I want to start by thanking my husband, Jonathan, because without him, this book would not exist. Jonathan, from the very beginning you encouraged me to pursue this goal. You supported me through every setback over the many years it took to make this dream a reality. I completed it with your help, your snacks, and all those walks you took with the kids so I could write. I wouldn't be a mom without you, and I certainly wouldn't be an author without you either. I love you!
Thank you to the entire team at Wiley, especially Kevin Harreld, for believing in this project and helping turn it into a finished product. Thank you to the Knight Agency, especially my literary agent, Elaine Spencer, for your brilliance, tenacity, and for figuring out how to sell my book.
Thank you to Jennifer Locke, for helping me create the perfect title for this book as well as Meghan Stevensen and Farnoosh Torabi, who helped bring my initial ideas together several years ago. Thanks also to Adam Kirschner for helping me grow my career in a meaningful way.
A special thank‐you to my friend Katie Gilbert, who saw a tweet from my literary agency saying they were looking for writers in the personal finance niche and passed it along to me. Katie also spent time reading and editing this book when I finished, and her feedback gave me enough confidence to actually turn it in.
To Andrew Dewar, it's hard to adequately thank you in words. Your friendship and kindness is unparalleled. I don't know how many pep talks you had to give me while I wrote this book, but they certainly helped get it done. Also, thank you for reading this before I turned it in. You've secured your spot in the Top 5.
Thank you to the FinCon community, of which there are far too many people to name. You've been with me since my business and blog were in their infancy and have supported me with press, media mentions, podcast interviews, referrals, ideas, camaraderie, and wonderful friendships.
Thank you to my blog readers, my Instagram community, and every single supporter I've had along the way. Without your interest in what I do, this book would never be possible. Thank you for providing a platform for me to share my money stories and for all your encouragement.
Thank you to my parents, who instilled a love of reading in me from a very early age and encouraged my writing. Thank you for always buying me books—I realize now what a gift that was. My siblings and in‐laws were also great cheerleaders. Mr. Darryl, thank you for reading everything I've written from the very beginning. You're the inspiration for many of my money choices. I love all of you.
A couple of other people provided great emotional support, advice, and ideas throughout this process: Katie Houf, Kristen Simmer, Jessi Fearon, Melody Zoma, Bola Sokunbi, Jason Vitug, Jason Brown, Andy Hill, Renee Sorgi, and Sara Levitsky.
Lastly, to Aria and Edison, my quarantine buddies, thank you for inspiring me to be better every day. Thank you for asking how many words I'd written that day and for always having hugs and kisses for me. It was a wild ride, and you got a ton of iPad time so I could write this book during a pandemic. We got through it together, though, didn't we? You were both so proud and excited for me when I told you I was finished with my book. I won't ever forget it. Remember, Alfords don't quit.