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Meet Kumiko Love: The Budget Mom Empowering Women’s Financial Futures

Social media and the internet are great for learning new skills, especially skills you wished you learned growing up or in school. And as many people have found over the last ten years, social media and the internet is a treasure trove of information about budgeting, financial planning, and creating a future you love.

Kumiko Love, aka The Budget Mom, has built a career over the last seven years, helping women find the financial stability and freedom to live a more fulfilling life. Kumiko is the best-selling author of My Money, My Way, the brilliant mind behind the brand, The Budget Mom, which has amassed 1.4 million followers on Facebook, 727K followers on Instagram, 260K on YouTube, and 22.8K on TikTok, a mother, and a Spokanite. 

Kumiko is kind, caring, and straightforward. She gives valuable advice in a way that’s easy to understand and judgment-free. Truthfully, we can tell you how fabulous Kumiko is all day and it would be an absolute joy. But to truly know Kumiko Love, you need to know her story.

kumiko love interview

From “Broke Rich” To “My Money, My Way”

When women visit Kumiko’s blog and learn her story, many see themselves in her story. 

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An essential fact of the human condition is that people want to do well. 

As such, society has a looming pressure to show others just how well we’re doing. It’s posting your latest vacation to Instagram (which, to be clear, I also do with no shame). It’s the person buying clothes with obvious designer labels to show that they can afford designer price-point. It’s the guy from high school showing off his ‘new whip.’ Frankly, it’s whatever the rat race of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ has convinced us we need to do.

That’s why it’s so easy to get sucked into this cycle of trying to look rich that you get further from becoming rich.

Kumiko found herself in this cycle of a ‘broke rich’ girl, who struggled to save money. In her book, My Money My Way, Kumiko Love described a moment when she found herself at a Mcdonald’s and paying for her son’s ice cream cone using her credit card. This led to an aha moment that sparked her business journey.

Kumiko explains, “My business journey early on was a learning experience. I started my business, The Budget Mom, LLC, in 2016. I initially started an online presence to create a community that could relate to what I was going through as a single mom with a mountain of debt. Essentially, I attempted to find a connection. That learning journey was chaotic, busy, exciting, fun, and very rewarding.”

The journey wasn’t easy but she moved forward with her head held high. Her determination and purpose guided her like a map. Kumiko says, “I always joke that I stumbled into this career accidentally because of my own struggles with debt and my self-discovery journey. Now, I realize I didn’t stumble into this purpose or mission at all. I was placed here for a reason. The Budget Mom is not just a business. It’s a true extension of my heart & it’s my life. I am so incredibly blessed that so many people from all over the world bring me into their lives and allow me to do this every day.”

Today, Kumiko Love’s business, The Budget Mom, has a massive community that’s full of supportive connections. Her Facebook Group, TBM Family (Savings Tips, Budgeting & Finance Talk) provides a space for 126.7K people to have earnest and open conversations about finances and both give support and receive support in return. 

Kumiko’s blog, The Budget Mom, provides helpful insights to readers about topics including budgeting, saving more, frugal living, debt and credit, and finance 101. She also offers a free resource library with printable envelopes for those that use cash envelopes to budget and other printable resources. Kumiko has also created a course to get users on track for proper budgeting, called The Building Blocks of Budgeting. In The Budget Mom shop, people can purchase budget planners, spending trackers, charts, and cash envelopes to help them along their budget journey. 

In February 2022, Kumiko Love published her book, My Money My Way. In her book, she discusses the negative thought patterns people create about budgeting and how to correct them. Recently, Kumiko has shared some of the most common negative thought patterns she sees with Trending Northwest Magazine:

“I always say, “You are what you think about yourself.” A scarcity or negative mindset can make or break your financial journey. People fail to realize that being successful with your finances is primarily mental. It has less to do with the numbers and more to do with understanding yourself.

A negative thought pattern I always see is the “All-or-Nothing Mentality.” This leads to the pursuit of perfection over the pursuit of progress. Finance isn’t black and white. In fact, it’s kind of colorful. There is no one-size-fits-all answer or one way to do things. For some, this can lead to them feeling like a failure or doing things incorrectly.

To correct this, I always tell people, “If you are doing something different than everyone else with your money, you are probably doing it right.” Acknowledging that your journey is 100% personal and celebrating that diversity and uniqueness is the first step to correcting this way of thinking. That’s why I titled my book My Money, MY WAY. You can find a balance between living your life now and paying off debt. You can work on reaching two goals at the same time. You are allowed and SHOULD DO whatever you need to live up to YOUR definition of success.”

