Four years ago this summer, I wrote a story about how my husband, Ken, and I saved $100,000 to buy an apartment in New York City. In it, I shared intimate anecdotes from my relationship, including Ken's penchant for peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly, that was deemed "an unnecessary expense") and how we never, ever go to brunch (still don't). I put the reality (and details) of my spending and saving habits out in the open. Little did I know when I published that article that I was tapping into a genre of storytelling that young women were craving: financial narratives with women in starring roles.
That story also made me realize that it was really hard to find good advice about money geared specifically toward women. Everywhere I looked, personal finance advice was either too pink (what is a frugalista, anyway?) or too bro (why is this guy always yelling?). I decided that if I couldn't find financial advice I could relate to, I would write it myself.
Over the past three years, I've been building the Work & Money section here at Refinery29, and it's been such a privilege. Every day, I get to wake up and talk to women about their careers and finances. Some days, I talk to experts — Priya Malani, Shannon McLay, Sallie Krawcheck, and Fran Hauser (to name just a few) — and some days, I talk to regular women who just want to tell their stories, from how they save to why they spend. I hope that sharing these conversations will help you think about your own finances and the way we talk about women and money.
For the better part of the past year, I've been writing the Money Diaries book, with the same goal in mind: to provide women with the financial tools they need for success. Yes, this book has all new Money Diaries, but it includes so much more: There's advice on how to realistically save $2,000 for an emergency fund and anecdotes from real women about the stress they feel paying down their high five-figure student loan debt. There's a story from a woman with breast cancer and no health insurance, and an interview with an L.A. diarist (one of my all-time favorite OPs) about how she includes a line-item in her budget to help her family.
Every Wednesday, we'll be publishing an extra diary from someone with a unique financial challenge or situation. On Thursdays, we'll be publishing follow-up Q&As, so you get to know these OPs even better. We'll also be revealing more details about our upcoming Money Diaries book tour (it's happening!), and a six-week challenge we'll be launching in early September to help you save some serious cash before the end of the year (not to mention finally get your finances in order). And, there may be some fun giveaways as well.
Yes, having the right money advice is important. But having a powerful community of young women living these financial realities alongside you is a game-changer. Thank you for trusting Refinery29 with your stories. Thank you for helping us change the conversation around women and money. This book is truly for you.