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Financial Wellness: Transforming Your Money Mindset with Meera Meyer

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Three things we dive into in this episode:

  1. Why money is an emotionally supercharged resource.

  2. Finding balance in your finances and learning how to make your money and money mindset work for you.

  3. Learning how to create financial systems that work for you.


  • Release restrictive dieting, break free from body shame, & create habits that help you live fully! Sign up for Caitie’s nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

  • You can also join Meera’s two-week program, Investing Unlocked, where you can learn investment basics — minus the jargon and artificial complexity!

  • Book a free 15-minute money consultation with Meera here!

  • Connect with Meera: Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

📌Episode Highlights

[03:46] Who Is Meera Meyer?

  • Meera is a certified financial planner and the founder of Life.Money.Balance.

  • She aims to remove the negative connotation of money and help people feel empowered around their finances.

Meera: “Having [a] female — [a] woman of color — as a financial planning resource helps other females feel more comfortable talking about their money, helping them figure out their goals.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[09:03] Overcoming Challenges

  • Meera felt out of place in college and her first job.

  • She was surrounded by people — mostly males — who were in the finance field “just to make a lot of money.”

  • Meera shares getting 'connectedness' in a StrengthsFinder analysis and feeling like she did not belong in her job.

  • Eventually, she decided to use her ‘difference’ to her advantage.

  • She saw an opportunity to help people looking for financial advice because not everyone resonates with a traditional advisor.

[15:38] Meera’s Top Financial Advices

  • Nobody can predict the future of their investment.

  • There is no simple formula to figure out whether your investments are going to be successful or not.

  • Finances do not have to be complicated.

  • You can be financially successful by simply creating and sticking to systems.

[18:31] Creating Financial Systems

  • Setting up financial systems requires upfront work.

  • Take out as much thinking as possible. Automate your bills.

  • Schedule periodic checks on your investments.

  • Consider your cash flow in creating your budget plan.

  • Be aware of the stories and anxieties you have about money.

[20:16] Building a Money Mindset

  • Setting a financial structure begins with your money mindset.

  • Money mindset is affected by your stories around money growing up — how your parents respond to financial situations and what you often hear about money as a child.

  • The media's portrayal of money also affects how people perceive money. People often hold back from earning more or raising rates to avoid looking money-hungry.

  • Learn more about Meera’s money mindset programs here.

[23:41] Money as Emotionally Supercharged

  • Money, just like food, is emotionally supercharged.

  • Know your values and be sure your spending and purchases align with them.

  • Exploring your money story can also be powerful.

  • Once you know your values and story, you can easily see if you are in alignment and take action.

[26:34] Knowing Your Money Story

  • Meera shares she used to be excessively frugal until she realized this prevented her from enjoying her life.

  • Let go of the negative stories around money and be intentionally confident that you are spending in service of yourself.

Caitie: “I think that when you are in alignment, when you know what you want, and when you know what helps further you along the path you want to take, it's a lot easier to spend money in that way than if you're unsure.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • Understand that money is emotional; cultivating a sense of financial wellness will come from understanding yourself deeply.

[30:06] Money and Eating Habits

  • Your money habits are very much like your eating habits.

  • Knowing the formula and executing it are different things.

  • Money, like diet, is not one size fits all. There are so many factors at play.

[35:23] Finding Your Balance

  • It is possible to acknowledge the reality of finance and honor your personal values.

  • Be grounded, authentic, and comfortable.

  • Understand that money is a resource.

  • Check on your money story.

  • For example, debt is not bad. It is using a resource and paying it back with interest.

[40:49] A Money Mindset Without Shame

  • Do not make people feel shame or judgment for their decisions.

Meera: “You were doing the best that you could based on what you knew, based on the resources and tools that you had. And now we're here and how all we need to think about is how we can move forward. How can we make different decisions in the future? What happened in the past?” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • The best thing to do when you make an out-of-alignment decision is to learn how you can move forward.

  • You will burn out if shame is your fuel. Shame is not a sustainable motivator.

