The Story of Me

I grew up broke in Buffalo, NY in a small family with limited resources. We were a paycheck-to-paycheck family. Looking back, I believe our monetary resources would have been sufficient if my parents had known how to manage their income. We never owned a home. We frequently moved from house to house due to rent challenges, and sometimes our utilities stopped working “temporarily.” There were no college savings waiting for my two siblings and me after graduating high school. During my first year of high school, I had a $7.00 epiphany (read my blog, Seven Dollars Changed my Life) and that experience changed the trajectory of my financial life.

I attended college for two years before joining the U.S. Navy, which was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I moved up quickly in the Navy and found myself in a supervisory role. This was the beginning of my love for mentoring.

I’ve worn many titles throughout my journey: Accounting Manager; U.S. Navy Petty Officer; Dance Choreographer; Teacher; Mentor; Youth Director; and most importantly–Mom.  In each of those roles, I had the responsibility and privilege of leading and influencing people of all ages. I’ve counseled, listened, directed, and advised people in many areas of life. The one area where I’ve been most effective is the area of personal finance. What I’ve learned over the years is that many challenges people face are the consequences of poor financial behaviors, decisions, and attitudes.

My mission and purpose in life are to educate and inspire people to become their best selves. Financially, this means avoiding or eliminating debt—the dream stealer. To be your best self, you must set goals and develop a plan to reach those goals. You must also learn self-control and how to delay gratification. And very importantly, you should learn to be a giver. I believe the best tools and methods for financial wellness comes from the biblical principles and wisdom of the Bible.

My love for young adults and the mere experience of having two young adult children inspired me to write the book, Money Management Wisdom for Millennials. This group of people has unique financial challenges which I discuss in the book, as well as show them how to overcome their challenges. Although the book was written for millennials, the principles taught are universal.

I am pleasantly surprised at how popular the book has become with the general population. I started getting requests from non-millennials asking me to speak to their groups. Individuals began calling and e-mailing me asking for advice on credit and budgeting. I felt I needed a more personal format to get my message out. And that is how the Money Management Wisdom Workshop was born. My love of teaching and speaking with people inspired me to take my message on the road and teach these principles through workshops. My inspiration and my communication to participants is based on Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

 My message is simply this: You’ve tried managing money your way long enough. Now it’s time for you to be shown a new thing!