Nine years ago, I sat down at my computer and started this little blog. I was in school nontraditionally, young kids at home, scraping together every last penny I could.
It turns out I found a lot of pennies.
I figured I should probably share everything I was learning with other people; there must be someone else out there who could use this information. I wanted everyone to know all the money things I was learning. So I started sharing it on the internet.
I never imagined it would become my career. Yet in 2015, I went full-time.
I am eternally grateful for this journey. It’s allowed me to engineer my life around my family’s needs. It’s allowed me to provide for them reliably (until COVID.)
Just as importantly, it’s allowed me to connect with all of you. Through the years, you have been my support system — the reason I keep going.
Thank you. From the very bottom of my heart.
Year Nine in Review
Year nine has been…eventful.
It spanned a period of intense travel and professional efforts, and then a period of pandemic where I’ve had to reevaluate every business plan I ever had.
Here’s where we’ve been, friends.
Everything was dramatically different one year ago.
In the past few years, Femme Frugality has done a lot of work locally here in Pittsburgh. In 2019, event promotion was making up an increasing part of the business model.
I can’t help but look back at the 8-year mark, and fondly recall that it was celebrated by attending The Mattress Factory’s Solstice Party.
It was so much fun.
I skew introvert, but, dang, do I miss people lately.
We’ll get back to it. For now, though, stay safe. Parties and plays and all of the people-y things will be back in a safe way eventually. To be there for it, we’ve got to take care of our collective health now.
Summer Book Tour
Last summer I had the opportunity to go on a book tour to small towns and cities across the country. Those of you who came out to meet me — thank you. I remember each one of your stories and smart questions. Meeting you IRL was sustaining. I look back now with the perspective of pandemic and social distancing and find myself doubly grateful for the experience we shared.
If you’re looking for independent bookstores, here are a couple of my favorites that supported me on the road last summer:
Personal Finance by Women
Late last summer, Personal Finance by Women launched. We did some really cool things together, like get our members’ stories featured on major media sites. We used financial literacy to support the fight against the opioid crisis. Celebrated International Women’s Day together.
We tried to launch a series for Black History Month, but I had trouble trying to turn public-facing support into a dollar commitment from sponsors in a timely manner.
Then, I had to put Personal Finance by Women on pause earlier this year due to COVID time constraints. But we’re moving the content we had planned over here to Femme Frugality as a new addition to the Intersectional Finances series.
Keep your eyes out for it this summer!
In the meantime, one of the writers for this upcoming series — Jackie Cummings Koski — recently retired at age 49! Check out her MarketWatch FIRESTARTERS feature:
Last Fall, I was humbled to be nominated for two Plutus Awards. They were:
- Best New Personal Finance Book. The Feminist Financial Handbook.
- Biggest Impact.
- Best Series. Intersectional Finances Series.
In the past year, I’ve learned that while working to make the world immediately around you a better place may be a noble effort, there does come a point where your environment is so toxic that you have to walk away. Walk away from certain personal relationships. From certain business communities.
It’s painful, but it clears the way for better things.
I’m enjoying the search for those better things. While it’s overwhelming to be a newbie in some of my business communities all over again, I can already see the strength and opportunity in these new-to-me spaces. I’m looking forward to contributing and supporting.
I was honored to be awarded a grant from PEN America earlier this year, becoming a member of the organization.
Other great groups I’ve found have included a number of Binders groups for writers on Facebook, and Tarra Jackson’s DUALpreneur® community. I’m very new in all of these well-established spaces, and even so I’ve found so much support. I’m grateful and excited for this leg of the journey.
More community <3
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Check out these Personal Finance 📚 written my black female authors! • Reading has been a way for me to learn different strategies when it comes to dealing with my own finances throughout the years. • I’ve been looking for new books to order and came up with this list for anyone interested in learning how to build wealth and break free from generational curses. • What are some books that have redefined wealth for you? • • • Authors: @thebudgetnista @seekwisdompcw @tonya.rapley @lynnettekhalfanicox @msmadammoney @singletarym @frugalfeminista
If you’re looking for more community, I might not be super active with #PersonalFinancebyWomen long-form content and bigger projects at the moment.
But the hashtag is full of interesting new content all the time on Instagram, with contributions from a litany of amazing personal finance writers. Pushing 1,000 posts!
The Feminist Financial Handbook Giveaway
To celebrate this year’s blogiversary, I am giving away five (5), signed copies of The Feminist Financial Handbook. Each person can win a maximum of one (1) copy.
You can enter through the entire month of July, up to 11:59p Eastern on July 31, 2020. This giveaway is open to people with mailing addresses in the US and Canada.
There are a lot of ways to enter, including following the women who shared their stories in the book:
Best of luck to all, and thank you for a great nine years!