  • Make your motivation values-oriented and authentic.

[43:02] Meera’s Morning and Evening Routines

  • Eating breakfast and getting herself ready are Meera’s morning non-negotiables.

  • Meera shares that she also does not look at her phone until an hour after waking up to avoid distraction.

  • She also follows a bedtime routine that involves body movement, brushing her teeth, flossing, and washing her face.

  • Meera believes her routines remind her she's worth care and attention.

[46:19] Processing Prompt and Actionable Tools

  • Ask yourself, “What stories am I telling myself about money?”

  • Do not look at your phone until an hour after waking up. Take time to stretch and unwind at the end of the day.

  • List down your values to create a physical reminder.

  • Honor your values when making decisions — be it financial or something else entirely.

About Meera

Meera Meyer, CFP, is a registered investment advisor and president of Life.Money.Balance. She has been in the financing field for 12 years and has built expertise in budgeting and cash flow management, retirement savings, insurance, investments, estate planning, educational planning, and charitable giving.

She aims to empower women to reduce debt, create wealth, and take control of their finances.

Connect with Meera on her website or Instagram.

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Meera Meyer: People when they think about working with a financial planner or getting their financial life in order or even budgeting, it's like this is going to be work that I'm going to have to do and maintain, and that is not required in order to be financially successful. You can be financially successful simply by just creating systems and letting them run on the background of your life.

Like, my goal for all of my clients is not for them to be people who are constantly checking their budget and know where every penny is going and making sure everything's optimized. My goal is for my clients to not have to worry about money at all.

Caitie Corradino: Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition, but underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity.

I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it. Hey, welcome to episode five of Whole, Full and Alive. I am so excited to introduce you to today's guest. Her name is Meera Meyer. She is a certified financial planner and the founder of Life.Money.Balance. We are going to talk about money today.

I am keeping this intro short and sweet because I want to dive right into our conversation. But let me just say that this is something that I was really itching to talk about as early on as possible when I thought about what I want to talk about on this podcast because I feel like we don't obviously talk about money enough. It is a really important part of holistic health and wellness. We have to acknowledge our relationship with money.

We have to acknowledge the reality of financial wellness. We have to acknowledge that money is a resource that we use to move through the world, the way it works. I really, really am excited about Meera's perspective on financial planning and financial wellness. It is super well rounded. It is practical and also spiritual and about personal values, and I think you are really going to enjoy this episode with her especially if thinking about finances is something that you've maybe avoided or felt sticky around in the past.

I think you will really enjoy some of the nuggets that Meera is going to share today especially if finances are something that you've been feeling sticky about in the past. She will share some really tangible ways to start thinking about your finances in a more intuitive, stress-free values-oriented way, so let's get into it. Meera, thank you so much for being here today.

Meera: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited right now.

Caitie: I am so excited to be talking about money, because we don't talk about it enough, and I feel like we can't possibly talk about health and well-being and living a fulfilling life that feels good if we don't talk about money. It is a reality. It is a resource. It is a thing that we need to feel regulated, to feel whole, full and alive. I absolutely love the approach that you take to financial wellness.

It's such a nice balance of practicality, and also, I don't want to say like spirituality necessarily, because I feel like sometimes people think oh, it's like the law of attraction and like all this stuff, but it's what you talk about is somewhat spiritual and also, just like, practically spiritual. I don't know how to explain it.

Meera: Oh my gosh, I love that.

Caitie: Yeah, so I'm really excited for people to hear from you. Can you please tell us before we dive into all of that, who you are? Tell us what you do, about your company, and also, tell us who you are. What are a few words you use to describe yourself, your personality, your energy, what you value, all that?

Meera: Yes, of course. So, I am Meera Meyer, a certified financial planner. I have been working in the financial planning field since 2012. I started my own business in 2017 and my own investment management firm in 2020, and it's been really amazing. I love that aspect of my life. I think for so much of my life, I wanted to work in nonprofit, and I wanted to help people and I ended up in this financial career. I just love it so much.

