When I was growing up, I was painfully aware of how badly my grandfather treated my grandmother.
He often yelled at her, sometimes swore at her, and humiliated her in front of us. Later, I learned he hit her too; though she was good at covering up the bruises. I remember my parents pleading with her over and over again to leave him, even inviting her to come live with us. My grandmother often said she would. But, to my surprise, she never did. Eventually, I learned why. It was the fall semester of my sophomore year in college and I finally had a moment with Grandma alone. I asked Grandma why she stayed. Grandma explained that she couldn’t survive financially without my Grandfather.
She didn’t want to be a burden on our family, and we couldn’t convince her otherwise. I was stunned by her explanation. She was a smart and talented woman—and she was good with numbers: She’d actually worked as a bookkeeper early in their marriage and yet she’d lost all confidence in her ability to make any money on her own, much less manage it. How was it that she felt tied to him to survive financially?
We as women have advanced in so many areas of our life. However, too many of us have taken a backseat to our finances and let men do the driving. For some of us, no one is at the steering wheel and our money situation is dangerously off course.
The fact is, even when we’re faced with evidence to the contrary, many of us hang onto beliefs like these—myths, really—that keep us from being financially successful.
Maybe we pick them up from our parents or our peers, or from the TV shows or movies we watch. Wherever they come from, these toxic messages can get lodged in our brains and affect the choices we make, even though we may not be consciously aware of it!
But that doesn’t have to be the case. Once we recognize that we’ve been holding onto these beliefs, we can challenge them. In fact, we have to challenge them if we truly want to be financially successful. That’s one reason why I went back to school and earn a designation as a Certified Financial Planner™. Once I’d overcome my own money myths, and became confident about managing my money, I wanted to help other women recognize and overcome the doubts and damaging beliefs that might be holding them back and give them the tools so they could reach their full potential—not just financially, but personally and professionally. Gaining the skills and the confidence to make and manage your own money is an essential step in attaining all three. And everyone is perfectly capable of doing it; you often just need a little help and encouragement. With that goal in mind, I founded a non-profit organization called Savvy Ladies in my grandmother’s honor to help provide free financial education to women all over the country with the goal of helping each and every one to survive financially. A year later I launched by own financial planning practice focusing on serving women all over the United States.
Over the last two decades, I have met with thousands of women through Savvy Ladies and my practice who are successful in other areas of their lives but are being held back by money beliefs they’ve picked up along the way. And, in most cases, no one ever encouraged them to think otherwise.
If you’re like them, then you probably were never taught how to manage your money, much less how to build real wealth. You never got any training in school, or in college, or even at home. You probably didn’t even talk about money with your family growing up. Maybe your father took care of the family finances, so that is the only model you knew. If your father took anyone aside to have the money talk, it was probably your brother; while your mom took you shopping.
So it’s not that surprising that you may not know a Roth IRA from a 401(k) or that you’ve never traded a stock or maybe even balanced a checkbook. While you may have wanted to be financially successful, you’ve had little or no instruction on how to get there. And the more time passes, the harder it is to ask for help and the harder it becomes to find the time or the resources to educate yourself.
Savvy Ladies is here to fill all the gaps and answer all the questions about money that may have piled up in your mind over the years (though you may be embarrassed to ask them out loud). We’re going to give you all the tools you need to be prepared for any scenario life throws at you—whether it’s losing a job, getting divorced, receiving an unexpected windfall, or finding out you’re pregnant with twins. With Savvy Ladies by your side, you will know how to make more money, save more money, and make your money work harder for you throughout your life. You’ll have more confidence in your own abilities to manage your money; more security about your future; more opportunities to reach your goals; and more freedom to make the choices you want to make. I guarantee it.Savvy Ladies is your trusted friend and adviser, someone you know you can turn to for guidance and support whenever you need it.
Through our free financial helpline and hundreds of Wedne$day Wi$dom Webinars on everything finance you will gain the tools, guidance, and, well, savvy to make and manage your money successfully and to afford all that you want in your life. I only wish my grandmother were here to see how her hardship ultimately served to help so many women to survive financially.
DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.