In her 20s, Amanda Steinberg found herself living what many would consider a dream life: She had a husband, a big house, and a high-powered, lucrative career.
However, she also had a huge problem, one, she discovered, that was not uncommon among women.
“I found I was a great earner, but also I was a great spender,” said Steinberg in a phone interview with NJJN. “When I turned 30, I realized I had nothing to show for it.”
The web engineer realized she, like so many other educated and career-minded women, was still an outsider in the male-dominated world of finance.
She set about acquiring more knowledge of that world and, three years ago, ended up founding dailyworth.com, a website that aims to create “a community of women who talk money.”
The enterprise now has 14 employees and delivers free advice on financial matters to 250,000 women daily. It is projected that its subscriber base will increase to 500,000 within the next year.
On Wednesday, March 28, Steinberg will come to Highland Park to share her knowledge at “Increase Your Net Worth and Your Self-Worth,” a free program sponsored by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County.
“What could be more important than taking control of your finances?” said Women’s Philanthropy director Audrey Napchen. “By understanding our finances we can ensure our future security and increase our self-esteem.”
Dailyworth.com subscribers receive a practical tip each day to help them become better spenders, savers, and investors.
“We cover everything from basic budgeting and investing to entrepreneurial finance,” said Steinberg, a Philadelphia resident who commutes to her Manhattan business. “We help women build their net worth. Women still earn and retire with significantly less money than men.”
Steinberg said while much of the country’s wealth is controlled by women, there seems to be a disconnect between women and finance. “Even though it’s been 30 years since women started to enter the workforce,” she said, “for some reason money has remained this taboo subject. We still live in this fantasy world where we believe Prince Charming is coming. What if he doesn’t come? We need to be able to take care of ourselves.”
An article about Steinberg in Jewish Women International’s Jewish Woman Magazine brought her to the attention of organizers at federation. She has also been featured on National Public Radio, MSN Money, The New York Times, USA Today, FoxBusiness.com, and Self, Forbes, and Inc. magazines.
The lack of financial acumen among women becomes more troubling as the baby boomers age. Steinberg pointed out that because women live longer than men, over the next 20 years there will be “an extraordinary transfer of wealth” to women.
Now 34, Steinberg has come to grips with her past financial indiscretions. She said she came to realize that the big house was too expensive at the time it was purchased. The mother of two preschoolers, she is also in the process of divorcing her husband, highlighting the need for personal financial management.
Steinberg has attracted the attention of male powerbrokers, raising $3 million in venture capital and receiving funding from Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Steinberg said that although both her children attend a Jewish preschool, her work schedule precludes her from taking on a leadership role in the Jewish community, much to the chagrin of her mother.
“But my sisters are both president of their synagogues,” she laughed, “so they are representing the family on my behalf.”