I just love helping people. I feel like that's like a good description of who I am. Ever since I was a kid, I was one of those people who always like, at the store, I would like rearrange all the displays, so they were perfectly straight again if somebody messed them up. I just really like seeing things in order to helping people get things done. That's what I always imagined for myself, and I never really saw a career for myself in finance.

I studied economics, but in my head, finance was like one of those things that doesn't really do much for people. It kind of got, like some negative connotations to it. When I started my career, I realized that there are people out there that need help with their finances, and I could still help people with their money. When I started my firm, I realized I can help people with their money in a way that actually helps them feel empowered.

I could be a resource for them when maybe other people in the financial planning field don't necessarily align with who they see themselves as. So, having a female somebody who is a woman of color as a financial planning resource helps other females feel more comfortable talking about their money, helping them figure out their goals. So, I am a very positive person. If you don't know that about me, I would describe myself as very positive.

I am the type of person who never really gets stressed out when we're traveling, like we've missed flights, whatever. I'm always like, Oh, it's fine, like, we'll figure it out. Everything's gonna work out the way it's supposed to. Maybe it sometimes drives the people I’m with crazy, because I have this, like, overly optimistic attitude. But, it's funny, because that's really tempered with in financial planning.

You kind of plan for worst case scenarios, and so, I was even thinking about this yesterday, like, yeah, I have this super positive, optimistic attitude all the time. But, I also always make sure that I have a contingency plan for when things go wrong. I think that actually helps me be more positive, because I know that I'm planning for the worst, so everything's gonna be fine. Then, I'm also a mom. I have two kids.

My son is six years old, and my daughter is three. So of course, that's like a huge piece of my identity. I grew up with a mom who was a mom full time, 100% of the time. To me, I, of course, have the identity of being a mom, but that's not all I am. So, I really appreciate that I'm able to run my business, and have this side of me, that's this entrepreneur, this business owner, and I'm also able to be a mom and be there for my kids at the same time.

It just seems so magical to me, because I feel like in the past, women didn't have that opportunity. It's kind of an either or situation. So, I feel really lucky that that's what I get to do. I'm married, so I'm a partner and spouse to somebody else, and we support each other. My husband used to be an entrepreneur, and so we have lots of entrepreneurial conversations with each other. Yeah, I feel like that's who I am. That's me in a nutshell.

Caitie: Oh, my gosh, there's so much goodness in what you just said. There's so many things I want to respond to. So first of all, I love that your financial planning business because you are the face of it, which, as you mentioned, is so empowering for people to see. First of all, not only just like the face of the financial planning business rather than just these, like Times New Roman font financial planning logo, and then they have to like go into this stuffy office and like have their numbers crunched into a spreadsheet.

You're like this fun, energetic personality and face saying, hey, let me help you with your financial planning. So, you take that and you make it just more fun and injects this new energy into it, and you also are a woman and you also are a person of color. You also are a mom and I am obsessed. I love it, and like I just want to pull over and acknowledge that piece of the puzzle first.

Also loving that you could see from a young age that there were a lot of things about your personality that made you fit for this career. What is the challenge that you've overcome over the course of your life that kind of led you to where you are today in this place where you are clearly a very aligned to the live person?

Meera: Yeah, I love this question so much because when I started out, so I actually tried to get a minor in finance when I was in college, and I failed, did not get my finance minor. I remember showing up to those classes and feeling like I was just in the wrong place. I did not belong. It was a bunch of people, bunch of males, mostly I'll say, a bunch of white males, and they were in it because they wanted to make a lot of money, and that was it.

I just couldn't wrap my head around that. I didn't feel like I was part of the conversations that they were having, and that continued on to when I started working in financial planning firms. Granted when I started, I started working in financial planning in San Francisco in 2012, and the firm I work for was started by a female. She made sure that her employees were very diverse, and so, it wasn't like I was the only female there.

