What is money coaching?

Money coaching is a customized blend of financial planning and financial therapy. Carrie guides men and women on a path to financial freedom through a holistic coaching process. She helps professionals, families and small business owners take control of their finances and find lasting emotional and financial security. With Carrie’s mindful counseling, clients take a rigorous look at their income and expenses to create a flexible framework (a.k.a. monthly and annual budgets) for making smart and guilt-free financial decisions on a consistent basis. When relevant, clients address family history and imbalances such as debt, emotional spending, financial conflicts in relationships and underearning. The money coaching process with Carrie is transformative, inspirational and practical – it’s about aligning your spending, saving, and earning with your values.

How do we get started?

You can schedule a complimentary 20-minute consultation, email me at carrie@sfmoneycoach.com, or call me at (415) 577-3738.

Where are you located?

I live in Portola Valley, CA and my office is in Palo Alto. Many clients, even Bay Area folks, choose to work by Zoom over in-person appointments – it’s your choice!

What are your office hours?

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am – 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time.

Do you work with people by phone?

Yes, we will use Zoom – it has an easy screen sharing feature so I can show you visuals and demonstrate tools. You will also be able to share your screen with me so I can answer any questions that you may have. You will need to have access to the internet and be comfortable on the computer.

What happens during the first three money coaching sessions?

In the first session, I’ll ask you a series of intake questions about your financial situation covering everything from day to day financial decisions, debt/savings picture, credit card use, family history as well as your goals and intentions – what you want to accomplish and address. In the second session, we’ll define your current and ideal lifestyle by creating totally customized categories for tracking your money and planning your spending, saving and earning. In the third session, we’ll start applying numbers to your vision by creating your first spending plan a.k.a. budget. From there, we’ll be able to assess reality and answer the question, “Does this plan work?”

What financial tools will I learn?

The Money Minder is a cloud-based holistic financial tracking software that includes Monthly and Annual Spending Plans (budgets) as well as Monthly and Annual Summaries which tell you how much money you’ll have at the end of the month and year if you spend, save and earn according to the plan. Both the monthly and annual plans are adjustable and flexible. Built into the Money Minder, you will also utilize a Periodic Calendar for anticipated non-monthly expenses, a Debt Repayment Plan (if relevant), a Needs & Wants/Desires Assessment, an Action Plan and a Net Worth Statement. Over time, we will implement additional tools such as your Personal Money Practice, Money Affirmations, Money Autobiography, Values Clarification, Earning Ceiling Meditation, Debt & Savings Pyramids, Spending Journal, Life-Energy Number, Holiday Planner, Work History Inventory and a myriad of exercises for addressing Underearning, if needed. See Tools for more information and free downloads.

How often do I come in?

Based on the details of your financial situation, we will customize the frequency of appointments to meet your needs. It is a process that is unique for everyone and can change over time. I recommend a minimum of two appointments per month and clients often begin with weekly appointments. It takes most people about 3-6 months to be on a steady path of healthy financial behaviors and to fully wrap their arms around their financial picture. At that point, most clients shift into a maintenance mode and continue coming in on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual basis.

How long is an appointment?

Sessions usually last 60 minutes. Occasionally, we may decide to do a 90-minute appointment.

I have a small business. Which should I work on, my personal finances or my small business finances?

We will explore this question in our consultation and decide together. Many small business owners start off by looking at their personal finances. Once clarity and stability are achieved, clients frequently start applying the same mindfulness, structure and accountability to their business finances as well.

How can I pay you?

Cash, check, or debit/credit card.

Can you make referrals to other professionals?

Yes, I am happy to make referrals to certified financial planners, insurance brokers, estate planners, accountants, investment advisors, life coaches and therapists. I also know amazing tutors, stylists, photographers, copy writers, virtual assistants, nutritionists, web designers and yoga instructors in New York City and the Bay Area. Just ask!

What is the story behind the SF Money Coach and NY Money Coach?

Prior to 2012, I lived in San Francisco for 14 years and that is where I started my money coaching practice. For two years starting in June 2012, I lived and worked in Manhattan as the New York Money Coach. In June 2014, I moved back to Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

An Interview with Moven

What inspired you to become a money coach? My own journey as a money coaching client inspired me to become a coach. The process was deeply transformative for me – I went from zero financial skills and total overwhelm to feeling strong, confident and empowered around money, plus I doubled my income the first year after learning how to create flexible monthly and annual spending plans.

How long have you been a money coach and what types of clients do you typically work with? I’ve been a certified holistic money coach for 4 years and an educator for 17 years.  I typically work with process-oriented professionals who want to use the art of personal finance as the path to their deepest desires.

What is the most important piece of financial advice you’ve ever given? It’s not about the money. Happiness, earning potential, lifestyle choices, fulfilling relationships and success have very little to do with bank account balances. Financial well-being is an inside job and can be cultivated in anyone with curiosity and an open mind.

What are the three things everyone should be paying attention to as it relates to their money? 1) Pay your credit cards off in full on the 30th of every month – this is essential for capturing each month’s spending. 2) How you relate with money is how you relate with life. 3) A monthly budget is sustainable only if you include an average of your periodic (anticipated non-monthly) expenses.

How will you “live rich and spend smart” this year? I live rich by practicing gratitude and seeing all of the gifts in my life. I tell my loved ones why I love and appreciate them as often as possible. I share with my clients what a pleasure and honor it is to work with them and I take time to breathe deeply. I plan to spend smart with financial wellness and accountability tools like a cash tracking app and the Money Minder. I use a proactive planning method for my spending, saving and earning and then stay connected to my money on a daily basis to see how I’m doing. Forward planning is much more effective that rearview mirror accounting at the end of the month – this way there is time throughout the month and year to make any necessary changes.