BBW MEMBER INTERVIEW: Debra Jacobs, Financial Coach/Single Parent Coach, Money Smart for Life

What is your name?

Debra Jacobs

What is your occupation?

Financial Coach/Single Parent Coach

What is your business name?

How long have you been a Boston Business Women’s Member?

Less than a year

What is your instagram handle?

No Instagram account yet!

What is your linked in URL?

Were you born and raised in Boston? If not, what brought you here?

In a suburb of Boston. I went away for a while, but family and roots pulled me back.

Tell us more about your job or company and what led you to your career?

As a financial coach, I help people release worry, gain a sense of security, and often change their story from ``I'm not good with money`` to ``I'm killing it!`` My coaching process enables clients to gain clarity about their finances, make and achieve financial goals, create a values-based spending plan, pay down debt, and increase savings. While I help anyone experiencing financial stress, I specialize in helping single moms. As a single mom myself, I deeply understand the challenges they face. I offer my single mom clients an individualized focus on money and/or parenting, drawing on both my personal finance expertise and my many years of experience as a parent coach and preschool owner/teacher. My own experience led me this career. I ignored my own finances for far too long, saving little and even going into debt. I had a lot of excuses! But when my kids got a little older, I became interested in learning about personal finance and I jumped into the deep end, soaking up absolutely everything I could from books, blogs, podcasts, videos, and more. I took courses and started working towards certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor. As I started to transform my own financial life, I felt a call to help others do the same.

What would your clients say about you and your company?

My clients would say that I'm empathetic, encouraging, and a good listener - and that I don't shy away from holding them accountable and helping them see where they're stuck.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

``If you want it badly enough, you'll find a way. Once you commit, the universe will open up.`` After ending a relationship in my mid-30's, and wanting children more than anything, I worried for years: Can I do this alone? Can I afford it? Can I provide a good life for children on my own? This advice came from a mentor of mine, and when I finally decided, and took the action I needed to take to make it happen, the universe DID open up, and I adopted my two girls. The best thing I EVER did. And if I could do that, and raise them successfully on my own (they're now lovely young adults), I can do anything I want to do badly enough.

What is currently your favorite book?

Pride and Prejudice for Austen's beautiful and ironic use of language, and Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin for the mind-blowing perspective on time and money.

What is your secret weapon? An app, a tool, a organization method, anything?! (Can be a personal or professional life tool)

My secret weapon is my focus on relationships in everything I do, from parenting to working with clients.

What is your most recent WIN? How are you slaying it in your career or business?

Getting my podcast launched after thinking about it for a long time! Check it out: Money, Parenting and Life for Single Moms.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

You're not ``bad with money,`` you just don't pay attention. It's simple: live below your means and save and invest like crazy.

How do you enjoy your free time?

Hanging with my kids and my friends, taking long walks, reading.

What is something that not many people know about you?

As part of an adventure challenge, I took a helicopter lesson, went rock climbing, got a tattoo, went dog-sledding, and more (including singing on video for all the world to see, even though the music teacher in grade school told me to mouth the words. Yikes, that was hard)!

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