This interview is a part of a series, Single Mother Stories of Inspiration and Success.
I am pleased to introduce you to Lisbeth Savard.
1. What was one of the most difficult times in your life as a single mom? What made that time challenging?
When I think back to the breakdown of my marriage, the most difficult time wasn’t dealing with being unable to get back into my house and living at my parents for four months. That was really tough; but the most difficult time was dealing with my children’s strong emotions in the year following my divorce and settling into our new routine that included time at their dad’s home. When the kids came home after a stay at their dad’s, we often got into arguments. I felt so alone then and it was a challenging time. I think that they felt “safe,” so to speak, to act out when they were back home with me. It took a lot of work, self-care, and patience to create a new routine for our family.
2. I believe that every challenge gives us an opportunity to learn and grow. What important life lessons did you learn from that time in your life?
For the longest time, I stayed in my marriage for my children. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to care for them on my own and that I would mess up their lives by leaving their dad. It was the hardest decision I ever made, but despite all of its challenges, I discovered strength that I did not know I had. It sounds cliche, but it is true.
I also came to realize that I was surrounded by helpers or, as I refer to them, angels. When I left my husband, I discovered all sorts of people who were there at the very moment I needed them. It was synchronicity at its best. I truly felt supported. Once the dust settled and I got back into the family home, I had a party for my “angels.”
3. What did you do to overcome those challenges?
4. How are you financially supporting your family and how does that fulfill your mission or calling in life?
I have always been the main breadwinner in my family, and there was no change in that respect. Luckily, my employer offers excellent benefits and lots of flexible leave provisions. I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions throughout my career and feel fulfilled in a capacity that allows me to help people. Lately, I’m feeling a strong pull to help single moms, in particular those who feel overwhelmed with their finances.
5. Have you changed what you do for work or how you do your work since becoming a single mom?
I have always had an interest in managing finances and have devoured many different financial books and methods over the years. In my professional career, I gained coaching skills that I think will serve me well in my next project: developing a community for single moms to support them in getting a handle on their finances and create the life they have always dreamed of by building wealth and abundance for themselves and their children.
Managing Finances Is Empowering
I have always been good at managing money and being mindful of how I am spending my money. As a single mother, I have rediscovered my independence and freedom through making financial decisions for myself and my family.
Shortly after my divorce, I found a very good financial planner who helped me create an emergency fund and start contributing to an RESP (registered educational savings plan) for my kids. Even though my contributions started out small, she encouraged me to create a habit of saving. She also took the time to explain to me what I was investing in and how it worked. She was also divorced, and she told me how she went from having no savings to building a six-figure retirement fund. It gave me hope that it was possible to reach my financial goals. I felt empowered and in control of my money. It was an amazing feeling that I’d like to share with many other women in similar situations.
6. What advice do you have for women who are in the beginning stages of separation and divorce?
The best advice I ever received is to be gracious with yourself. You’re going through a very tough change. It feels overwhelming and there are lots of decisions to make. A lot of it involves “hurry up and wait.” You are in a hurry to make decisions but need to wait until they get accepted by each party. Another important piece of advice is to not make big decisions in the first year until you know how things will play out.
The first year of significant events, such as Valentine’s Day or a wedding anniversary, is the hardest. The best approach I found was to create new traditions to replace the old ones. For example, my kids and I started a new Valentine’s Day tradition of making a chocolate fondue for the three of us. It’s so much fun. On the date of my first wedding anniversary as a newly single person, I went out for coffee with a friend instead of staying home and feeling down.
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7. What are you reading or what would you recommend?
I loved reading CEO of Everything by Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Victoria Ryce. It contains a good mix of advice for finances, grief, and creating a new life after a divorce or widowhood. Another favorite is Respected: How One Word Can Change More Than Just Your Love Life by Akirah Robinson. I also enjoyed Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.
8. What quote inspires you and why?
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Maya Angelou
I think that describes my outlook to a T. If you’re only surviving, there is need for change. I never take myself too seriously and I love to laugh. I try to inject passion in everything I do and I think it is important to show everyone compassion because you don’t know what battles they are facing.
Lisbeth Savard helps single moms just like you with managing finances on their own. She knows that single moms desperately want the best for their kids, but many moms have neglected themselves along the way. Lisbeth shows moms how to get more out of their money and bring freedom, wealth, and abundance into their lives. Get her Easy Money Actions Checklist.
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