Hi, I'm
Karen Whaley

Financial Lifestyle Coach
Certified Financial Instructor

Hello, I’m Karen. I teach people how to mindfully spend money to balance today with tomorrow and maximize satisfaction with every dollar.


My Mission

After living the quintessential American dream and conquering the resulting 6 figures of debt, I became disillusioned with mainstream personal finance programs.  I have happily been a passenger on many financial bandwagons including early retirement, financial peace, deal hunting, and paying-off-the-mortgage to name a few. 

Alas, I never found a source that focused solely on how to spend money to gain greater happiness after covering the basics. The basics of being “responsible” money actions such as having an emergency fund, saving for retirement, proper insurance coverage, etc. 

The burning question I wanted an answer to was:

How do I spend money mindfully and get the most satisfaction and happiness?

Over the past ten years, I have developed an approach blending the knowledge of  human needs with the psychology of happiness to maximize all my money.

My passion is helping you also learn to manage money to close the gap between loving today and looking forward to tomorrow.

A little bit about me...

I’m an avid consumer of knowledge to improve my life. I leverage traditional insights to craft new perspectives and share my unique approaches.

I unknowingly began developing a non-traditional perspective of personal finance in my early 20s. As a married, gainfully employed recent college graduate with a freshly minted mortgage, I discovered (much to my dismay) my money did not manage itself. To top it off, I didn’t have a clue how to manage it either. This lack of knowledge was evidenced by the almost $250k in debt I was lugging around.

My debt epiphany drove me headfirst into learning all I could about managing money, specifically how to pay down debt. Fast forward a few years, now I have financial stability without a monthly budget,  a life I love living, and created opportunities for my future I could have never imagined fresh out of school.

I am constantly exploring and experimenting with new ideas. I enjoy sharing my experiences to help others grow too! I am always talking about my money triumphs and foibles to encourage my kids, friends, and others to be mindful of their pennies.

After much frustration with mainstream financial advice, I created my own path to mindful spending. Now I encourage others to do the same.

It is through embracing mindful spending (not saving) you discover satisfaction in your financial life.

My Approach to Mindful Spending

Mindful Spending blends life coaching, personal finance and psychology to achieve a satisfying financial life.

My approach focuses on what most personal finance programs tell you not to do: SPEND

You can’t take money with you. Therefore, you must learn how to spend it now for satisfaction.

Using a four-step process, Mindful Spending teaches you to embrace spending in a way you never have before. By fully immersing yourself in spending, you dive into the heart of most money woes: your relationship with money.

Your relationship with money is the longest relationship you will ever have. Period. It is discussed before your birth and after your death. You cannot run from it. You cannot hide from it. Thus, you need to foster a healthy relationship with it to live the life you desire.

Financial peace and traditional (a.k.a. responsible) financial management will not necessarily lead you to the life you deserve. Mindful Spending closes the gap between loving today and looking forward to tomorrow.


Know What
YOU Want

The vast majority of financial goals and general money management programs fall flat emotionally because they are not tailored to you.

By focusing on financial goals or actions set by others, you may forever trap yourself in a vicious hedonic adaptation cycle.

The first step to improving your money relationship starts by recognizing your life desires and developing goals around them – not money.



The key to unlocking spending satisfaction is in your wallet. How and where you spend right now reveals the disconnect between where you are and where you want to be. It’s more than just dollars and cents though. You need to probe your underlying spending motivations by asking specific questions of your heart and wallet. The authentic, heartfelt answers to those questions open the door to understanding why behind your financial stress and discontent. This step also begins the process of improving your money relationship.



Once you know what you want and your wallet’s secrets, you can really burn rubber on finding satisfaction in spending.  However, before you start slashing or ramping up spending, there is one more thing you need to do. You must understand how you are using money to fulfill all your human needs. Further, you need to focus spending changes on areas with the largest gap between current actions and desired results. By closing the large gaps first, you get big emotional gains with the least amount of effort – and who doesn’t want more for less?



After adjusting spending and gaining more satisfaction with what you already have, it’s time to train your brain. This step is where the magic happens. Steps one through three have prepared you to tackle the big money relationship issues. Now you are going to dive deep into your money attitudes. These deep-rooted thoughts and perceptions about money have a huge impact on your emotions. Those emotions, in turn, drive your spending behaviors without your conscious approval. By shifting your money beliefs and understanding what purchases bring the most happiness, you can maintain mindful spending with minimal effort.