Homemaker Redux: Are We Ready to Redefine Household Management?

Homemaker is a very evocative word. A page straight out of 1950’s “Good Housekeeping”, it conjures the image of a subservient wife relegated to the kitchen. The problematic stereotype remains, but so too does the importance of a home and how we function within it. Co-founder and CEO Jason proposes challenging the term, and redefining it to honor the unsung leaders and problem-solvers of every uniquely flavored household.

The month of January is always the busiest time of the year for our beloved support team. Almost from the stroke of midnight of January 1, we see a surge of customers old and new looking to organize, or reorganize, their money.

A flow of email conversations enter our system where they are organized into queues, and responses are carefully crafted for our customers as soon as we can handle them.

One could surmise that this increase in activity is related to personal New Years’ resolutions, but the truth is actually a lot more inspiring than that.

For many, the start of a new year is the start of another organizational cycle for their household. One that has been on a continuous process of refinement, quietly commandeered by an intrepid individual who manages a list of many other responsibilities.

Let’s take a moment to imagine the people behind these emails.

Each one is a person entering the door to our workshop, ready to spend a bit of time tinkering and tuning their PocketSmith accounts with us. Each account is uniquely customized to its owner and is loaded with their colors, notes, categories, saved searches and labels, budgets and forecasts, dashboards, reports and more. This is all set up to deliver a personalized view into their past and future.

This view is of so much more than money. It’s a blueprint to realizing one’s ambitions, hopes and dreams for themselves and their families.

This is why we understand if the people in this line are beset by a range of emotions at this time of year. We know the courage it takes for someone to venture into the unknown in order to take control of their future and guide it.

They may be excited about trying something new for the year ahead. Curious about a new perspective on their money. Stressed and anxious about getting things organized before the year really starts to take hold. Before life takes over.

If you find yourself nodding in agreement, then you’re most likely a homemaker in your household.

Wait a minute: homemaker?

A ‘homemaker’ is often defined as someone who:

  • oversees the day-to-day running of a home,
  • is not usually employed outside of said home, and
  • is, for good measure, a woman.

In other words, it smells like the ‘50s with a distinctively sexist bouquet to its odor. Even better, it’s been proposed that the Wikipedia article for ‘homemaking’ be merged with ‘housekeeping’.

So why in the world would I think of calling our customers ‘homemakers’?

Well for a start, it’s because it comprises two words we love here at PocketSmith: ‘home’, and ‘maker’. And secondly, we see an opportunity to redefine what it means in this day and age.

A home is so much more than a domicile: it’s a sense of belonging that enfolds one, or a group of people. Similarly, this group may identify as a family without being related. A sense of comfort is essential to a home, and it’s been your mission to create and maintain this for your family.

A maker is wonderfully described by Mythbusters’ Adam Savage: “Whenever you set out to make something from nothing, using your point of view, you’re a maker.” Here at PocketSmith, we make tools for makers like you who are out forging your own financial paths.

You’re a founder and CEO of your home because you’ve established it and now oversee its operations, finances, culture and strategic direction. Many of you have risen to the occasion because it’s a role that needs to be filled, and you have a maker’s mindset for problem-solving.

The absence of a clear name for what you do is a sign that it can be a lonely and unsung experience, but we see you.

You’re a homemaker, like us. Blueprints and all.

How can we better serve the homemakers of the world? What are your biggest hopes and concerns for this year? Drop me a line to let me know if this resonates with you or not. It’d be great to have a chat either way, I’d love to know what you think.

Jason Leong profile image

Jason is the CEO and co-founder here at PocketSmith. He is fascinated by our unique relationships with our money, and is passionate about making peoples’ lives better through the technologies we craft. He’s been a sneakerhead since the 80’s, and loves gardening on sunny days while listening to Planet Money.

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