation circles about women and money. Offer your input at: tinyurl.com/MWPMoneyForums


What’s inside?

“As women become bolder with our money, we gain courage, confidence and control. We transform the world. To do this well and thrive, we must share our stories, own our power, control our resources.” — Tuti B. Scott

Tapestry — Commentaries about economic power

Money & Business Elaine Wyatt: Female Founders on the Rise

GoSeeDoTarana Burke, ERA Lobby, Film Fatales

Greater Minnesota — The Economic Impact of Immigration

Policy & Politics

EquityTess Montgomery: Financial Trauma

PerspectiveQ&A With Ruth Hayden

Ages & Stages — April Knutson: My Communist Roots

In the News — Childcare Shortage, Female-Dominated Jobs

BookShelf — Fear of Immigrants: An Economic Strategy


Specialty guides

Elder Minding the Age Gap

Camp Faiza Mohamoud: Language of Professionals

Spirituality Leni Erickson: The Art of Finance