Grace and Jennie are two very normal women with an extraordinary vision to help other women manage their money better around major life events.

Held at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Construction (EBRD) a short walk from Liverpool Street, the event began by Grace and Jennie greeting and welcoming their guests into the seating area and what strikes me as refreshing was just how personable and approachable they both were – we felt like girlfriends who had known each other for years. Just a tad different from what you would usually expect from a finance event. They’ve managed to get the atmosphere just right as I shared the room with several other women who I either felt had a similar reason for being there as I did, or that I could learn a thing or two from. Either way, I was certainly in the right place that evening and ready to learn something new.

Grace presented a whistle-stop tour that touched upon paying down high-interest debt as a priority, diversifying your investment portfolio (and how to start one) and planning for sudden life events which several of us hadn’t considered before. Thank you for opening my eyes to this part of the evening, I think it’s quite easy to live in ignorant bliss that life events just won’t happen to us but I feel a lot more secure knowing that I’ve factored this in to my own financial plan since attending your event. Sounds complicated already? Not at all, Grace has a way of explaining Finance that highlights the parts that you’ll remember so you come away with information that you can put into action for yourself.

What has been a hit at most events I’ve attended in the past, has been the part of the evening where women get an opportunity to connect and relate with others in the room and this event was no exception. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to share my story in the ‘Personal Journeys’ section along with Andrea Sommer, Founder of Hiver app. What felt like a conversation over a cup of tea on a rainy Sunday with your best friend on the couch was made even better with the free flowing wine! Jennie wanted to know what was the biggest financial challenge that we’ve faced and if we had any regrets over the way that we’ve managed our money up until now. The nods and smiles from the audience reassured us that our personal experiences were shared and the questions that followed only served to demonstrate that we all needed this opportunity to see that we weren’t alone. That’s a relief, right?

Andrea and I had both shared completely different experiences growing up and to hear another person’s point of view on past money issues, successes and current challenges was as useful as it was inspiring. This event just reinforced the need for such collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst other women and I’m sure I wasn’t the only person wanting a bit more so I’m hoping the future events will expand some more on the above points and allow us to go into some more detail over the things that matter to us personally. I can already see Grace and Jennie being very in demand amongst the female crowd.

If you’re considering attending an event then my advice would be to go for it, you have nothing to lose! The ticket prices are extremely reasonable for the valuable information you receive and be rest assured that most others in the room are in a similar position to you. Above all else, you leave an Isabella Forum event feeling like you’re not alone in this journey, but empowered enough that if you were, you’d know how to handle it.

Emma xx