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Personal Finance Mentoring - Integrating the practical and emotional elements of your money.


Filtering by Category: Financial Freedom

A holiday spending plan

Megan deBoer

Photo by  Caley Dimmock

Photo by Caley Dimmock

‘Tis the season of gift giving no matter your tradition…

It is so much fun to give - particularly when we find just the right gift for someone we love.  

One of the best strategies for to stay financially grounded during the holidays is to create a holiday spending plan… aka, a spending roadmap.

This time of year we are often pulled by our emotions and veer off our intended course. Having a solid spending plan makes all the difference - and prevents a spending hang-over, or a credit card bill from surprising you in January.

It isn’t as fancy as it sounds - if you have never made one before, it is simply a list of categories you are likely to spend on. With the amount you plan to spend beside it.

Total it up to ensure you will have the funds to cover all that you are planning. Don’t panic if it is more than you realized… you haven’t spent the money yet, and there is time to course correct. If debt has been an issue in past years, you are just seeing it before, instead of after.

A simple method is to use envelopes with cash for each category. Or use a fancier system to track the actual spending in relation to the plan. Whichever way you choose, it is so helpful in staying clear, conscious, and connected to your intention - and to end the year without any financial harm.

I find myself able to relax and enjoy the entire giving season when I have 'pre-spent' the money, giving us permission and 'guardrails' for our spending.

Spending money on gifts made me EXTREMELY anxious years ago, in part because we didn't have much to spend, but more importantly because there was no plan and it felt out of control - I am so glad that part of me has done a 180!

Here are some categories to consider using..

Decorations - Tree, Candles, Wreaths, Lights, etc.
Holiday Meals & Entertainment - pay particular attention if you are hosting, or attending lots of parties where you will bring wine or gifts for the host
Wrapping Supplies
Santa (if it applies)
Pet Gifts (I know... but for some people this adds up :-)
Charitable Giving
End of Year Tips (housecleaner, hairdresser, doorman, etc.)

If you find your funds not quite stretching to cover as much as you want to cover, consider ALL the possibilities!  The possibilities could include: exploring creative solutions (a lightly used toy swap with friends to be re-wrapped and newly loved by your kiddos and theirs) as well as lowering your expectations. As Erin Boyle states on her blog, "there’s no admission price to the holidays".  You can be in the spirit of giving without sacrificing your own financial wellbeing.  

If you find that while you are shopping for others your own intense desire to spend and buy for yourself, consider putting aside a little money for yourself before you go shopping ($10-$100).  Giving yourself healthy permission in advance can, in and of itself, prevent overspending. You can choose to spend it, not spend it, or give it away... but it gives you choice. And sometimes that is what we need the most.

Stay grounded… stay connected…and enjoy the spirit of this giving, generous season!

If you want a very sweet reminder about the joy of giving, take a peak at this ad from the UK - My daughters shared it with me - I highly recommend watching until the very end… so very good!

Master the 7 Principles

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A Bit of Calm for the Holiday Storm...

Megan deBoer

Photo by  Caley Dimmock

Photo by Caley Dimmock

Is your inbox as full as mine? Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Giving Tuesday!

And so here we are... fully immersed in the holiday season before we have even turned the calendar to December.

I won't lie. It all makes me tired. It is a quick pull away from this moment - a grounded sense of enough. Of plenty. It reminds me just how quickly we can get pulled off center.

It isn't necessarily negative - so much that is being offered is lovely, worthy, helpful, and fun! It is just that there is an incessant pace to all of it at this time of year. This is the first ingredient of the storm.

It is the season of over-spending, over-eating, over-drinking, over-committing, general over-indulging. Each one of these has an effect on your financial wellbeing. Combined, it creates a bit of internal chaos.

This time of year also holds emotional highs and lows - for many of us this time is laced with sorrow or nostalgia for what was, or isn't. This is another layer of the storm - and can increase its intensity.

So - what to do? I wanted to share some thoughts, and some resources to provide an anchor in the coming weeks. 

Holding steady emotionally becomes your most trusted anchor. And what prevents debt, over-spending, or other financial hangovers come January.

Checking in with ourselves regularly becomes the practice that helps us stay true to ourselves... and our commitment to our financial health.

