Every now and then, when I’m talking to someone who’s interested in taking the Financial Recovery Counselor Training, I’ll be asked, “Can you tell me what it’s like to have a career as a Financial Recovery Counselor?”
These kinds of questions inspired me to start a new series of blog posts in which I interview some of my past trainees who’ve gone on to build lucrative practices in Financial Recovery. Today, I’m happy to feature my interview with Carrie Friedberg, who became a certified Financial Recovery Counselor in 2010 and now has a thriving practice in New York.
Through a holistic coaching process, Carrie guides her clients in taking an honest look at their income and expenses then helps them create a flexible framework for making consistent and guilt-free financial decisions. You can visit Carrie’s website here.
What were you doing before you knew about Financial Recovery or the Financial Recovery Institute?
I was an under-earning private school teacher who felt hopeless, anxious and constantly worried about money. My fear around money affected my personal relationships, how I showed up in my family, and it tempered my dreams.
What inspired you to take the Financial Recovery Counselor’s Training?
I’d tried so many different things to ‘fix’ my issues with money: Mint.com, Quicken, designing my own tracking software and even traditional financial therapy. Nothing lasted more than 6-9 months.
I was desperate for a sustainable system. A friend suggested I hire a money coach – someone who guides you in a process of healing your relationship with money. I took the advice and started my financial recovery as a client.
For two years, I worked with a coach and experienced a customized blend of financial planning and financial therapy that addressed both my practical and emotional issues around money. With that support and accountability, I ended up quitting my teaching job and starting a tutoring business. I doubled my income in the first year.
The effect on my life, self-worth and lifestyle was so profound that I was inspired to do the Financial Recovery Counselor’s Training in 2010.
What was your experience during the training?
I loved the training. It was deep, empowering and educational. In combination with the time I spent as a financial recovery client, I mastered personal finance distinctions and counseling skills. I also learned how to set up a business.
To accelerate my professional development, I leaned on the world-wide community of counselors a lot during and after the training. I received invaluable support around how to best to serve and understand specific case studies and challenges I faced in my practice.
Tell us one of your most rewarding or surprising experiences as a Financial Recovery Counselor.
As a Financial Recovery Counselor, I was able to move from San Francisco to New York City and set up a successful, sustainable business as a money coach. THAT is amazing.
What do you love the most about your work?
I love helping people feel calm and peaceful about money. With a background as a yoga instructor and Kindergarten teacher, I’m very good at diffusing intensity, fear and even resistance. I love creating a safe space for people to ask questions, tell all and get empowered. I am committed to making the art of personal finance fun!
How has your own relationship with money changed as a result of being a Financial Recovery Counselor?
I have healed my relationship with money. Money is no longer a scary skeleton in the closet. I’m able to proactively plan my spending and earnings on a monthly and annual basis, maintain savings, and expand the vision I have for my life and business. Tending to my garden of money is now a means of freedom and having more of what I want.
If you had a magic wand, and you could immediately transform something in your clients’ lives or experience, what would it be?
I would transform the way clients fill the void with things they don’t actually need or love, the way they fall into the traps of the media and consumerism, and the way they put pressure on themselves to look, do or act in certain ways to ‘keep up with the Joneses.’
How has your career/work as a Financial Recovery Counselor affected the rest of your life?
Since healing my own relationship with money, I broke up with a compulsive spender and married a wonderful man who is sane, open, interested and generous with money. This is the biggest miracle of my life and I know it’s a result of my financial recovery.
Thank you, Carrie!