Welcome! I’m Financial Coach Debra Jacobs, Ed.M., AFC. My mission is to help you master your finances and pursue your dreams.

At a turning point in your life? Eager to move forward but held back by financial constraints?

I hear you.

Personal finances have a big impact on your sense of well-being and possibilities for your life.

Money Smart for Life was born out of my desire to serve people just like you. I’ve done the deep dive into financial learning, so you don’t have to.

I’m so glad you’re here, and look forward to helping you change your finances and transform your life!

Ready to Get Started?


My education background (Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and years of teaching and coaching experience) informs the way I coach: breaking down sometimes complex concepts into easy-to-understand steps that you can implement immediately.

Prior to launching Money Smart for Life, I founded and operated a preschool for many years, where I taught, supervised staff, developed curriculum, coached parents, and ran the business. Before starting the preschool, I worked at a non-profit, where I wrote grants, trained teachers, and helped immigrants and refugees prepare for life and work in the United States. I’m a single mom to two young adult daughters.

I’m certified as an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE).

Just for Fun – Some Facts About Me

  • As part of an adventure challenge, I took a helicopter lesson, went dog sledding, got a tattoo, sang on video (OMG! I’m so tone deaf that in grade school a music teacher told me to mouth the words …), and more.

  • One of the most fun projects I ever worked on was editing a book (from 9:00 pm to midnight, after my kids went to sleep, for a year and a half). Like Money Smart for Life, it was a labor of love.
  • At one point in my life (pre-kids) I did a lot of on-road bicycle touring, but had never been on a mountain bike. I decided to take a mountain bike trip through Canyonlands National Park. In the first five minutes – of the first time I was EVER on a mountain bike – I faced an 800 foot drop into the canyon. Yikes! Scary but fun.
  • I’m a dog person. The best dog I ever had (the best dog to ever walk the face of the earth) was a beat-up former racing greyhound named Milo – my baby before my baby came along.

  • The very best thing I ever did, EVER, was adopt my kids, despite being told how hard it would be as a single mom. It was. And it was, and still is, THE BEST.
I’d love to hear some “fun facts” about you!  Drop me an email at debra@moneysmartforlife.com.