eileen michaels

#FrugalSuccess Story – August 26th, 2013

#FrugalSuccess Story: Becoming Financially Independent

I came across this story in my random Internet browsing and decided to showcase it for this week’s #Frugal #Success #Story. I think it will resonate with many single moms reading our blog and I hope it gives us all that extra confidence to break the mold of traditions and gain the courage to face the intimidating world of finance. It can be an extremely challenging process and requires tremendous patience, but after hearing about Eileen’s story here, maybe we can all find our own path to financial independence.

eileen michaelsMeet Eileen Michaels, a woman who married in her early twenties during the height of the Vietnam War. Growing up, she always felt her family had “enough” and while they were not rich, they were able to get through life comfortably “enough.” While her brother grew up to become a doctor, Eileen took the path of becoming a nurse out of her own passion for caregiving. She knew it wouldn’t bring in a lot of money, but always expected to marry someone of good financial standing who could provide for her. However, as we all know, things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, usually, they don’t. While her husband had a secure job in the insurance business, they had many arguments over finances, debt, and money management. With two babies, Eileen had to continue working to make sure they stayed above water. With continued disharmony on savings and approaches to money, the couple eventually divorced 10 years later and Eileen quickly realized she could not support her two children in the 1970’s on her $136 a week salary.

Don’t Be Afraid of Change

Although it was shocking and difficult for Eileen to leave behind her passion and career, she decided to look into sales work. In this field, the earning potential had no ceiling and after the first two ears of selling various products, like temperature clocks, Eileen was earning $20,000 a year. She then went on to work in banks and brokerage firms, working directly with psychologists and creating educational workshops. This took her into the world of investing and while this was literally like a new language for her, Eileen was determined to master this new landscape. What was her approach? Just as she learned the language of medicine to carry out her duties as a nurse, she decided to take this same approach with money. She went from helping others physically to helping others fiscally.

Today, Eileen is a Senior Vice President at a major financial institution, an author of a finance help book, and a contributing writer for major financial websites.  She has a saying that many of us can relate to …. And learn from:

 What brought me to this place is my belief that having dreams matters, that money is just another language to be learned, that humor heals, and that I can and want to make a difference in people’s lives.


Do you have any favorite quotes that get you motivated and inspired?








About Jessica J.

A native New Yorker, Jessica left behind the Big Apple almost 4 years ago to pursue new adventures around the world. Powered by caffeine and a relentless curiosity, she has now settled in Tel Aviv Jaffa with her husband, American cat, and a new appreciation for budget management.

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