Keke Palmer Wants to Make 'Smart' Financial Choices for Her Son So Her Money Will 'Multiply' (Exclusive)

As a mother to one-year-old Leo, the actress tells PEOPLE she "definitely" thinks about money differently these days

<p>Robin L Marshall/Getty</p> Keke Palmer attends the SZA + TDE

Robin L Marshall/Getty

Keke Palmer attends the SZA + TDE's Official GRAMMY After Party at Caviar Kaspia Los Angeles on Feb. 4, 2024

As a single mom, Keke Palmer’s relationship with money is changing.

The actress, 30, has been earning her own paychecks since she was 11 and made her first appearance onscreen alongside Queen Latifah in Barbershop 2: Back in Business, so the concept of managing money is nothing new to her — it’s her relationship with her funds that’s evolving.

Her parents set her up with a business manager early on. “I was about 13, 14, I think, because I just started making more money than we could really handle,” she tells PEOPLE. “We also needed to get some financial literacy as a family, so we grew together in our understanding of money.”

Nowadays in her life, “It’s something that we talk about,” she says.

“I'm always asking questions," she adds. "I've had my same business manager since I was about 14 years old. I'm 30 now, and so he's taught me a lot. I just think it's important to talk about.”

Related: Keke Palmer Offers Advice to Other Single Moms: 'Pour Into Yourself, Have Fun' (Exclusive)

It’s especially relevant now that she’s a single mom to one-year-old Leo, whom she shares with her ex-boyfriend Darius Jackson. She says motherhood has “definitely” changed how she thinks about money, among other things.

“I think it's added some stress, but overall it's just made me think about how to really make smart choices on where I'm putting my money,” the Nope star admits. “In terms of investments or property and just the kind of home I want to have, or what's best for my son and what should I be spending things on. And how am I going to make my money multiply itself?”

She’s conscious, too, of the fact that she wants to start “saving for him” as early as possible to “keep the infrastructure going.”

“It's definitely made me think more about [money]," she says. "I think I'm the kind of person that has never wanted to be afraid of money and let money control me, or make me feel worried all the time.”

<p>Keke Palmer /Instagram</p> Keke Palmer and her son, Leo, on his 1st birthday

Keke Palmer /Instagram

Keke Palmer and her son, Leo, on his 1st birthday

As for what financial advice she’d give her younger self, Palmer says: “Don't be afraid to lose money, I think. That's such a hard thing to say, but I've gone into debt, I've had to figure out how I was going to make some change, and that's also why I've diversified my career so much.”

Despite people's "weird takes on hustle culture," the Emmy-winner says that exploring all possible avenues in her career makes her feel empowered. “For me, it's really a way to actually seek refuge and autonomy, having so many different outlets and ways to make money, because then it gives you kind of a sense of more control in my opinion," she adds.

<p>Cash App</p> Keke Palmer poses with Cash App's new Glitter Cash App Card

Cash App

Keke Palmer poses with Cash App's new Glitter Cash App Card

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Palmer’s passion for starting conversations around money is exactly why she’s partnered with Cash App to announce the launch of their new debit card, the Glitter Card, which comes with the added bonus of a one-time discount at the Black-owned skincare brand Topicals.

“Even when you just get the card, you get the benefit of supporting a black business as well. Me being a new mom, being a single mom, all those things are so important to me and why I wanted to do something with Cash App," she says.

She continues, “It adds value. It's not just somebody selling you something, but it adds value. It's easy to do with the app and the card — and it's a little cute thing to have in your wallet!”

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