I first met Caroline many years ago, just before I started the Financial Recovery Institute. Knowing of my work, a mutual friend connected us. Back then, Caroline was just beginning the financial recovery process.
In 2019, Caroline approached me about becoming a Certified Financial Recovery TM Counselor. It has been great to reconnect and watch her develop as she progressed through the program and her work with clients.
What made you want to move from personally living the financial recovery process to teaching others about it?
My own life has been transformed through financial recovery. But here’s the thing: It’s not just about money. Financial recovery is a paradox. On the one hand, money is tangible. Consequently, with new behavior and tools very real changes can and do occur: Getting out of debt. Meeting long-deferred needs on a material level. Perhaps earning more. Saving more. But intangible, emotional changes occur too. Shifting from fear to calm from limitation to possibility.
I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than work with clients as they heal and transform their lives, financially and otherwise.
What qualities distinguish you as a money coach?
A listening presence. Attunement. A capacity to reframe, ask good questions, and challenge in ways that feel supportive.
If I were a spirit animal, I might be a golden lab. I genuinely enjoy and am intrigued by people and have a warm demeanor. And I love helping clients retrieve things they feel they have lost and want to find again – like financial clarity or a life that inspires energy and joy.
Looking back at your younger self, what would you most have liked to know, starting out in financial recovery?
That addressing the money alone is not the answer. Early on, I felt that if I just earned more, all would be well. Yet, I did earn more and found myself repeating spending and debting patterns that didn’t serve me well. An aha moment occurred when I was 40. I applied for and was accepted into graduate school. With a combination of scholarship, savings, and part-time work, I was able to complete the program without incurring unsecured debt. The biggest learning, though, was this: While my annual income was the lowest I’d ever earned, I was deeply content. All my needs were fully met and what I was doing day-to-day aligned with my values. It’s a thrilling feeling.
What do you like most about money coaching?
Can I say everything? Because I think it’s true. The work is gratifying and challenging. Each client is unique. Earning the trust of another person is always a privilege – and even more so on a topic as personal as money. In our work, we witness growth and change. By healing in the present, the future can be very different. I find that energizing!