A Quick Assessment - to do throughout the holiday season… 

  • What is the feeling I am feeling? Simply name it. Acknowledge the feeling. Be with it for one breath (happy, sad, angry, anxious, overwhelmed...)

  • What do I need right now? Water? (maybe pack a bottle of water to bring with you each day) Deep breaths? (1 deep breath does wonders…) A snack? (maybe keep some good protein in your bag…nuts and dried fruit are my favorite) A few moments alone in your car between ALL.THE.THINGS? (it is perhaps the best gift you can give everyone around you...calm and centered you) A quick call to your best friend to cry or laugh with? (you know, that friend who grounds you…)

  • Meet that need! Drink the water. Eat the snack. Take that long deep breath - or 5. Or do all of the above! (and if I sound like a mother, it is because I am a mother - and a human who knows how easy it is to forget these things)

  • Then ask, Do I feel grounded? Feeling grounded allows clear thinking, making decisions from an un-rushed, un-reactive stateIf the answer is no, consider repeating 1-4... and know it is all about PRACTICE... not about being perfect!

I would recommend doing this quick assessment before you make any purchasing decisions... online or in actual stores. 

[And TEA… always take time out to pause for tea - or your beverage of choice. If you know me, you know how much I love to have tea in my cold hands.]

Being a mindful spender is all about practice... a practice in learning how we respond and react. A practice in being more conscious and intentional about the choices we make - about our money, our time, and our energy. Each of which is a resource to be tended with care.

I hope you stay grounded during this season - coming through feeling as though every dollar was money well spent.

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Do you RUN from Money?

Megan deBoer

Photo by  Jeremy Lapak

Photo by Jeremy Lapak

Do YOU run from money??

Oh no, not me, [you say] – I love money!”

But perhaps the answer isn’t so simple. You see, sometimes we turn our backs when things get hard – when things aren’t quite as easy, or nearly as pleasant, as we would like. [Ahem]

Being in a  r – e – l – a –t – i – o – n – s – h – i – p  with money requires we are there, for better or worse. For richer, for poorerIn sickness and in health. 

Which is work. And it’s HARD. And make any of the following really, really difficult to face: 

  • Those unopened bills oppressing you daily with their very presence on the counter…

  • The student loan debt that you just can’t bear to look at – the balance unrecognizable from the amount you borrowed in the first place…

  • The dread of speaking to your accountant and finally knowing the amount you owe for last year’s taxes (so you just forget to return their calls and miss some critical deadlines…)

  • A customer - or client - or boss - or family member - who owes YOU money but you keep not bringing it up because you don't want them to think you are _______ (fill in your own blank)...

Can you relate? Maybe you have a different list. But I imagine it has the same flavor.

Avoidance is the external symptom of our nervous system’s response to FEAR. FLIGHT & FREEZE are the strategy. Avoidance. Paralysis. And yes, RUNNING away. Get to know these ‘helpers’ of yours. When do they show up in your world? (it helps to start getting curious, so simply pay attention and observe...)

They are actually “brilliant” and sneaky survival responses - but that doesn’t mean they are doing you any favors! As for helping you survive? I would bet that your unconscious has you doing all matter of crazy, illogical things in the name of 'safety'. 

But none of those things leave you feeling peaceful. They likely leave you with either low grade anxiety, hopelessness, or full-on shame and despair.

Each of these states have you - yes you! – running from money. We alldo it to some degree. In my experience it is the brave, courageous, conscious act of turning TOWARDS what we fear that also allows us to run towards money… yes, the ‘for BETTER’ ‘for RICHER’ and HEALTH part of the relationship we ALL want. 

It doesn’t have to mean agony… it doesn’t have to be a life sentence of torture. All that is required is a willingness to brave what we fear. To stare it straight in the eyes, even when it terrifies us. SO THAT WE MOVE TO THE OTHER SIDE.

Because this is what I know to be true: we cannot have one without the other

We can’t have a peaceful relationship with money until we confront the fear. 

When we avoid the darkness the light is suppressed in there too. Always. 

I have sat with many clients as we open months of unopened bills (which is symbolic of anything being avoided, really…). There is always a good deal of brow-sweat, shortness of breath, and tears… 

But you know what else there is?

