A Little Pocket Change to Ensure your Independence

quote for women inspiration

Greetings and Happy Women’s History Month!

Last week I watched a segment on one of the morning shows that gave young single women tips for buying their first home.  I was happy to see it because real estate is one way a woman can build her personal wealth.  As I watched, I thought, “Wow! That’s progress!” Women buying real estate on their own is a relatively new thing. In terms of Women’s History Month, I marvel at the progress women have made in the last fifty years. It’s probably more than women made over centuries!

When a Woman Couldn’t Own Her Own Home… 

For example, in my mother’s day, a woman couldn’t have bought her own home – unless she paid cash up front. No one would have given her a mortgage loan. In fact, she couldn’t even have gotten a credit card at Macy’s or Boscov’s unless some man – her father or her spouse – got it for her. It was essentially in his name and, of course, he controlled its use. A woman had a hard time getting credit in her own name. When I was interviewing women for my first book, Victorious Woman! Shaping life’s Challenges into Personal Victories, many of the women were constrained by the male-dominated rules of the day  – even in spite of the progress of the women’s liberation movement of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Victorious Woman Maureen Ingelsby was one of those women.

Today Maureen is a very successful, award-winning, and locally famous real estate agent. But in the late 1970’s she was the stay-at-home mother of five young children who ran one WW class a week.  One night she came home from a WW class and her spouse told her he was leaving her – and walked out the door.  The week after he left, he called the utility companies to have his name removed from payment responsibility.  In order to keep the lights on for her and her kids, Maureen’s father had to co-sign for her utilities. It was the same with credit cards.
Around the same time, Victorious Woman Kathy Clark had a dream. She wanted to be an engineer. Kathy’s dream was squashed when her male high school guidance counselor told Kathy’s father that college would be a waste of his money. He said that, even if Kathy succeeded in becoming an engineer, it was an all-male profession and Kathy would never be accepted in the workplace. If you read or watched Lessons in Chemistry…same thing.

My First Time

So when I decided to buy a small Upper Darby row house in 1985, at first I didn’t realize what a big deal it was. For me, personally, it was, but I didn’t know it was societally big. I just knew I was income-tight and didn’t know if I’d get a mortgage. When I got approved, I was very nervous.

Looking for some assurance, I told my mother. I expected her to be happy or proud. However, since it wasn’t marriage, she was just disappointed. The best encouragement my mother could offer was, “well, Annmarie, if that’s what you think you need to do to make yourself happy…”

You know what? It did make me happy because it made me feel strong., and ahead of the pack.

It wasn’t until fifteen years later that I started noticing the trend of single women buying houses. Now, in 2024, single women are opting for home ownership more than single men.

A Time for Reflection

What about you? I’ll bet you have a good story.

Women’s History Month is a good time to reflect on your history. What did you do that made you feel proud, strong, happy? And, when you think of a story, maybe two, give it some context. Consider that, as late as the 1970’s and 80’s, society women had debutante balls to announce their eligibility for marriage. And the average woman didn’t go to college – unless she was looking to get an MRS – because society said she didn’t need a degree to change diapers.

Did you buck that system or some other archaic one?

In 2024, there are still debutante balls, but they are for show. More women go to college than men. And not to get an MRS, but to become doctors, lawyers, executives and other well-respected professionals. And just recently, on her way to going pro, Caitlin Clark became the top scorer in both women’s and men’s college basketball. Whodathunkit?

This Women’s History Month, take some time to write down one or two of your own history…and then share it with your kids or your grands or your girlfriends – or me, because  I’d love to hear it!!

And THANK YOU to Jodi, Doreen, and Phyllis who shared your thoughts about my last newsletter! I appreciated then and posted them here: https://annmariekelly.com/2024/02/10/am-i-old/


I’m excited tto share that I’ll be releasing a 2nd Edition of The Five-Year Marriage in June. I have a snappy new cover, a fab new sub-title, and some new content. Next month I should have a jpg of the new cover – I’m excited for you to see it!

Enjoy these last-gasp days of winter –  spring is around the corner. Yayyyyy!

With love and in victory,

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What is the Victorious Woman Project?

Founded by Annmarie Kelly, the Victorious Woman Project is a female empowerment resource containing articles, classes, books, podcasts and other tools for women over 40.

blog: Victory Tips

An extensive listing of blog posts that help you take control of your life and live empowered. These articles are full of victory tips.


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