We gathered five women for open and candid discussions about money. Click to highlight their stories - chances are there will be something you can relate to.

Amanda Laurie Leslie Luisa Vanessa


  • Age: 50s
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • Number of Children: 4 children, 3 grandchildren
  • Career: Schools Programmer/candidate for Ordained Ministry
  • Education: currently working on Master’s Degree
  • Income: $40,000 - $60,000

Before marrying, I saved up and bought my first house, one of the best financial decisions I ever made. After a few years I married, had four beautiful kids, and then sadly, illness struck our family. My husband had a brain aneurism and had to be removed from our home for our safety. Due to bad memories and financial duress, I put my house up for sale, but the profit was only just enough to pay off our debt.

I was a penniless mother with four children, so I did what I could to maintain a semi-normal life, despite enormous hardship.

I rented a garden for $15 each summer to grow food. We only had heat and hot water in the winter when it was illegal for the gas company to turn it off. I took the kids to public pools so they could bathe. We found grants and bursaries to pay for my son's education. He and I combined our funds and eventually, with the help of a co-signer, made a down payment on a new house.

Looking back, even when I had little to no money, I budgeted. It was a record to see where money was going and how I could change spending to better utilize it.

After everything I've been through, I've found that talking openly has helped me learn more about money. You need money in this world, so conversation and education is key to keeping more of your money and being able to enjoy life without worrying about it.

I've seen both sides of money - from stability to instability and back again.