In 2015, a friend approached me with a plea.
“Hi! I need major help. like, major. with budget/taxes. i’m terrible and awful at it…”
Doulas had known me as a sister and a money person since 2009, when I became a DONA trained and certified birth doula as a side job while working in finance in NYC. I slid naturally into the role of volunteer treasurer for a doula collective. I began contributing to, and then leading workshops on money management for doulas, record keeping for your new doula business, planning with the irregular (aka roller coaster) income that is standard in this world, and my personal favorite, strategies for getting to – and living – a debt free life. (oh, in case nobody told you… yeah, that’s is a thing you can do.)
My reply came swiftly:
“I have aspirations of being a personal finance doula; empowering women to find confidence in themselves by providing emotional and educational support. Potentially even physical support in the form of actual bookkeeping, but I don’t think you need or even want that. Of course I’d be thrilled to chat with you about it and help figure out how to get you on the right track.”
For the next several months, I doula-ed her through tackling taxes, spending, records, budget, and money awareness. Step by step she embraced topics that once felt impossible. Day by day she became comfortable having money, making money, spending in aligned ways.
Another doula friend pops in. Overcoming shame and fear, she QUIT HER DAY JOB with new found insight, knowledge, and comfort that she would be ok. She hasn’t looked back, and boy is the world lucky.
Couples came to me – “…we think we should have more money. We don’t know where it’s going. We argue and we blame one another. We want to be in this together.”
People poured their hearts out and laid bare their accounts. It felt at times like teaching and other times like just listening, holding space or gently tugging out deep inner stories. Very doula feeling. Every client is different, just like every labor and birth are different. And still, there are shared experiences. There are shared hopes and fears. SO many shared questions, some with scientific answers and best practices, some with no ONE correct answer.
Enter the MoneyDoula; the no-shame, no-blame, judgement free, non-cape-wearing, compassionate companion inspiring folks on their personal journey to a fulfilling, empowered, safe and sustainable relationship with money.
I’ve continued learning and sharing. I’ve added coaching certification to my to toolbox. My own money journey has seen roller coasters. Yes, actual zooming around and up and down Roller Coasters (wheeee! LOVE!) and the income kind (you get to decide if this is scary or thrilling!) and also the health kind. And through it all, my inner and outer money work continues – sure, I teach this stuff, but who’s perfect? (Spoiler: No one. It’s no one.)
As it turns out, training as a coach has deepened and strengthened the kind of work MoneyDoula is here for. It has also opened up the format of my client work to goals beyond “just” money. (It’s still never and always about the money.) Mixing coaching with moneydoulaing has resulted in a powerful cocktail for transformation whether a client is starting to dip a toe, or ready to dive in.
I’m still your friendly neighborhood MoneyDoula, opening my schedule for one-off strategy sessions, partner packages, 3 to 6 month MoneyDoula coaching packages.