As if by magic, we find LIGHT in that darkness: the amounts due are inevitably smaller than their mind had assumed. 

Sometimes there has actually been a statement of a CREDIT! Sometimes an actual CHECK that is about to expire!! 

Even if there isn’t money in an envelope, the reward is always CLARITY. RELIEF. EMPOWERMENT – the truth really does set us free.

And THAT, my friends, leads to a balanced relationship with money – a true partnership with money….The good along with the hard - the challenging along with the beautiful.

Run towards money in its completeness… because it is always BOTH / AND. 

Money is inherently dynamic, asking YOU to be engaged, to dance with the entire range and find the beauty you can create together from here forward, COME WHAT MAY. It is a relationship that – unlike some others! – really will last a lifetime, like it or not.

So, are YOU running away from money right now? How is your “relationship” with money? The good parts, the hard parts?


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Why Wasn't there a class about money in school??

Megan deBoer

I have Virgo in my chart, so this time of year always feels like a refreshing return to Order & Routine - aka, a giant sigh of relief pour moi! The back to school supplies definitely add to my mood - sharpened pencils, fresh notebooks - a fresh start that all of us (in this country, anyway) have in our bones, like it or not.

But when you think of allllllll the classes you attended over alllllll the school years, was even ONE of them about money??? About the practical nuts and bolts? (if you were lucky you learned how to balance a checkbook). How about addressing the emotional aspects of money?? I would like to think that there is at least *one* person somewhere who was lucky enough to receive guidance about the emotional side of money in school, but I know there probably isn't a single one.

We teach sex education (poorly in most cases, but at least it is taught), so why not personal finance? Why is this? Why has this virtually disappeared from the curriculum, when the ONE thing we all have to deal with is money? I have some long answers to that question - but will save that for another time.

The fact that we 'never learned this in school', yet we are still 'supposed to know' leaves far too many people stuck in shame or unable to move forward because there is a real fear of looking or feeling stupid.

If I could shout from the rooftops and call everyone who feels this way out of their homes, the streets would become a party - truly! 

Financial education is STILL a subject that we 'assume' will be covered at home, but more often than not, it isn't. 

If, as a parent, YOU feel unsure, or insecure, about money it can be really hard to bring up the subject with your kids. Inadvertently, a void is created, and from that void in communication some unconscious patterns can develop for the person watching. 

This means that for most of us, our financial education came predominately by witnessing: our parent's mood when the bills were paid (or not paid). The mood before - and then just after - Payday. Our mood when we wanted something that was a little expensive and we knew not to even ask. When one of our parents spent money in secret. Or told us not to tell. Our little minds tried to make sense of these experiences. Learning ways to respond to money in our future.

We all have layers - most are unconscious, and they may or may not be influencing our current reality. Also! Our parents did their best, after all, they were "taught" by their parents (your grandparents), and so the cycle goes.

But here's the good news. If YOU missed this fundamental 'Life Class' about money, there is no reason that you cannot start learning now! 

And...You don't have to be an expert to teach your kids. However, it always helps to be honest. Tell them in a simple, age appropriate way, that you are still learning (why yes, it is ok to not know 'everything'). Tell them that you would make different choices if you could make them again (we ALL have made some mistakes with money, acknowledging this is healthy for you - and them). Tell them that you want to support them in learning so they can make better choices throughout their lives. They will make mistakes, but you can talk about these mistakes and help support them through the learning.

Even if you don't have kids, you can use this same approach with yourself - imagining that you are your own parent, talking to your younger self. Engage in this dialogue (see below). You will simultaneously heal any void that may exist and take the reins of your financial life.

Someday I hope there will be an enlightened class in schools that cover all the financial literacy topics as well as healing some of the dysfunction that has been passed from generation to generation. Until then, we can take the reins ourselves.

Did you have a class about money in school? If you didn't, what do you wish you had learned? 

And...Are you talking to your kids about money? If not, what makes it hard for you?


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Design Your Life, One Spending Plan at a time

Megan deBoer

Spending Plans

Are you turned off by the idea of a 'budget'? I know I am... and I know most of my clients are too. It may sound like the same medicine, just wrapped up in a fancy bottle, but a Spending Plan is philosophically very different. Let me explain...

