These five go-getters landed jobs in their dream fields shortly after graduation, but entry-level salaries and social butterfly status took its toll. In a few short years, they were drowning in more than $50,000 of consumer debt and sinking deeper every day. Inspired by an episode of Oprah, the girls formed their first money group and developed strategies for turning their finances around – without surrendering their sanity or social lives. Without knowing it, the Smart Cookies ignited a movement that would change the lives of thousands of others across North America.
The Smart Cookie system for success has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, MSNBC, the New York Times, New York Daily News and Money Magazine.
The Smart Cookies are founders of SmartCookies.com, authors of two best-selling books: The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough and The Smart Cookie Guide to Couples and Money, and hosts of the Smart Cookies TV show on the OWN network.
Angela Self, BA'02
Angela started out in her dream field, writing for television, after completing a degree at Western and a Broadcast Journalism degree at Ryerson. She quickly realized her new role wasn’t funding her lifestyle or her lofty goals, so she started compensating low pay cheques with high-interest credit cards and accumulated thousands in debt. After co-founding the Smart Cookies, she’s now living her life with financial freedom. Angela is a freelance writer and editor, writing a weekly Smart Cookie column in The Globe and Mail and at GlobeInvestor.com, and contributes regularly to online and print publications across North America.
Sandra Hanna, BA'04
Two years after graduating from Western, Sandra, a public relations manager, depleted $8,000 in savings and racked up $2,000 in credit card debt, buying clothes, purses, furniture, and dinners out - all trying to maintain what she thought was an image of success. After co-founding the Smart Cookies, she traded in her overpriced purses and wardrobe for a savings account and investment portfolio. Sandra travels throughout North America as a keynote speaker and as a regular contributor to Fox Business, inspiring women to live their richest life. Sandra and her husband Jason recently bought their dream home in Denver, CO.
Katie, a broadcast journalism student, leveraged her love of the news into a career in PR. But under polished professional exterior was a dark financial picture full of maxed out credit cards, shopping sprees and unpaid bills. After co-founding the Smart Cookies, Katie committed to changing her ways. By taking a no-nonsense approach to career and wealth, she has made $260,000 by investing in real estate, stocks and starting her own PR company. Katie also managed to pay for her $22,000 wedding in cash. Today Katie is happily married and is a new mom to a beautiful baby girl.
Through Western’s ambitious fundraising campaign, Be Extraordinary, we are raising the bar to enrich The Western Experience.
We are preparing students to become the next generation of global leaders. We are also inspiring innovative learning and igniting world-class discovery to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
We invite alumni and friends to participate in our campaign, and help double the number of alumni who contribute to making Western extraordinary.
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