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Getting Honest About Money


I mentioned to everyone that I bought the Amazing Biz and Life Workbooks from Leonie Dawson this year. Last week I worked on the money part for 2013. Today I wanted to share a bit about what I learned.

In the workbook I was asked to tally all of the money I made in 2013. I did this. My first reaction to the final number was a bit of a letdown. Then I subtracted my expenses and that original number became even smaller. Leonie instructs to look at this as just a number and to not be too tied to it.

I took some deep breaths. Paused. Took a look at my income sources for last year and started to become happier. Even excited. Let me explain.

This time last year I had just moved from Chicago back to my home state of Arizona. I obviously dropped all of my yoga classes in Chicago and was working on this blog a couple of hours a week. If I had done nothing from that point forward, taken no risks, not put myself out there in some vulnerable ways that number that at first let me down would have been even smaller. I also would not have the new friends I have made and the new experiences I have had.

– I started working with Artisan Markets by helping out with Small Business Saturday, wrapping presents for the holiday season and starting a blog for their website. The founder, Audrey, has become a dear friend and have have bought many lovely handmade gifts from the vendors. I wanted to work more with the local handmade community and now I am doing that.

– I started teaching yoga at Funke Yoga, a new yoga studio in my neighborhood. The owner wanted a website and I helped set the whole thing up. I also created flyers and coupons for the studio. Trust me, this is something I NEVER would I have thought I could do about 3 years ago 🙂 Helping with the site and teaching there has brought me closer to the owner, Mara, and I now have her as a new friend.

– I began hosting Yoga + Craft Workshops in my home over the summer. This is something I dreamed about in Chicago and was so happy to have the space to do it in my new home here in AZ. These have been a great way to share yoga and create community by crafting. I am actually going to also start these workshops at Funke Yoga next month.

– I launched the Shop Local Directory on here. I love discovering small shops that sell work from local artists and have so many ideas to grow this directory. The money made so far is going to go back into advertising but once again this was me taking a risk to create something I believe in.

– I contributed to Lisa Jacobs and Handmadeology’s Build A Better Business E-course this last fall. This took me pushing past a lot of doubt and it was so worth it!

– I opened an Etsy shop and made a sale! I didn’t announce the shop because I was hoping to add some more designs before I did. When I found out I had a sale it made me realize that sometimes it might be better just to share what you have created instead of waiting for it to be perfect. Now I am thinking about doing a giveaway here from my shop 🙂

Now not everything I have done in the last year has worked out. I started teaching a yoga classes that were over 45 minutes away from me twice a week. I decided to give up the classes after 3 months. I did learn to discover a new type of yoga that I love (Yin Yoga).

After feeling a little letdown about my income for 2013 I was able to look back on the year confidently and happily.

– I was able to spend a lot of time with my two little boys and help them adjust after our move.

– I followed my heart

– I made new connections

– I discovered what I don’t want to spend time doing

– I created new income sources

– I learned to combine my interests in yoga and handmade

The reason I wanted to share this with you was to give you the opportunity to look back on your income from 2013 in a positive light. Whether you struggled or soared I am sure you learned a lot about yourself and your business. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to write down what worked and what didn’t; what you enjoyed and what you didn’t; where you made money and where you lost it; and how these experiences made you feel.

I feel that 2013 was successful for me in ways that I didn’t even anticipate. This year I plan on creating goals and getting a bit more serious about what I want to create in relation to my business and income.

Here’s to us learning from 2013 and creating new opportunities in 2014!!!

4 Finance Tips for The Creative Mind


You prefer art to accounts, bows before business plans and thread over data.

You’d rather use receipts for your next paper mache project than enter them in your checkbook.

You are a creative and finances are not your game.  After all, finance is boring and you are not.  How does that saying go?  Nothing is certain except taxes and death.

See what I mean….

But what if it doesn’t have to be that way?

I’ve got four tips just for you to help push through the drudgery of business finance so you can focus on what you do best – being creative!

  • Find an expert you jive with.  

Finding a bookkeeper or CPA is a lot like finding a hairdresser.  Some are awkward and it feels as if your appointment will never end.   But when you find her – you know the one who blow-dries your hair just the way you like it.  She’s fun to talk to, does a super fabulous job and you can’t wait to see her again.  In fact, you don’t even mind paying.

Did you know not all CPA’s are dull?  (shhh – it’s a secret) When we’re not counting beans, a few of us are creative just like you.  You just need to know where to look.

The best place to start is to get recommendations from your creative community. Once you’ve got a few names, make some calls and interview a couple.  Don’t feel bad if you don’t connect.   Keep trying.  You’ll find “the one”.

  • Pick your poison – paper or electronic.  

To keep your costs down, you will need to do some of the paperwork yourself.  I know, sigh.  Big sigh.  But, the great thing about our world today is the ability to choose between paper or electronic.  If you’re a techie, there are a ton of programs out there to help with your finances.

These programs make it easy to key in your receipts (eye roll) and they will automatically categorize everything and create pretty little reports.

You can hire an assistant to get you set up.  (Fiverr is a great place to get questions answered or data entry services for inexpensive).  Then it’s just a matter of you maintaining it.  Leave the big stuff to your CPA – hand everything over once a month, once a quarter, and once a year.  They’ll do the dirty deed of filing your taxes.

