I don’t talk about “me” a lot here.
What we share on our 62,000+ member Facebook community for Women’s Personal Finance is generally meant for that audience. For 62,000 people, we’re surprisingly tight-knit, and we like to maintain that community bubble. But, sometimes, there are things worth sharing with our wider audience. This post I made last night was one of them. Not to mention, Facebook is ever-increasing their limiting what we are able to share with our own audience. So, even some of our most invested members said they had to search to find it.
These reasons, and more, are why we made THIS website. It’s also why we have slowly been growing our premium community, WPF Insiders, so that our entire message can be heard.
If you’re a member of any of our communities and love what we do, please, join our email list so you can keep up to date and read on to catch a glimpse of what we (tried) to share via Facebook.
Ok, back to the post:
There’s plenty on my blog (which I haven’t updated in forever). But, my aversion to feeling needy, looking needy, or otherwise overtly being self-promotional runs deep. It’s been something that’s taken a lot of work as we grow this business, Women’s Personal Finance. It’s a little easier because, though I know me and @Angela are leading this effort, and yes, we’re experts in our own right, it’s really about you all and these communities we build and support.
For the sake of sharing that you can be successful, vulnerable, and yes, even sometimes needy, I’m here with a story from today and an ask.
Some people know, but many don’t, that my son was diagnosed with cancer in 2018 at two years old, and my life was upended.
That catalyst is really what cemented my relationship with Angela. She was one of the most consistent supporters and threads I had, keeping me sane and encouraging me through all of it (we had been building our connection, especially over our interests in “prepping” and homestead-ish things, which is where I wrote the PrepperFI post for her site, and coined the term we now see popping up on occasion).
Though I had been building communities in other ways on my own, these were professional communities. For networking. And I’m pretty good at it too. But this relationship with Angela made me realize that community was lacking, and it was just at my fingertips.
Professional communities are great. But what about what extends beyond professional? I needed emotional support, encouragement, and sometimes, someone to force me to buy some real food or Starbucks and not eat another leftover hospital tray for dinner. (I refused multiple pushes for a GoFundMe because I didn’t “need it.” The past traumas of my and my spouse’s life have always driven us to keep a supercharged emergency fund. It feels kind of stupid looking back, the GoFundMe refusal, not the e-fund, LOL.)
Eventually, some sort of new normal progressed, and we finally got back to a life at home with my son… and then the pandemic started (like, literally, as we had my son’s end of official treatment and move into monitoring visit (cancer scans, tests, etc.) the week Oregon shut down for the pandemic in 2020. I took a leave of absence from work, again, for fear of exposing myself and my high-risk child).
And again, the need for stronger community and support structures became apparent to everyone as office banter stopped and friends started gathering on Zoom to play games.
So, Angela and I kept up as we do, a million messages a day, and slowly, the idea emerged to make this fantastic Facebook community a little bit more. WPF, the business, was eventually born.
This has been a somewhat selfish endeavor. When I build communities, I look for the things I want, the things missing in my life, and I try to create them for others.
It’s beautiful and fulfilling. But, what’s funny is I frequently notice that I solve problems for others, but I exist somewhere in between.
It feels like it’s ok to ask for help to support a member of my community or a greater project. I build these things, but I don’t feel quite worthy of showing up and asking for help myself.
So, after all that backstory, here’s what happened today:
I haven’t worked a steady set of hours at a “job” since before my son got sick in 2018. Somehow, I’ve been overlooked, and all along, I’ve kept my insurance. For three years, I’ve been a full-time cancer mom, turned pandemic cancer mom, turned budding freelancer and business owner, picking up some shifts at work here and there when I can, when they offer (lately, about 2-3 days a month), hoping like hell we don’t lose the insurance.
Today, we lost the insurance. AND WITHOUT NOTICE! I was at work and tried to fill a prescription for my son only to find that the insurance didn’t work… and then mine didn’t work. When I got into the system, I saw my insurance had been deactivated. AND NO ONE WARNED ME.
It wasn’t a great day. I had a minor panic attack. I left early because I really wasn’t safe to manage a pharmacy (luckily, there was another pharmacist there) in that state of mind. This isn’t a huge surprise, really. I’ve been expecting it to happen for years. BUT, I thought I’d at least get some notice. A month or so to sit down and figure out what the news would mean and how to handle it.
So, in the ongoing effort that I make here to lead by example, I’m going to be vulnerable and needy (wow, I sure hate being needy) and ask you (again, because I feel like we do ask this a lot) to help me out… by supporting Women’s Personal Finance.
This is my (and Angela’s) baby. And, I’d really like to be able to give this community and our mission to support women in all ways, but especially in meeting their financial goals and knowing their worth, even as messy, imperfect humans.
Having lost insurance, I need to bring in additional income to cover our ACA plan that I’m hoping to set up tomorrow.
I can generate that income by going out and finding more things to do, which further pulls me away from the work I do here at WPF. Or, with the help of this fantastic community of 52,000+ people, we can hope to get a bunch of new mission supporters, and then I can spend my time and energy doing more things for this community.
So, that’s my ask. If you’ve supported us, we truly appreciate you. If you’ve supported it once and think you might be able to make it something you do monthly, big or small, please consider it. If you’ve never supported this community, and those who keep it running, with your dollars, now would be a great time to start.
We have FIFTY-TWO THOUSAND people here. It’s mind-boggling to consider the power we could have if everyone pitched in a dollar a month.
Are you willing to help?
Don’t have funds to be a mission supporter? Please join our email list and support our content!
So, there’s the post from last night. I don’t want to expand too much right now because I have a tendency towards verbosity.
But the point is, who supports the supporters? We have constant feedback about how much people love and value our communities, the free and the premium. But “community” and the intangibles that come with it are challenging products to market. You can’t package and resell how to put your heart into something.
Since it’s hard to sell, it’s also hard to explain. People don’t see or realize the amount of time and effort that goes into these communities or the emotional labor. We put ourselves out there day after day, and we drive support for others.
So, here I am to bring attention to the fact that choosing to focus on these communities and make them excellent, supportive spaces is work. And with new expenses comes decisions to be made about if I do this work or something else. Am I going to abandon WPF? OF COURSE NOT. But, I only have so much time and attention to give, and I’d much rather be here than most other places.
I’m asking people to recognize what we do here and not set up or donate to a GoFundMe for my circumstances, but to put their money where their mouth, heart, and growth is. Let people like me (and ME, why is it so hard to say that?) continue to do this work instead of having to step back and focus on something I care about far, far less!
And, while you’re here, think about this, in your daily life:
What other communities, missions, and people show up day after day and provide services, love, time, and effort to make things happen that you value and support? Have you shown what you value in tangible ways? Can you afford $5 or $10 a month to 5 or 10 causes?
Regina is a community-building expert, personal finance enthusiast, and leader in the psychedelic renaissance as both an educator and an advocate. She's an entrepreneur, mother to a son with cancer, a doctor of pharmacy, artist, and all-around fabulous, messy human.
Regina occasionally blogs at her site, ThatFrugalPharmacist.com, but spends most of her personal finance time as a co-founder of WomensPersonalFinance.org. She's CoastFI, hit a million$ net worth at 33, and lives on her paid-off property on the Oregon coast.
When she's not focusing on finance or family, Regina is a co-founder of The Psychedelic Pharmacists Association and spends much of her time advocating for legal access to psychedelics and their role in helping people build better more meaningful lives.
She values sustainability, mindfulness, and awareness of non-monetary costs to align personal values with money habits.