Money touches every aspect of our lives. It is usually involved, to some degree, in helping us create a life that is meaningful. Being intentional - and conscious - about where your money WILL be spent becomes a powerful exercise in reclaiming some say.

Too often - and despite our very best intentions - we find ourselves at the end of the month (or year!) wondering: where did all that money go? (a worthy question, but one that can also keep you stuck in shame, blame, frustration, and guilt).

Instead, try a new approach. It is the 1st the month, a perfect time for a fresh start! 

Sit with your calendar and a piece of paper. After you pay your bills and address all the static expenses, look beyond to what will be happening AND what you would like to happen: happy hour with your girlfriends, a birthday party, gas & picnic money for a weekend hike, supplies for your house project, & perhaps some fall sweaters...

The things on the list may or may not have any spending associated with them (and I always, always encourage looking for creative low/no cost alternatives). BUT, if they do require money - and you forget to plan for them - the outcome could be one of two things: You do it, even if you don't have the money (it goes on a credit card or just feels crappy) OR you don't do it and you feel disappointment and frustration because this ALWAYS happens.

A 'Spending Plan' helps you see what is important to you in advance  - what's happening this month that deserves or requires your financial attention. It is also flexible... unlike our connotations of a strict 'BUDGET', this is your money and YOU can change your mind!

Where will you guide your money this month??

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Paying Taxes?

Megan deBoer


I am writing checks for my own stack of tax payments. Perhaps you aren’t the procrastinator I am (but if you are, cheers!).

I also helped my daughter file her very first return this year. I explained all the parts - familiarizing her with all the pages, the lingo, and what she was paying for...

I am writing this for you - for her - ( for me….)

Taxes trigger “Loss Aversion Bias”. It is painful. We feel something is being taken from us. (and arguably, something is). 

There are two sides to everything, though - nothing is either good or bad. It is always degrees of both. 

And because there is always an energetic exchange with money, it is important to explore all sides - so that when you release the money (each paycheck or each quarter or each April) you do so with neutrality - even gratitude

(I know….but bear with me).

So let’s reframe taxes (and at least for this exercise, sidestep the current state of our country, it’s priorities, and the disparity in too many line items).

Because: Libraries. National Parks. (Mostly) Functional roads and bridges. Social Security. Education. Medicare… 

You can probably draw a short line between any of the above and your own life - these are the more obvious ones that we benefit from. (again, not saying that they are perfect… so…#sheshouldrun)

If you have ever traveled through a country whose main roads have potholes every few feet, you may have some appreciation for how much easier our lives are - and how much we may take for granted.

Your taxes help make these things possible - for you, and for our fellow citizens. If we weren’t contributing, who, exactly would be paying for these? Who would we WANT paying for these? I would rather I be a stakeholder in our democracy, because it does give us some power.

Privilege is tied to responsibility…and, sometimes that looks like paying taxes for the Collective.

So - see if you can find one or two things to be grateful for when you write your checks. Pretend 100% of it is going in that direction. Energetically you shift the energy you send it with. Maybe that does something to shift the political energy, maybe it doesn’t. But it will make your experience more pleasant, I promise.

If you are making promises to yourself that you “will never be in this situation again!” (dreading tax time, feeling disorganized, overwhelmed, head in the sand, shameful, or any other negative feelings about money) - Please reach out for support

It is my mission to make your whole experience with money more peaceful.


And with that, I am sending my own stack of envelopes to the collective community that we still are...


P.S. my FAVORITE app for guesstimating tax liability throughout the year is: TaxSlayer - free to download and check in on quarterly to avoid surprises

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Announcing Equipped to Thrive! An Online Course

Megan deBoer

Equipped to Thrive - Online Course

I have been waiting for this day for months - about 16 of them to be precise! Life has a way of unfolding organically, and I am learning to trust this and calm the part of me that quite honestly prefers The Plan. The straight line. And the checked-off-to-do-list. But trusting my process has brought to life something far greater than I had originally envisioned.

16 months ago I had blocked off time to record what would be an online version of the work I facilitate. My girls would be with their grandparents - I would have the entire week to focus on what I had already scripted to record.