But, you don’t have to use an electronic system.  If you’re like me, you love paper.  There is something so perfect about the shuffle of a paper, the sound of the stroke of your pencil across the page and the sight of a list that gives me goose bumps.  (No?)

The other fun thing about paper is the design.  As a creative, you’ve got an eye for design and so finding a fun system makes it a little less detestable.  And you can still hand it all over to your CPA when you’re ready.

Here are a few sources of paper-based finances:

The Fiscal Flamingo (shameless plug)

All About The House

KS Palmer

  • Focus on what’s important. 

Don’t get lost in the details.  Figure out the bare minimum that you need to do.  Forget about the rest and don’t feel guilty about it.  Not sure what the minimum is – hire a consultant for a one-time fee.

  • Don’t ignore it.

You know how when you don’t like to do something, you, well, just don’t do it.  Because you’re an adult.  You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to.  I hear ya.

But listen; if you don’t take care of your finances, they become a big scary beast.  Before you know it you’ll have a gazillion shoeboxes of receipts (or maybe you won’t because you throw everything away – which is worse than a gazillion shoeboxes, by the way).  Everything gets out of control and you firmly plant your butt in the denial chair.

Don’t let it get to that point.

Come up with a plan for your finances and create a routine (aka money date).  Here is an example of my business routine.  Every Thursday, I turn on Project Runway, make a cup of chamomile tea and pour of bag of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in a bowl.  I spend an hour entering my receipts into Quicken, filing them into an envelope and balancing my cash against what the bank says.  I complete my financial worksheets and file them in my financial three-ring binder.  I do this every Thursday without fail (unless I’m on vacation).  It’s become a habit.  An enjoyable habit, thanks to Project Runway, tea and chocolate.

As Tim Gunn says, “Make It Work!”

I bet you can come up with something better!

What’s your new money routine going to be?


Taynia Aarnink – The Fiscal Flamingo

Bio:  Taynia is the founder of The Fiscal Flamingo, a sassy website dedicated to helping women navigate their journey from debt to decadent. When she’s not rallying big spendahs and turning them into dynamite savers, she designs blogs and websites at The Skinny Mermaid Design Studio.


Sponsor Post: Free Advice + Group Coaching with Conscious Bookkeeping

Handmade Floral Wallet from Happy Kathy

Do you get frustrated when it comes to money? Does making, tracking, spending, and saving money stress you out? I can personally say yes to both of those questions. Our contributor, Bari Tessler, is the founder of Conscious Bookkeeping and she offered a free teleclass the other night called Wake Up With Money.

Bari wants you to learn:

  • Why it’s so terrifying to look at our numbers — and what you can do about it.
  • How to turn boring bookkeeping into a money practice that feeds your soul (+ why chocolate is essential along the way).
  • How to uncover and heal your “money stories”
  • Ways to align your spending with your core values, and create financial health that supports your life as a whole
  • What the “3 Doorways” are, and how they bring clarity, empowerment, and ease into your money relationship. (more…)

2011: A Year in Review

In Jordan’s first post of 2012 she prompted us to take a look back at 2011 before planning 2012. Today’s post gives us the opportunity to do that financially with Bari Tessler Linden.

Photo via Natural Beauty by Kim

Whether your financial life includes a family, a business, or just your wonderful self – it’s time to sit down and take a look at the year you’ve just completed. 2011 is complete, and with it, another chapter of your money story ends.

To help you make the most of lessons learned, accomplishments celebrated, and to set you off into 2012 on strong financial footing, allow me to guide you in an annual financial review.

We’ll review 2011 in 3 stages:

  1. Zoom Out
  2. The Numbers
  3. The Celebrations


7 Money Tools

Bari Tessler Linden is a financial therapist, coach, and mommypreneur. Founder of the Conscious Bookkeeping Method, she teaches people how to build their own bridges between money, body, mind, and spirit. Along the way, they eat chocolate. Her three-year-old son, Noah, is a chocolate expert too (it runs in the family!) Bari brings practical tools, a wealth of therapeutic experience, overflowing inspiration, and gentle compassion when guiding people towards greater clarity and power around money. She also strives to be a living example of what it means to savor the art of motherhood as she explores her passions and grows her business.

Quince Thrice by Elysa Darling Photography

Over the last decade of working with my clients and students, I’ve found that everybody has areas of financial strength as well as areas of confusion and challenge. No one’s money story is all positive or all negative. I’ve organized this spectrum of variety by naming 7 broad areas that frame our financial relationships. All my clients and students come to me seeking guidance and change within one or more (or all!) of these areas. I lead them on a journey which offers the gifts of these 7 areas, which can then become lifelong companions.

As you read about these areas below, consider which ones carry the most energy for you. What are the patterns and habits in your money story? Where is the pain for you, and where do you most want healing to occur? Additionally, take note of the areas where your relationship with money already feels healthy, places where you are already doing well. Celebrating your successes is also important!

The 7 areas are not listed in any particular order—there could be no such thing, since each of us has a unique journey to undertake through this landscape. Try these descriptions on for size, but I encourage you to fine tune the meanings or scope of the concepts so they better fit your individual experience. The 7 areas are summarized below and listed right here:

Clarity, Intimacy, Knowledge, Ease, Success, Value, and Hope. (more…)