Mindy Crary, MBA, CFP®

Crary, Mindy

Money Coach at Creative Money, Entrepreneur, Kitty Mama

Mindy left the traditional financial services industry to provide financial coaching to individuals and businesses in her own way, without the sale of products—in fact, she doesn’t sell anything except her advice.

Having the diverse combination of finance and coaching experience (along with an actual sense of humor that didn’t require any particular certification), Mindy helps both your money AND you succeed. From growing your wealth to the actual person behind it, she bridges the gap between the energetic, spiritual and practical financial services industry, but does it with a creative twist.

My personal practice is…….

Conscious Money, which is the practice of awareness over every dollar that comes in and leaves your household. How did you discover your practice? I hate, hate HATE budgeting. When I first became a financial planner, almost 16 years ago now, I noticed that all of the clients I really respected knew exactly where all of their money went. For years, I tried budgeting, but it was too boring, too clinical and made me feel like I was trying to meet arbitrary expectations. Over several years, I started simply to try and maintain awareness about every dollar I spent. For me, it’s an end-of-day space that I have created—sometimes I spend a few minutes, other days an hour. But for me, knowing where my money goes and knowing how I feel about it has been huge. I know immediately if I feel like I wasted money or if it was the best money I ever spent, because I maintain this practice.

Why do you practice?

I started this practice because I wanted to know where I was wasting money and how I could be saving more, but I knew there was more to it that just math—there were feelings, and motivations and agendas. Why do we spend the money the way we do? The process gave me enlightenment over the years, and now it also has become a stress reduction tactic for me. When I am stressed and unconscious, I tend to spend money frivolously. This return to consciousness allows me to re-set myself and become aware of my actions. When I notice, “Wow, I spent $200 today and I didn’t even notice!” it makes me realize I need to slow down and enjoy the sensation of spending money. Or if I’m not enjoying it, figure out what’s behind that.

How frequently and for how long do you practice?

My goal is to spend 15 minutes in stillness each day, going back over the day in my mind, reviewing my spending, how it made me feel and thinking about spending for the next day and what would make me really happy. Sometimes I’ll spend an hour, and other days I’ll just do a few minutes . . . I’m looking for the feeling of awareness and groundedness to come back to me, so I keep thinking about it until that feeling comes. What’s something that gets in the way of your practice and how to you move through it? If I am super busy, it’s easy to skip a day or two, or if I have someone visiting, it’s easy to become unconscious about spending.

What supports you in staying committed to your practice?

I have visual cues to help me—I keep journals near my TV chair, in the kitchen and next to my bed, and I have spending tracking software that emails me once per week. And, I have a biweekly “money date” to review stuff, so even if everything goes to hell, I have a prescheduled time to return to the practice. Sort of like stepping on the scale after the holidays.

What role does your practice play in your work?

My practice led me to a whole niche of people who aren’t currently served by traditional financial services! Instead of being seen as an authority figure or some financial robot that does everything she is supposed to, sharing my practice helps people understand that they can start imperfectly and still feel more secure (and get great results) with their money.

Describe someone you know whose practice inspires you.

Actually, anyone I know who practices yoga regularly . . . I have seen how yoga grounds and balances a person, and I admire those people who have made taking care of themselves such a priority that they do it every day.

A practice I’d like to explore is….

More mind-body practices like yoga and meditation. I struggle with low thyroid and adrenal issues, so one practice I’d like to build to is something that supports me physically in a more consistent way.

Anything else you’d like to share about practice.

My personal mantra is “I am a warrior of imperfection,” because whenever I start anything, I have a tendency to want to do it perfectly after the learning curve. What I have found is—especially with money—that it’s better to let go of any expectation that things will go perfectly, and instead, be curious about the imperfection and allow it to inform us. And sometimes, just allow it to exist. I know I’ll never be the “perfect” saver and I’ll always waste money and surprise myself, but even so, I’ve developed an ease around money that transcends whatever the current condition, and this calm allows me to make better decisions and not get swept up in crisis.

Learn more about Mindy at:  http://creativemoney.biz