As a child of immigrant parents, money and financial awareness were not part of normal dinnertime conversation for Gina Zakaria and her family. As a matter of fact, financial education or awareness of financial dealings weren’t topics of discussion at all.
So, by the time Gina was in her 20s and even beyond, she was in way over her head, living paycheck to paycheck, in debt, and feeling helpless and stuck. With no budget, no intentional spending habits, and practically an allergic reaction to saving, Gina and her husband racked up $105,878.64 of high-interest debt.
The stress was unbearable. The shame was heavy. And, she knew she had to get out from under that weight. The fear and anxiety associated with poor money habits and the position her family was in had reached its threshold. Gina decided it was time to change.
She took a deep dive into researching personal finance. From reading blogs and studying fundamental books on money to attending finance forums and conferences, Gina began to learn about how to use frugal tweaks to save money without depriving her family. And during her journey toward becoming a recovering spender, she noticed the financial education industry was saturated with men who called for extreme lifestyle sacrifices. Where were the women? Where were the moms? What about how to handle household expenses? Couldn’t financial freedom be achieved without making such severe changes to her family’s lifestyle?
Once Gina and her husband became debt free using practical, real-life solutions that didn’t sacrifice her family’s lifestyle, she knew she had to share her knowledge. Gina made it her mission to help women gain financial literacy and side-step her past mistakes. She decided to take all the complex bro-centric, and sometimes intimidating, money topics and break them down into easy-to-implement actionable steps for women who need to take control of their expenses — but not at the expense of their lifestyle.
She now uses her expertise as a personal finance advisor, wife, mom, and recovering spender to help women transform the way they think about saving money — and building wealth. She shares simple financial strategies and information on budgeting, debt, savings, and wealth-building basics to empower women and teach them to be more intentional about the money they spend so they can live the lives they truly deserve.
She has been featured in Forbes, Money, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, Next Advisor, and Real Simple, among others.