In her book, My Money My Way, Kumiko Love gives readers the tools to help their financial mindset, create a budget, and pay off debt. As evidenced by her free online tools for budgeters, informative community, her course, and her products, Kumiko has curated and created several resources and tools to share. We were curious how she determined the best resources to share in My Money My Way. To which Kumiko explained:

“Every single product and tool I have created started with a need to have it in my own life. I have used and found benefits for each tool throughout my own financial journey. When creating my book, I wanted to give each reader tools they could easily access that accompanied each chapter and action step they were completing in the book. So, we created accompanying worksheets to accomplish just that. If you buy My Money My Way, go to thebudgetmom.com/mymoneymyway, fill out the form, and you will get immediate access to those worksheets.”

Kumiko Love’s My Money My Way is available on Google Play, Books A Million, Amazon, Book Shop, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, and Target. My Money My Way has achieved best-selling success and acclaim from famous entrepreneurs who are also women, including Marlie Forneo and Erin Lowry. Kumiko Love has often found herself inspired by other women and entrepreneurs.

“Number one would be my mom. I recently lost her suddenly on April 16, 2023. She was and is the guiding light in my life. I would not be where I am today without her wisdom, advice, and guidance. She will always be the woman I look up to the most,” says Kumiko. “I admire Tiffany Aliche (The Budgetnista), Chelsea Fagan (The Financial Diet), and so MANY more.”

Since starting her business in 2016, Kumiko Love has truly built a legacy of inspiring and helping women.

kumiko love interview

Currently Trending: Market Uncertainty

While Kumiko has garnered a massive audience across the country, she calls the quiet and leisurely city of Spokane Valley home.

“The Pacific Northwest will always be my home, and I couldn’t see myself living anywhere else. I love our seasons and all the unique activities we have available. We have mountains, lakes, hiking, biking, etc. It’s a blessing to be surrounded by opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. I grew up on a farm in Chewelah, WA, so city life is not for me. I love Spokane Valley for its slower-paced atmosphere and the ability to be just minutes from the freeway ramp, but feel like you are in the middle of nowhere.”

The Inland Northwest may feel separate from the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities but our market certainly isn’t. News and financial experts across the country are discussing the looming recession. We asked Kumiko Love what she recommends Trending Northwest Magazine readers do to prepare for the looming recession and she offered some comforting insight:

“I know there has been a lot of talk about a looming recession, which is scary to think about, especially with all the conflicting news headlines.

Some economists don’t see a global recession happening any time soon. Other top experts say there is a 50-50 chance of a recession. Some say a mild recession will come in 2024. The truth is no one knows, which can produce much uncertainty.

No matter what happens, remember, any changes you have to make to your finances right now, whether that’s having to pause a financial goal or decreasing spending somewhere in your budget, it’s temporary.

If you are investing, keep at it! Now is a good time due to low market prices, which means you have the opportunity to buy more and see greater growth when the market goes back up. If you need to cut back your contributions because of rising expenses, at least try to contribute enough to max out your employer’s matching contributions.

How to prepare:

  • Revisit your budget and spending
  • Pay off high-interest debt
  • Reprioritize your financial goals
  • Stay the course with investing
  • Stay calm, and don’t make financial decisions that are controlled by your emotions
  • Boost your emergency savings if you can.

Economic downturn or not, all of these action steps will help you succeed with your finances.”

What’s Next For Kumiko Love, The Budget Mom?

Kumiko Love has fostered an incredible online community and inspired thousands of people to take control of their finances. Her work has given women the support they need to reach their financial goals while simultaneously reaching many of her own goals. So what’s next for Kumiko Love?

“After losing my mom in April and expecting my second child in August of 2023, I’m focused on finding peace and being with my family. So many wonderful things are happening at TBM, and some exciting new products are launching this year! We are focusing on revamping and updating my new course that we launched last year, called Building Blocks of Budgeting. There is a brand new website with easier navigation in the works, and I am so excited to share that with everyone!”

Finally, to Trending Northwest Readers, Kumiko Love has the following advice for you, “Take advantage of your time now and realize you deserve the best! You can achieve the quality of life you crave, and I believe in you.”

Follow Kumiko Love’s journey at @thebudgetmom on social media and visit her website at thebudgetmom.com.

Christine Burns

Christine Burns is a local entrepreneur, public speaker, content creator, model, and writer from Spokane, WA. She’s an expert in marketing and owns Posted Consulting LLC, an award-winning PR firm. Born and raised in the Inland Northwest, Christine loves to support and advocate for local businesses and artists, and even hosts the annual Spokane Small Business Convention in the spring.


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