But, I also didn't see myself in any of the other people there. I am naturally just kind of like a chill laid back kind of goofy person. Like, I tend not to be super serious about things, and I would see everybody in the firm women, men, whatever, like very serious people who were pantsuits and who were very disciplined I will say. Like, I incorporate routines and rituals into my day, but like, forcing myself to do things that don't feel in alignment, that's not something that I do.

So, I always kind of had this impostor syndrome, like I'm not supposed to be here. This is not the type of career for me. I remember I started at a firm in Boulder, and we did the StrengthsFinder analysis. I don't know if you've ever done the Gallup Strengths Finder, and everyone did theirs. Everyone had these traits of like, leadership and discipline and all of these things that very, were financial planner-y?

Mine were like connectedness, and I don't remember the exact strengths, but I remember, like, we had to post them outside of our office. People would make comments like, your strengths are kind of more in line with like a yoga instructor than a financial advisor. I was like, maybe I'm in the wrong place. Maybe I'm not supposed to be here, because everybody else around me is this certain way, and I'm not that way.

Fast forward, I had my son, and he was about a year old. I realized, like, I'm not spending any time with him. I'm at work all the time. I get home, he's with the nanny. His first steps are with the nanny. I need to change. So, I took a different position with a firm that was promising to pay me double for half the amount of time and immediately was like, let go from them. It was just like such a shock to my nervous system. This was the career path that I was on.

This is what I wanted to be doing. A friend was like, you should just do this on your own. Like, you can totally do it. Why not? I was like, No, I can't like I don't even belong in this field. Like, there's no way to do this on my own. I'm an imposter here. She was like, no, you're fine, just do it. That was kind of like, oh, my gosh, maybe I can't do this.

Maybe I can utilize those strengths that seemed so out of place and seem so like wrong to my advantage, because there's gotta be other people out there who are looking for financial advice, and they don't resonate with a traditional financial advisor who, like you said, is like sending them a letterhead and pushing out a spreadsheet. That's kind of when this switch flipped on in my head, like, hey, I know what I'm talking about.

I've been doing this for a really long time. I have my certified financial planner certification, like I've done all this work for it. I can be a resource for people who feel like the traditional way of doing things is not the right way for them to do it. So, I think that was like getting through that impostor syndrome and getting through that feeling of not belonging, like the number of times I've been asked if I was an intern.

Like, all of those things that happen when you're a petite, young looking woman that make you feel like you're in the wrong place. Like, all of those were just more of a catalyst for me to be like, you know what, I am different, and I can be different, and it can be successful.

Caitie: Thank you so much for sharing all that. First of all, I want to come back to what you were talking about before to you that you kind of touched on again, which is that you are this very happy go lucky, fun, just like loose kind of person, and one of the reasons you're able to maintain that sort of personality is because you have plans for what to do when things go wrong. You are allowing yourself to feel free, because you've created that structure.

You gave yourself a container in which you can kind of flow versus just flowing and going all over the place, and at the same time, a lot of other people who, I guess, are in the finance world that are kind of created that container, that sort of structure in that safety net for themselves through their financial planning and knowledge, aren't letting themselves flow within that container.

It's like they're stuck in that rigidity, and they're sort of staying there. That's what I love about you is that you have that structure, and then, you're like flowing within that. I also can relate to what you're saying about feeling like you're different from everyone else in your field. I mean, I'm a dietitian and I'm sitting here talking to you about financial wellness on a podcast. Like, I just don't feel like I fit in with the other clinical dietitians for my whole career throughout college.

Also, coming back to what you said about college, what did you end up studying? What did that path look like for you?

Meera: So, I majored in economics.

Caitie: Okay.

Meera: I excelled in economics thankfully. I actually started grad school for economics as well, and then I minored in Spanish.

Caitie: Amazing. So, you have a background in economics. You started to minor in finance, became a financial planner post college, ended up losing the job that you were working part time after you had your son, and then started your business and realized you could do this on your own. So, now we're back on track. Can you share one thing that you wish everybody knew about finance and financial planning?

