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When it comes to advice about money, you’ll find it runs the gamut.

Some experts suggest you save this much, while others urge you save that much. Some will tell you to prioritize debt, while others will tell you to prioritize retirement savings.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and that’s why we like taking notes from real people — women, in this case — who’ve paved their own paths to financial success.

Here, you’ll find an array of stories from women who share their secrets and advice about money. The best part? You can start using some of these strategies right now.

Secret No. 1: You’re Not Stuck With Your Credit Card Debt Forever

Even if you have loads of credit card debt right now, that doesn’t mean you’ll have it forever. One of our favorite first steps to escape credit card debt faster is to refinance it (or replace it) with a personal loan.

If you’re not sure where to start looking, use a website called Fiona. It’ll match you with a low-interest loan (rates start at 3.84%). You can then use that loan to pay off your credit cards, so you’re left with just one bill to pay every month.

The key is to find a personal loan that has lower interest rates, a more desirable repayment period and/or more manageable monthly payments.

We chatted with one San Francisco resident who struggled to keep up with her credit card debt. She faced a minimum monthly payment of $274 plus $154 in monthly interest plus a $99 annual credit card fee. When she refinanced with a personal loan, she was spared from what would’ve been $14,000 in interest over time.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank, either. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, you can check online for free right now. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars.

Secret No. 2: Leave Your Kids $1 Million — Without Being a Millionaire

If you have kids, you’ve probably worried about what’ll happen to them if something were to happen to you. That’s where life insurance can help soothe your worries.

Before you start thinking you don’t have the time or money for that, look into policies through a company called Bestow. It offers policies up to $1 million; rates start at just $5 a month. Your application shouldn’t take more than about five minutes.

You can change or cancel your plan at any time. Plus, the security of knowing your family is taken care of is priceless.

For single mom Rebekah Pearsall, life insurance is an important step she's taking to ensure her son is set for the future. “Since my son doesn’t have a biological father in his life, I wanted to make sure he was secure if something were to ever happen to me,” she said.

It takes only a few minutes to get a free quote.

Secret No. 3: You Don’t Need an MBA to Start a Business 

Dream of starting a business but nervous you don’t have the experience (or degrees) you need to succeed? Yeah, imposter syndrome is the worst, but know venturing out on your own isn’t impossible.

We’ve talked to plenty of women who’ve successfully started businesses on their own. Take, for example, Kumiko Love. After graduating college, Love had $100,000 worth of debt — student loans, credit cards and medical bills. She had trouble sticking to a budget, so she gave up.

Then she started studying the psychology behind money and realized she could combine budgeting methods to create her own. She started logging her payoff process through her blog, The Budget Mom.

She’s now debt free and she recently quit her full-time job to focus on her blog, which has become a seven-figure business.

Secret No. 4: It’s Possible to Grow Your Credit Score Hundreds of Points

It’s easy to dismiss your credit score as some silly three-digit number. But what happens when you want to buy a car? Or a house? That seemingly arbitrary number starts to play a huge role in your life.

Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will give you your credit score for free. It will also help you detect any errors on your report and offer you personalized strategies to help you improve your score.

Salome Buitureria, a working mom of nine who lives in Louisiana, found a major error on her report — a supposed unpaid medical bill that had definitely been covered by Medicaid. Using Credit Sesame, she fixed the mistake and took additional steps to raise her credit score from 524 to nearly 700.* Now she’s focused on buying a home.

It only takes about 90 seconds to sign up with Credit Sesame.

Secret No. 5: Investing Doesn't Need To Be Complicated and Expensive

Traditional investment companies have never really considered how daunting the idea of investing is for beginners.  How do you get started?  Who do you go to for advice?  These are just a couple of the more obvious hesitations that prevent people from taking action.  

That's the exact reason why the microinvesting app, Stash, was created.  Stash's mission is to properly empower all Americans, regardless of their income level, to take advantage of this ever-important financial opportunity.  Stash has already helped more than 4 million Americans get started investing.  Believe it or not, 86% of Stashers are first-time investors.

Stash lets you invest for as little as $5 and takes less than 2 minutes to get started.  Currently, there is a special promotion happening where Stash will match your $5 investment with $5 of their own!  

So how does it work? Stash actually curates over 250 investments such as stocks and Exchange Traded Funds.  You get to choose an investment mix that matches your financial goals and personal interests.  Finally, their newest feature is a game-changer!  They have a “stock-back” rewards program that allows you to invest in the brands you spend on, with your own personal Stash debit card.  It basically acts as a cash back program, except with stock!  

Well...what are you waiting for? Claim your $5 bonus here and start investing with Stash today!

*Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.


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