I hit publish on Meet the Women of the Financial Independence Movement three years ago today. It’s wild to think about how different my life is because of that post. Not often do you expect a single thing you’ve written to shape your life, but it is the absolute truth here.
I grew up in a family where both my mother and my father truly believed we could be and do whatever we wanted regardless of our gender. I played sports with my father, caught frogs and snakes in the yard with my mother, and read books with strong girl protagonists from a young age. At no point was I told that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.
I had a wonderful school experience growing up as well, and it didn’t dawn on me that I was at a disadvantage as a woman until I graduated from college. Clearly, some of this was naiveté on my end, but a lot of it had to do with the confidence in my abilities that was instilled in me from a young age.
Women’s Personal Finance
Finance was something that my parents were always open with me my whole life, and the idea that I wouldn’t – or couldn’t – understand them due to my gender was not something that ever dawned on me.
So when I graduated college and started looking to pay off my student loans rapidly, it’s no surprise to me that some of the very first personal finance bloggers I found were women (One Frugal Girl and Newlyweds on a Budget, the latter who is no longer blogging).
It took me another seven years after reading blogs to begin to write my own, but I started writing publicly in July of 2017. Just five months later, I wrote Meet the Women of the Financial Independence Movement, and my blog was skyrocketed to the forefront. Women were hungry for more personal finance content written by women, and all I did was create a platform to amplify what was already happening.
Women have been blogging about money as long as blogs have been around, but until more recently, the narrative has been that it is men who understand personal finance. Clearly, many, many women understand and talk about money. All we needed was a platform to connect.
The WPF Facebook Group
Soon after publishing the blog post, I set up the Facebook group Women’s Personal Finance: Women on FIRE because it was clear that we needed a place to gather as a community beyond simply sharing each other’s blog posts.
I specifically named it “Women’s Personal Finance” and not only a FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) group because I wanted it to be a place for all women, not just those who had the money thing figured out.
Three years later, and that group is now home to 23,000 women and counting. I don’t use the word “home” lightly, but as a description of the feeling of the community; it really is “home” for many on Facebook. In a time where so much feels heavy, Women’s Personal Finance has continued to burn as a beacon of light.
The WPF Community
With three years under my belt with admining the Facebook community, I feel that it is time to take it to the next level and expand beyond a Facebook group. While Facebook has been a fabulous place to grow a community, I want to be able to do more. Facebook will continue to be the place it has always been for the group, but it is also time to grow up and have a website as well.
As today is the third anniversary of the blog post that started it all, I want to announce that WomensPersonalFinance.org is my next big project, along with my co-creator and close friend Regina, the blogger behind That Frugal Pharmacist. It will be a place for expanded community, resources, swag, and more – all focused on the Women’s Personal Finance Community.
If you are interested in becoming a Founding Member, you can sign up for the email list here, where you can be the first to know when we open up to Memberships and roll out the full site. I’ve loved creating such a wonderful place on the internet, and I am looking forward to continuing that work in a meaningful way. I hope you’ll join me.
All my thanks to my Facebook admin team, past and present: Military Dollar, Stephonee, Jen Mah, Kassandra Dassent, and That Frugal Pharmacist. And to Mindy Jensen for her experience and guidance moving forward.