Money gives you the power to make choices. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be stressful.
Negotiate for what you deserve, invest wisely, and start that side hustle.
Mindfully spend on the things that make you happy while making smart decisions about things that give you a strong financial footing.
Rather than seeing money as an obstacle to your best life, use it as the tool to help you get there.
I’m Erica and I want to change how we talk, think about, and use our money.
We all know that we should be budgeting, saving, and investing. And that yes, of course, our future self will thank us for that. But honestly, that doesn’t make what you’re doing today any easier.
All of the finger-wagging, shame-filled financial advice doesn’t cut it for most women I know. And it certainly didn’t work for me.
I’ve always been interested in money, but that doesn’t mean I’ve always know what to do with it. I graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in economics and went on to get my CPA license and work at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Saving money was my side hustle and eventually, I had a little nest egg sitting in my bank account.
A career change, a move across the country to Duke for my MBA, and a $100k+ tuition bill wiped out that little savings account. Over the next few years, I found myself with $120k in student loan debt, married (to someone with no debt), moving to London, and changing careers.
And to be honest, I felt in over my head. I was ignoring my retirement account, wringing my hands over my monthly student loan bill, arguing with my incredibly patient husband about money and career goals because I felt like I was out of control.
But rather than throw in the towel, I changed the way I looked at my money (or at times, lack thereof). I went back to the good foundation I had started with and learned more.
I started to view money as a tool to help me live the life that I wanted, rather than seeing it as an obstacle in my way.
I got great at speaking up for what I deserved, and finally learned to negotiate the big things (which wiped out 20% of my debt).
I cleaned up my act with investing and learned what fees to look for, how to shop around, and how to stay in it for the long haul.
I worked with my husband to make sure we both felt fully comfortable with the money choices and goals we made, like buying a house and moving to self-employment.
And I finally realized that money management wasn’t just a set of 5 rules you need to follow. It was emotional. It could be difficult. But it could also be freeing.
When I began seeing and using my money as a tool to get the bigger things I wanted in life, life changed.
And while I thought this was just a problem I needed to deal with, I learned the truth:
Women have more varied career paths, they get paid less, they invest less (even though hi, we’re better at it), and they live longer.
And while there is so much shame and guilt focused on spending, there’s not a lot of interesting information on the bigger money opportunities.
For example, negotiating for an extra $7,000 early on can add over $1 million in earnings over the course of your career. So why then is a majority of the financial information for women geared toward clipping coupons, tracking pennies, and guilt about spending? They don’t make coupons big enough to make up that million dollar difference.
Because I couldn’t find anything that I spoke to the money challenges I faced, and I knew that other women out there were struggling with the same thing, I started writing, running workshops, and creating tools to fix that.