074: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment


The Sex, Money, and Food Podcast


If you’ve ever been let go from your job, or even worried about being let go, you know the importance of taking control of your money. Our guest for today’s show has learned firsthand why it’s so crucial to know your financial options and create your own financial future.


On this episode of the Sex, Money and Food podcast, Laurie Itkin (aka The Options Lady) is here to talk about how $1600 of inheritance money helped her create financial security for herself and later a business that helps women do the same.


More About This Show


Laurie Itkin is a financial advisor for a San Diego firm and is also the founder and CEO of The Options Lady. She authored the Amazon best-seller, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment and became a millionaire before the age of 40.


That journey to millionaire status began in her early 20s. She had gone to an Ivy League school and graduated in 1990, during which the economy was a lot like today’s early post-recession. By the time she was 24 she had been laid off twice!

Rather than becoming disenfranchised and bitter, she took the experiences to heart and decided she wasn’t going to rely on her employer for financial security, nor anyone else.

So when her grandma died and left her $1600 in inheritance money, she chose to invest it in the stock market. She hadn’t learned anything about how to invest on your own while earning her B.S. economics with a concentration in finance, but she got out the Wall Street Journal and started reading the stock market pages.


Then a light bulb moment happened: Starbucks was a new thing, they had just gone public and she loved everything about the company. She loved the atmosphere, the coffee, the people, all of it. So she bought 40 shares of it.


As her monthly statements came in the mail and she watched the money grow, it made her hungry to save more and buy more stock! So she chose to live frugally, and as she excelled in her career, she invested more and more of her money. Instead of buying a new purse, she opted to save and buy more stocks. As a result, she became a millionaire before 40.


And that’s one of the tips she has for you on this episode: self-discipline rewards you. As your income goes up, set that extra money aside and invest it. Don’t upgrade your car or other aspects of your life just because you got a raise. And as you set that extra money aside from your raise, make sure you educate yourself, so you lower your investment risk.


Laurie has great advice about the practicalities of money in a relationship too, specifically what to do if one of you is a spender, and one of you is a saver. Laurie recommends having a joint account for shared expenses and deciding what is paid for out of that joint account ahead of time. Then everything else you pay for individually out of your own separate accounts.


On this edition of the Sex, Money and Food podcast, we also talk about whether or not to have a prenup, what to do if someone doesn’t want to sign a prenup and what postnups are exactly. Listen in to hear all of that and so much more on this wise and inspiring episode!


Laurie Answers the Questions


Q: Rank the following in order: sex, money, food.

A: No order! All you need is money when you have money you can buy food and if you’re really desperate, you can buy sex. But I hope we don’t have to resort to that!


Q: There is nothing better in life than…

A: I’d say money, but that’s not true! Financial security. Financial anxiety particularly hits women at all socioeconomic levels and all ages, and stages of life.


Q: What is your ultimate pleasure in life?

A: When I volunteer once every two months with the San Diego Financial Literacy Center, helping them and giving them free financial planning assistance. Volunteering is a selfless activity, but it really is selfish too. When I can help people and see the smile on their face, there’s nothing like it!


Q: What does a $1600 inheritance smell like to you?

A: $1600 may smell like different things to different people. It was my stepping stone to having no financial anxiety in my life.


Q: What is a circumstance you went through that has allowed you to grow and learn and made you who you are today?

A: The way I look at a mistake is you always learn from your mistakes. I’m loud; I have a big mouth sometimes, and I put my foot in my mouth sometimes! I’m open, and sometimes I make people uncomfortable. It’s a blessing and curse. Once every year or two, I say something stupid and say “Ok, I can do better.”


The only mistake I made with money was I didn’t allow myself to spend freely when I could. You can obsess about money too. Sometimes when you are focused on saving and investing, you forget you can afford things too.


Q: What book are you reading?

A: I’m reading several books on divorce because my second book is going to be on the financials of divorce for women in California.


Tweetable: “Don’t just save money, invest money!” ~Laurie Itkin


Resources From This Episode

Alexandra Harbushka
Alexandra Harbushka
About me

I am an entrepreneur, a daughter, and a lover. My life passion is to help women discover the secrets to having all three of life’s essentials: sex, money, and food. I bring my international experience and corporate success together to help other women thrive as a Real World Woman.

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