Have you ever wondered why financial freedom seems out of your reach? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that it has nothing to do with interest rates and investment properties. And everything to do with your behaviour.

Sometimes we forget that time has a limit. To fully appreciate every moment is nearly impossible, but we know we should try. So we continue on, not quite sure where we are headed, but too exhausted and consumed with life today to look too far down the track. Wouldn’t it be great if someone could give you a birds eye view of life, and what choices you had coming up? Then you could see what would give you the best outcomes when it comes to making those choices.

In this inaugural episode of a five-part series, financial educator and author Vanessa Stoykov details the way TIME contributes to how financially comfortable we are - both now and later in Life.

Vanessa is joined by financial commentator Sally Loane to dive deep into the lessons learned from fictional married couple Karen and Russ, characters pulled from Vanessa’s finance novel ‘The Breakfast club for 40-somethings.’

Meet Karen

Meet Karen

A busy mum of three, Karen starts to realise in her mid 40s that her kids are getting older, and she is getting left behind. Her husband has his career, and her kids have their worlds, but it has been a very long time since Karen has thought about anything for herself.

Meet Russ

Meet Russ

Her husband Russ is a great Dad and provider, but has not made Karen’s fulfilment outside of being a mum a priority in their relationship - he has been happy to let her run the home and kids while he focuses on work. This is starting to take a toll on their marriage, and the school reunion brings all this to a head.

Will their marriage survive? Will Karen reinvent herself? Can Russ escape a job he hates? Can they change their financial situation now or is it too late?

Key Takeaways:

Looking successful can be extremely different to having wealth.

How motherhood forces some women to lose out on superannuation and the ways working partners can combat this.

The ways a partner supported a stay-at-home mother of three reinventing herself to go back to work.

The direction and insight a financial planner can offer.

A man is not a plan.”

Motherhood and guilt are two very close terms”

A lot of people in middle-class Australia are probably living a little bit closer to the edge than people think.”

About Vanessa Stoykov:

About Vanessa Stoykov:

Vanessa is an award-winning financial commentator, author and CEO.
She is on a mission to help Australians get real about money. From her 23-year history of owning a financial services education-focused media business, Evolution Media Group, Vanessa has a deep understanding of the finance world and has the unique ability to communicate this in a way that everyday people can understand. A passionate financial educator, Vanessa has published two books and regularly appears on renown media tv outlets.

About Sally Loane:

About Sally Loane:

Sally was the Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Council (FSC) from 2014-2021, a peak industry organisation representing leading firms in Australia’s financial services sector. She is a published writer, previous host of the Morning program on 702 ABC Sydney and sits on several boards in the government, private company and charity sectors. Her views on marriage, divorce, men and life will challenge you and give valuable insight into how to change your life circumstances through smart decision making.


The information provided by Vanessa Stoykov is general in nature and does not take into consideration your personal financial situation.

The Content on this website provides general information only. It is not or intended to be used as personal investment advice and must not be relied upon as such. You should obtain professional investment advice tailored to your specific circumstances prior to making any investment decisions. We strongly believe in the power of financial planning to change lives.