‘Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is’ is open for enrollment!

I’m standing at the front desk of a palace-turned-hotel, sipping on a cocktail, as ceiling fans turn slowly overhead. I’ve been traveling for 8 months already and I’ve been in and out of dozens of hotels, but even I can admit this one is special.

“Breakfast is served at 8:30, Ms. Von Bargen. May I help you with your bags?”

If you had to guess how much money I was making when the above exchange took place – what would you guess?

$100,000? $85,000?

Nope. When I checked into that hotel in Laos, I’d just wrapped up two years earning $16 an hour and paying off $50,000 of school debt.

With that less-than-great financial situation, I managed to save enough for a 10-month international trip, pay off my car, and live in a cute apartment.  All without help from my parents or partner, credit card debt, or giving up my occasional $5 latte.

Sounds impossible, right? It’s not.

If you believe that you need to earn dramatically more to have the life you want, I’m say: You don’t.

If you believe that life-on-a-budget has to be all ramen noodles and deprivation, I’m here to tell you: It doesn’t.

This is exactly the kind of stuff I cover in my 6-week course Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is. Enrollment opens today!

Life after you start putting your money where your happy is:

  • You know what makes you happy and don’t get hung up on other people’s expectations.
  • You’re confident and calm when you log into your bank account. You know exactly what you’re going to find and why.
  • When you fill your shopping cart, it’s with things you know will bring you joy – no more purchases you regret once you get home.
  • Your life is filled with meals with friends, fulfilling hobbies, delicious food, and trips to interesting places.

This is the second session of Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is and my students have some very kind things to say.

I’ve taken every financial and budgeting course imaginable, but none of those courses got to the root of why I was making poor financial choices. This course has helped me change my thinking so I can design a life I want to live and spend my hard earned money funding that life. This course has more than paid for itself – and it is so fun!! I’m truly excited to begin my newly designed life. – Alanna M.


This course helped me realize how much money I’ve wasted on ‘close enough’ purchases, especially when something pretty is on sale. It really made me think about the ways I was wasting money, even though I thought I was good at intentional spending. It even helped me learn how to change those behaviours! – Kate A. 


What you’ll gain from Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is:

  • An understanding of why you spend money the way you do.
  • An understanding of what really makes you happy.
  • A new relationship with your money.
  • A plan to make your day-to-day life happier.
  • For many students, this course pays for itself in a month!

After you sign up, you’ll have immediate access to

  • 6 self-paced modules
  • 24 video lessons
  • 26-page workbook
  • Our private Facebook group filled with videos, live chats, and shared insights

Money and happiness are such important topics and they affect every area of our lives! I’m so, SO proud of this class and how much it’s helped my students. I hope you’ll join us! Doors are open through February 11th!

I was skeptical going in that spending money would help me save money, but it was totally worth it. Sarah is the first person who’s ever encouraged me to look at my budget and ask “Does this make me happy? Does my budget match my values?” I feel really optimistic that I can finally get a handle on those miscellaneous, regrettable purchases that have always sunk my budget. – Sarah C.

True Story: Obamacare Saved My Life

Is the Affordable Care Act perfect? No. Is anything? Also no. This is the story of how Obamacare saved Brittany's life.
Is Obamacare/The Affordable Care Act perfect? No. Is anything? Also no. When the Affordable Care Act was first implemented I was pretty grumpy. I went from paying $100 a month for a $3,000 deductible, to $130 for a $5,000 deductible. “Unfair!!!” I cried whilst gnashing my teeth.

But it’s so, SO important to realize that REAL ACTUAL LIVES hang in the balance here. This isn’t just about finding a good in-network doctor. This is about, ya know, not dying. Today, Brittany shares her story.


Web Time Wasters

How are you doing, friends? I’ve spent most of the week refreshing the news, eating my feelings, going to protests, and leaving messages on my senators’ voice mail yelping “NBD, Al, the future of democracy hangs in the balance!!”

So. There’s that. How are you guys holding up? What are you doing to resist this terror? The Daily Action texts are a good place to start.

Anyway. Links for you.


9 Morning Habits That Are Great For Business

Looking for morning habits that are good for business? Can the right morning routine set up your whole day for success? Absolutely! Click through for 9 morning rituals for entrepreneurs or 9-to-5ers!
Picture this.

It’s any given Tuesday and you stretch yourself awake, nestled between clean, high thread-count sheets. You pad downstairs and tuck into a delicious, nourishing breakfast. You meditate. You journal. You put on a lovely, well-planned outfit, before opening your laptop to begin a day of creative, fulfilling, productive work.

Is that what your mornings look like? Weird, me neither!

But I sure wish they did and this year I’m doing my damnedest to get closer to a morning like that.

Why? Because I’ve discovered that the first 10 minutes of any portion of my day – my morning, after lunch, after I close my laptop – set the tone for everything else. When you start the day right, the rest of it is more likely to fall into place. Click To Tweet

You want better business mornings, too? Here’s what I’m doing.

9 morning habits that are great for business

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do all 9! 😉


How to spend money on yourself + your happiness

This is not a post filled with budgeting tips or advice on how to save money. This is a post filled with advice on the weirdly hard topic of spending money on ourselves. If you're a mom, this might be something you struggle with! Click through for tips on how to stop.
I’m standing in the aisle at Target, staring at a plump, pink tube of $20 ‘cheek gel.’

My cart is already filled with sensible, not-really-for-me-purchases. Toilet bowl cleaner, frozen peas, ibuprofen.

Can I afford this blush? I can.
Is my current tube of ‘cheek gel’ almost used up? It is.
Do I feel cuter and more on top of it when I’m wearing makeup? I do.
Am I pretty sure this particular blush would work best with my skin tone and type? Yup.

And yet.

I sigh and shuffle my way to the Wet & Wild and buy the $4 blush instead.

Maybe you’ve never done this. Maybe you’ve never spend $150 on sensible purchases and gifts for other people and then denied yourself something you want and can afford. Maybe you’ve never bought the ‘close enough’ jacket because it was cheaper (even though you could afford the jacket you truly loved).

If you’ve never done that – congrats! You can stop reading now. Here is a post with photos of animals in buckets.

If this behavior sounds familiar: I see you and I get you.

One of the things I hear from many of my ‘Put Your Money Where Your Happy Is’ students is “I just can’t seem to spend money on myself or on anything fun.” They don’t have trouble living on a budget and they top out their 401 k every year. Their savings accounts are flush and healthy but their closets, homes, and calendars are, uh, less so.

Join free 5-day money bootcamp

Why do we do this? Why do we deny ourselves things we can afford and we know would make us happy?


True Story: I Worked For Hillary

What was it like to work on the campaign of the first female presidential nominee? And what happens when that nominee loses? Today Alessandra Biaggi, the former Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign shares her story.