What is one thing that is kind of the backbone of the way you've been conducting financial planning with people since you started your business?

Meera: Yes, okay. I love this question. So two things popped into my head. One thing is that if we're strictly talking about investing, nobody can predict the future. I feel like there's so much information spewing around out there. This investment is a sure thing. If you're investing in this, you're an idiot. All of these different messages we receive, but nobody can predict the future.

Nobody has any idea what is going to happen with the stock market, with cryptocurrency, whatever. We're all just playing it by ear. I always thought there was a secret. I spent so much time reading investment books like reading blogs, studying markets. I think part of overcoming feeling like an imposter was me like trying to go above and beyond and really understand things more than everybody else, so that I would feel comfortable working with my clients.

Through that exploration and all that work that I did, I realized that there's not like, some simple formula that you can use to figure out whether or not your investments are going to be successful. Nobody really knows the future, and so there are like certain basic tenants of investment philosophy that you can follow to make sure your investment succeed in the long term.

But if somebody tells you that an investment is a sure thing or that their neighbor, cousin or brother or whatever, doubled their money in this specific way, just know that that may or may not happen to you, because we can't predict what's going to happen. The other thing is that it doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't have to be very detailed. I think a lot of people when they think about working with a financial planner, or getting their financial life in order, or even budgeting, it's like this is going to be work that I'm going to have to do and maintain.

I'm gonna have to look at my budget every week, all of these different steps that I'm gonna have to take. That is not required in order to be financially successful. You can be financially successful simply by just creating systems and letting them run on the background of your life. Like, my goal for all of my clients is not for them to be people who are constantly checking their budget and know where every penny is going and making sure everything's optimized.

My goal is for my clients to not have to worry about money at all, right? I don't want that to be the central focus of their lives. So, what kinds of systems can we create? How can we alleviate whatever financial stress is occurring for you so that your money is doing what it's supposed to be doing, and you don't have to worry about it?

Caitie: So what are some of those systems that you feel are important for people to create? Yeah, what systems can you put in place so that people can have Meera’s approach to life? These systems in place and these things that are in place to catch you so that you can flow and have fun and be free within that container.

Meera: Absolutely. So, I mean, putting this stuff into place does require some upfront work, so you do have to kind of use that part of your brain that gets things done to be able to do it. But I think, first of all, like some of the basic stuff, like making sure that all of your bills are set up to auto pay. If you're worried about putting your bills on auto pay, because you're not sure you have enough in your checking account, and it's worth, like putting together a detailed budget.

For all of my clients, the first thing we do is look at their cash flow and figure out like, hey, is enough cash coming in to cover everything that's going out? If not, how can we solve this discrepancy? So automating as much as possible, I think is just such it just removes to dos from your brain. You know that things are happening the way they're supposed to, having like quarterly checks or even semi annual checks to look at your investments and see how they're running.

Not something you want to be looking at every day or every week, but just put it on your calendar as a periodic thing to go and look and then you know that that's coming up and it's not something you have to think about if the market is doing this. You're taking a step back and saying, hey, I'm in this for the long term. I'm not worried about these day to day fluctuation, because I know that I'm going to have my money invested for more than 10 years.

That's another thing, if you're investing money, make sure that you're okay with that money being invested for at least 10 years, because less than 10 years, the market does have a lot of fluctuations, and that can cause you stress. I think another big piece of feeling okay with your money is doing a lot of money mindset work. A lot of times we feel stressed out about our money, and there might not be anything that's actually stressful.

It's just all of these stories, these money stories that we've grown up with that we've come accustomed to feeling popping up. So, I have a money mindset program called Financially Flourish, and we dive into like, what is the first thing that you learned about money growing up? How did your parents respond to different financial situations, because that has such a huge effect on the way that you respond to financial situations.

