Monica Parker Learns Outliving Money Is Women’s Biggest Fear in Retirement
Nothing funny about a lack of money, Comedian Monica Parker realizes, which leads her to a lush discovery about finances.
Monica Parker interviewed 100 women about their relationship to money after a gut-punching bankruptcy and discovered that well-being, mental, emotional, and even spiritual currency are what females seek. Her new memoir, “Oops! I Forgot to Save Money (and it Turns Out, I’m Not Alone)” features stories — the good, the bad, and the best — about women, money, and the full spectrum of emotions from shame, envy, greed, and resentment to joy, charity, opportunity, and generosity.
Says Parker, “In the process of writing this book, I interviewed almost 100 women about their relationship to money. Many of them have never before had a conversation about money with anyone. It’s as if they were being asked to unlock their secret diary and share their most private of thoughts. People talk to me; they tell me things they wouldn’t normally share with others.”
Oops! I Forgot To Save Money
“Oops! I Forgot to Save Money,” published by Smart House Books, is out now and available on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and iammonicaparker.com.
Hacks and Designing Women star Jean Smart calls Parker “The Erma Bombeck of Bucks,” and the moniker fits Parker’s serio-comic “anthropological” approach to money, marriage, denial, and deliverance.
After finally being inundated by bill collectors’ calls and red-lettered “Final Notice” letters delivered to the front door (then blindly shoved into her drawer of denial), Monica and her husband finally sat staring down the desk of a bankruptcy lawyer — their countless credit cards taken away, their credit destroyed.
It was the wake-up call. “I had to grow up and face myself,” says Parker. “It was definitely about getting my act together.”
Inspired To Write
Raised in a family scarred by war and uncertain about money, Glasgow, Scotland-born Monica Parker grew up in Toronto, Canada, and finally found her footing in Los Angeles. There, she has worked aside legends like Sir Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Dan Aykroyd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Viggo Mortensen, John Cusack, John Candy, and Kim Cattrall.
“For women especially, money is overburdened with emotional meaning,” Parker says. “We think we are not worthy, therefore we don’t deserve success. And these stories can apply equally to gazillionaires as well as those living below the poverty line.”
She says that financial misbehaviors can be modified, although it doesn’t happen overnight. “First comes the recognition and admission that these behaviors exist, and then the work to erase and replace them with healthier ones. The hole in our soul can be healed.”
Lessons For The Future
Monica has written her book “Oops! I Forgot to Save Money” as a cautionary tale. She says it’s not a “How To” but a “Don’t Ever!” From lessons learned from her interviews and personal journey, she offers a few pearls of wisdom for those trying to avoid that all-too-familiar sinking feeling that comes after looking at one’s post-holiday credit card bills:
• Stop Living in Fantasyland. “Stop pretending that you have a ton of money. You don’t. Start becoming more conscious about your money, how it is finite, and how it might be more important to pay for meals than to buy a new PS5 for the kids.”
• Prioritize What Is Important. Monica began making lists of what was really necessary and important in her life, what wasn’t, and where she was putting money, so she could begin to make better financial decisions. She says you can do the same with your holiday spending. “At the end of the day,” says Monica, “the most important thing is being with and reconnecting with friends and family. Your family truly wants you, not the trinkets you might be showing up with, so don’t think you have to go out of your way to buy expensive gifts for everyone. A tin of homemade cookies coming from the heart really does taste sweeter. You’re not Oprah — not everyone needs to get a car.”
• Stay Away From “Buy Now, Pay Later” Plans. “Be careful not to get lured into the “buy now, pay later” offers. They are a potential financial sinkhole. The interest alone on those seductive loans will only make things worse.”
• Indulge a Little… But Not TOO Much. “I’m not a Marie Kondo person. I think we should be allowed to indulge a little bit. But first ask yourself these questions: ‘Can we afford it? Will we come to regret it the morning after?’ It’s a little bit like eating too much cake: It could hurt!”
Says Parker, “I have learned so much on this journey about bringing money conversations into the light, but the one lesson I have come to appreciate the most, besides the value of compound interest, is that as women, we are the gold.”
About Monica Parker
Monica Parker was born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland until the age of thirteen when she immigrated with her parents to Toronto, Canada. Her television career began when she created, wrote and starred in an outrageous exercise show for an independent TV station. She went on to write for numerous television series and appear on stage and in film and television both in Canada and the United States, working with such notable talents as Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas and Kirstie Alley.
As a producer, Monica has focused on socially relevant television movies such as Hunger Point about anorexia, starring Barbara Hershey and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks; and The Party Never Stops, a story about the deadly results of binge drinking which garnered a Prism award nomination for its star, Nancy Travis.
Monica is currently starring in her insightful and funny one-woman show; Sex, Pies & A Few White Lies which spawned her soon-to-be published funny but true non-fiction anti-diet book, Getting Waisted – A Survival Guide to Being Fat in a Society That Loves Thin. It’s a book that speaks to everyone who can identify with having struggled over and over to lose weight only to gain it back time after time. Her story is funny and painful but it’s also inspirational She believes that some people are just not meant to be sylph-like and she is only too happy to be their “Pie” Piper.
Amongst Monica’s many accolades, she has recently been asked to serve as an Advisory Board Member at Humber College’s prestigious Television Writing and Producing Program. She is a much in demand speaker and thought leader in a topic near and near to her heart; “Self-love instead of Self-loathe. Monica currently has a recurring role on SciFy’s hit show; Defiance.
Monica has been married since dinosaurs roamed the earth to her wonderful, patient and sainted husband Gilles and is mother to their less patient but none-the-less wonderful 28-year-old son Remy. They currently split their time between Toronto and Los Angeles but are determined to find the perfect cottage on a magical Muskoka lake and spend as much time there, as possible.
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