But that morning was November 9th, 2016. The world felt upside down. As hard as I tried to resume, I couldn't. I made the difficult decision to wait. 3 months later I went on a solo retreat to the Oregon Coast. What I needed more than anything was the space to hear myself think. To listen to my heart. To understand what I was really trying to say and share through my work.

I walked in the forest and along the beach - the cold, fresh February air cleared my thoughts. The sun peaked between the clouds and pouring rain. This is the landscape I was raised in, and it filled my mind and heart in indescribably profound ways.  

And from that place, the clarity came.

My mission is to include people - particularly women - in a new conversation about money, wealth and prosperity - where money can be a medium for healing, collaboration, possibility, empowerment, abundance, generosity, prosperity, reciprocity, and even - love.  

Years ago, when I gave my business its name, Tended Wealth, I intentionally wanted to conjure up the idea of caring for our wealth in the same way we may tend to our garden, to our children, to our homes or our communities. I realized, on that weekend, that this is the conversation I want to have more directly. I want to use new images, new metaphors, and new ways for us to explore the medium of money. I feel we must shake money out of its old and worn associations for it to have new life. 

My new online course, Equipped to Thrive, explores the principles of building a solid financial foundation by using a metaphor of the garden - and elements in nature - to communicate how to be in a thriving relationship with our money: in both the practical realm as well as the emotional realm.

For too many people, money is the stumbling block preventing them from living their best life. Too many feel excluded. Intimidated. Overwhelmed. Disillusioned. Thwarted. Ignorant. Full of Shame. Stuck.  

I want to help many, many more people than just those I can work with 1:1 transform their own relationship with money so that they too transcend this barrier and find themselves on the other side.

I am delighted to invite you to take a look at this new baby of mine - one that asked me to slow down, listen, take time off to create, and now share with the world.  

I also want to invite you to listen to the quieter, slower voice that may be speaking to you now - about something that is equally important for you to hear about your own life and the next step that is just right for you.  

More than anything, I want to support you and provide a place for you to explore a new relationship with your money.

This is a conversation that has been steadily growing on the sidelines of our culture. I want to be another voice bringing it to the frontlines.  

Thank YOU for being a part of this growing conversation, and more importantly, this beautiful evolution of money.

Master the 7 Principles

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Yoga + Prosperity

Megan deBoer

Yoga & Prosperity

The more I work with clients, the more I recognize how much our bodies need to integrate prosperity.  

I have had clients get nauseous when we talk about a big leap - it might be asking for a raise, raising their fees, even having savings to begin experiencing financial security.  

I have had clients yawn, fidget, get up and pace, or even want to leave my office (thankfully they stay!). It isn't always physical - sometimes a client will unconsciously spend everything they had intended to save.  Or find other brilliantly creative ways to sabotage themselves - to stay safe.

This can happen at any income level, and usually shows up when we are nearing an expansion.


We want this leap - we know in our hearts it is the right direction, we know in our minds this is the next step.  

And yet - it is unconsciously terrifying.  It is activating our nervous system.  Our protection from danger.  We would rather remain safe in the discomfort of the known, then venture into the unknown.  

What might be your perceived 'danger'?  Well, the list of possibilities is a long.  Your answer will be very personal and it deserves exploration.  When you find it, your life will begin to change in subtle and profound ways. 

I am thrilled that almost a year after dreaming it up and designing a collaboration, Tanya Woods and I get to combine our individual gifts to help anchor prosperity deep within your body, mind, and spirit.  

Yoga teaches your body to relax, to open, to accept, to be willing - in spite of resistance.  The energy centers of our bodies are powerful, and it is by clearing and activating these channels that we begin working with our bodies - expanding to receive all that we are ready to receive, without hesitation or resistance.  

By working directly through the physical body, we tell our nervous system: the unfamiliar is not danger, it is delight.  

Yes, prosperity is delight. 

Join us for the first of many weekend workshop/retreats of 2018.  

The weekend will be filled with yoga, mediation, sound healing, exercises to illuminate where you are stuck, where you want to go, reflective journaling, and will help you clarify the direct actions that will ensure you meet your goals. 

January 26, 27, 28 - Portland, Oregon

*Tanya Woods pictured above

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