Although They Looked Rich….

I remember the first time I taught a Savvy Living class at Chabot College – it opened my eyes.

I walked into the classroom expecting a student body made up of young women just starting out in their careers. I was shocked to discover that half of the women in attendance were in their late 40’s and mid 50’s, earning six figure incomes and dressed head to toe in designer labels. Why were these women coming to a class that was going to focus so much on day-to-day money management?

The reason – although they were highly paid, they had a habit of spending more than they made. They looked rich, but on paper, were far from it. They were attending the class in an attempt to gain control over their financial lives.

…and that was the moment I became truly aware that The Savvy Life’s audience didn’t fall into one particular financial demographic. I knew our content resonated across income brackets. I just didn’t realize we actually were appealing to those higher income levels. It was a validating moment that our message – it doesn’t matter how much you earn, the key to financial success is to spend less than you make – was getting across.

At the beginning of the class, as I do whenever I speak, I asked the students if they were taught about day-to-day money management as kids. Not a single person raised their hand.

Although so many of the women in the audience earned great salaries, they did not have any habits or routines around managing that money. Consequently it continuously slipped through their fingers.

I congratulated everyone in the room for taking the first step toward gaining control – the simple act of signing up for and attending the class. Education was the key.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that first class and the lessons I learned there as I prepare for the new Living The Savvy Life Class Series which will be held at The Unity Church of Palo Alto beginning on March 6th.

My goal with the series is to fill the gap of day-to-day financial education that the majority of Americans missed out on as kids. And because money affects everything, the series goes beyond just learning the mechanics of day-to-day money management. It also focuses on the areas where we most often spend money including your Home, Food, Wardrobe, Beauty, Travel and Entertainment.

Although the classes will be held at the Unity Church, they are open to everyone. The class descriptions, schedules and links to register are posted below.

If you don’t live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but are interested in any of the classes, send an email to me at I will be taking the series on the road beginning this summer. If I know there is an interest in your community, I will bring the classes to you.

Living the Savvy Life Class Series
Class Series with Melissa Tosetti, author of Living the Savvy Life
Tuesdays, March 6 – April 10, 7:00-9:00pm
Melissa empowers attendees to create a strong financial foundation through habits and routines that are easy to start, easy to maintain and work. She then demonstrates how to spend smart so you can live rich through The Savvy Life Philosophy of saving money on the things that are not as important to you so you can focus your spending on the things that are important to you.

Savvy Day-to-Day Money Management
Tuesday, March 6th, 7pm-9pm – $35 per person/couple
Register at
Take control of your day-to-day finances and enjoy life to the fullest.
– Habits & routines that make managing your finances easy.
– How to save 15% – 20% of your income.
– How to create and implement an automatic debt reduction plan.

The Savvy Kitchen
Tuesday, March 13th, 7pm-9pm – $35 per person/couple
Register at
Learn how to make grocery shopping and cooking affordable and easy.
– Techniques for quick and affordable grocery shopping.
– How to buy ingredients and not just groceries.
– Learn how to baby step your way to becoming your own chef.

The Savvy Home
Tuesday, March 20th, 7pm-9pm – $35 per person/couple
Register at
Learn how to affordably care for your home including:
– How to declutter one step at a time.
– Easy to implement home keeping habits and routines.
– How to budget for and manage home projects.

Savvy Wardrobe & Beauty
Tuesday, April 3rd, 7pm-9pm – $35 per person/couple
Register at
Learn how to make your clothing and beauty dollar go further.
– How to build a wardrobe you love and that looks great on you.
– Savvy clothes shopping strategies.
– How to save big bucks at the salon.

Savvy Travel & Entertainment
Tuesday, April 10th, 7pm-9pm – $35 per person/couple
Register at
Everything you want to know about saving on travel and entertainment.
– How to entertain at home for less.
– Where to find admission discounts for museums, movies and more.
– How to find and afford those great vacation deals.