Sandra Grahame

CEO of Smart Cookies

I imagined Smart Cookies for the first time ten years ago. I sat down at my computer and googled “smart money advice for women”. I scrolled through hundreds of links – there wasn’t one I could relate to. That’s when I thought; wouldn’t it be awesome to create a fun, inspiring, beautiful spot that women would actually look forward to visiting to learn and talk about money?

Once I get a vision in my head there isn’t much that can stand in my way. I have a feeling, you might be able to relate to that.

I was so excited, I called one of my best friends, Ang, and told her what I was thinking and she was in! The two of us went to the bookstore and bought every personal finance book we could get our hands on! Our idea was to learn everything we could about money and then help other women learn too, sharing the information, like girlfriends would, not like a stodgy banker or a finger waving finance guru.

A few weeks later I was at work when my two girlfriends Andrea and Katie said they were thinking of getting a group of girls together to form a “money club”. Andrea said, “ you know, it will be kind of like a book club, but we’ll talk about money.” I called Ang and said “you’ll never believe it!? My friends at work want to set up a money club, just like what we were talking about!”

When you’re on the right path, all of the pieces have a way of falling into place.

Long story short, Andrea invited her friend Robyn to join us, and the five of us girls met up at Katie’s condo and sat around her kitchen table for our first meeting. We were completely clueless and terrified to own up to our current financial situations, but we were ready to learn and ready to put a plan into motion.

It was in that money group that everything clicked for us.

Getting smart about money, wasn’t about becoming obsessed with spreadsheets and budgeting, it wasn’t about skipping out on a daily latte. It was about having a crystal clear vision about what a truly rich life looks like, setting a plan, and making small, smart strategic actions every single day.

And the secret ingredient to it all:

Be surrounded by positive, smart, supportive friends who truly see and want you to live your richest life.

In only a year together, after using the weekly system we created together, we were able to pay off more than $50,000 in debt, and increased our earnings by more than $100,000!

Beyond the numbers, for each of us – LIFE had become so much richer. We were working in careers that we loved, surrounded by friends who believed in us, were able to take yearly trips without feeling guilty about it, and had money invested that was growing real wealth.

What had begun as a group to get smart about money, had changed everything in our lives for the better.

And that’s when Oprah called.

Being able to share our success and story on Oprah was a dream come true and since that day so many more dreams have come true right before my eyes; like writing two books with Random House, creating and being on our TV show, and traveling across North America as a spokesperson for American Express and Proctor and Gamble.

And now – the next chapter, as Smartcookies.com becomes the online destination for women who want to feel amazing about their finances, and thousands of women’s lives change, this is the icing on the cake. I always believed Smart Cookies would become that weight-watchers for money, and now it has.

Of all the money lessons I’ve learned along the way – the most important one is this:

We are richer together. And I want to help you get smart with your money and live the rich life you deserve to live.

I believe you can feel amazing about your money and feel amazing about your life.

I could have never predicted where my money journey would take me, and I can hardly contain my excitement thinking about where this journey will take you.

I can’t wait to cheer you on and support you every step of the way!