by Mira Reverente
As a little girl, I always knew my future lay in words. As kids my age played outdoors, I was often indoors lost in my journal, writing letters to friends or trying to get a head start on school essays. I love writing and knew I had a knack for weaving words together. A career in journalism was a foregone conclusion but writing a book on money was totally unexpected.
Money?!?! Exactly. Even my journalism instructors will not buy it. Numbers weren’t my strongest suit. I sweated through a basic Algebra class and heaved a huge sigh of relief that Calculus was not in the curriculum. Whew.
So when a sudden life change three years ago, i.e. divorce, forced me to take stock of my finances, I knew I had more than enough material for a book. I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel or anything, but I couldn’t find a practical, detailed, easy-to-follow guide for folks like me, post-relationship break-up.
There was so much material on the emotional aspect, i.e. getting counseling, leaning on friends, etc., but there was a shortage of resources to help one with the financial aspect, even the mundane ones. Examples: insurance policies (get a new one vs. continuing with old policy), joint credit cards (which ones to keep), taxes (file jointly on your last year as a married couple or do your own thing) and so forth and so on.
My head was spinning with a mile-long to-do list and some needed information I had to continually do research on. To make matters even more complicated, my ex-husband was now based overseas. Documents that needed his signature had to be sent via FedEx all the time. And since he was the primary account holder for most accounts, I had to ask him to call each and every financial institution and creditor so they would talk to me and negotiate.
The year and the next year after flew by. Then one day at the dog park, I reconnected with Tracy, a former colleague at a local magazine we both used to write for. I knew Tracy had two kids but didn’t realize she is also a single parent. I believed in both our writing abilities and rich experiences as single parents. It was enough material for a book on money. To make a long story short, I simply asked Tracy, “Would you like to turn our experiences into a book?”
That was in the fall of 2014 and a year later, our book Suddenly Single Women’s Guide to Finances, was published. The publishing process wasn’t exactly a bed of roses; more like a bed of worn notebooks. We both wrote and edited tirelessly, compared notes and interviews over many cups of coffee, met at the dog park a few more times, all while raising children and juggling other deadlines. The high point of our self-publishing journey was our decision to use Kickstarter to crowd-fund enabling us to raise much-needed capital and get our book on Amazon.com’s virtual shelf and into the hands of individuals who need practical money advice.
So there. I hope you will join me from this point on and become as money-savvy as you possibly can. If I did it, you can too!
Do you have any money-related questions or topics you would like her to tackle in a future column? Add them to our comments section.
Mira Reverente is associate editor of CVH and a longtime journalist whose work has appeared in many local publications. Her first book on money came out last fall.