I love being a woman. I especially love being a woman in my fifties because each decade seems to get better and better. After working in a corporate banking environment for 12 years and basically feeling burned out, I went through a divorce and also realized my finances were out of control. I had to renew and reinvent myself.
In short order, I got the training I needed and became a financial coach in private practice specializing in clients with cash flow and debt management issues. That was 20 years ago. My work today is incredibly rewarding. I get to share my knowledge and experience of moving through financial fear to financial peace of mind with women of all ages, ethnicities and educational levels.
Many women need encouragement, support and accountability to become more empowered and financially responsible. But they fear being criticized, judged and restricted. Let me make it very clear…I believe in discipline, not deprivation. Also, it is about progress, not perfection.
My approach to money is unique because I have lived the nightmare of being a successful bank manager by day, making a good living and having good credit. But by night, I lived in fear because I knew I was broke. Granted, I was broke at a higher status level than most, but broke nonetheless. By living beyond my means I managed to get $50,000 overextended in debt. I learned to rob Peter to pay Paul and perfected the art of juggling bills to keep myself afloat. That is, until an unexpected $8,000 sewer problem developed and then all the balls came tumbling down. Thankfully that was the wake-up call I needed to begin my journey towards financial renewal.
We can all be financially successful, because it is based on implementing information—even if in baby steps—one courageous step at a time.
Glinda Bridgforth is a leading financial expert, author of “Girl, Get Your Money Straight!” and expert for Oprah’s Debt Diet. She’ll speak on a personal finance panel at the 2011 Pennsylvania Conference for Women.