If a bill came in, and immediately you saw your mom's mood shift, and she was stressed or whatever, then that becomes ingrained in your brain. So when you get a bill come in, you might think the natural response is to be stressed or to be upset about it. When in reality, it's just like, oh, I used a utility, and now I have to pay for it. There's nothing stressful about that. But because of the way that we've been raised, that could be something that comes up.

Even things like the media, a lot of times we hold ourselves back from like earning more income or raising our rates, because we don't want to be seen as like, somebody who's like money hungry, or rich people are bad. These are the stories that we hear from the media all the time that impacts the way that we look at our money in the way that we look at our finances.

So, part of setting up that structure is first of all, like checking in with your mindset and saying, hey, am I getting stressed out because of things that are real? Or are these money stories that exist that I can work on and work on changing? Then, how can I integrate more automation into my actual finances?

So instead of saying, oh, I wish I was saving more for retirement, you can set up an automatic $100 transfer into a retirement account each month, and then you know that it's happening. You've outsourced that outside of your brain, and you don't have to think about it anymore.

Caitie: Yeah, so it's like, taking out as much of the thinking as possible is really important. So, setting up everything to auto pay, savings automatically taken out of your account every month, taking your brain space away from that kind of stuff. If you're afraid that you're not going to have enough money for things to transfer automatically into savings or for bills to automatically pay, figuring out why.

So, going through and seeing okay, what can I set up to auto pay, and if I feel like I can't set it up as auto pay, why, what's going on there. Then with investments, you said making sure you're comfortable with money being invested for at least 10 years. Otherwise, the markets gonna go up and down over the 10 years, and that's going to cause more stress. You don't want to create more stress for yourself by watching your investments every single day.

I like that you said that's something you don't want to be checking every day, because I know quite a lot of people, males in particular, who check their investments every single day, and it makes them really obsessed with the market. It makes them really obsessed with money. I imagine that that's so terrible for your money mindset, which is the third thing you said, making sure that you're aware of all the stories.

You're telling yourself about money and the anxieties you have about money. It reminds me of the way that I help clients heal their relationship with food, too, because there's so much about our relationship with food and the way we think about food that causes stress and changes the way we feed ourselves and our physical health. It's like, how is the way you think about money affecting your financial health?

Meera: Absolutely, there's so much correlation there. I mean, I'm always using examples with food because I feel like they're both things, money and food, that are kind of emotionally charged. We get dopamine hits, and we act in ways that maybe aren't in alignment with the way that we want to be acting because we have all of this baggage that comes with us when we're thinking about money and thinking about food. So, I think that that analogy is perfect.

Caitie: Yeah, it's like we can't pretend that food isn't emotional. We can't pretend that food isn't part of our life, part of our culture, a part of our history, part of our family history, especially, and same with money. We can't pretend that it's not an emotional thing. We can't pretend we don't get a dopamine hit when we get $100. We can't pretend that it isn't part of our family history as well.

So, I guess, keeping that in mind, what are some ways in which you've seen people change their money mindset and look into that history a little bit more and stop ignoring that history and emotional and cultural piece of money and be able to make changes because of that exploration?

Meera: Yeah, I mean, first, like the biggest thing, of course, is even recognizing that it's there, because a lot of the time we'll spend money without even really thinking about why we're doing it. So, one of the big things that we do in my programs is to make a list of what your values are, what you actually care about, and then, look at your spending and say is what I'm spending on in alignment with these things that I'm saying that I value.

If I value cooking nutritious meals for my family, and I'm on DoorDash every night, there's a little bit of misalignment there. Maybe that's why you feel guilty. There's nothing wrong with ordering DoorDash every night, but if it's making you feel guilty every time you do it, that's not a positive feeling in your body, and so trying to figure out where that misalignment might occur.

I also think that the exploration of your money story can be so powerful, because like, I'll give a personal example for me, I broke my flip flops. I've used this example before. I broke my flip flops a few summers ago, and I was like, I need new sandals. I need to make sure that they are perfect, and that they fit all the specifications. I started looking for new sandals. I literally went two summers without having any sandals because I couldn't commit to the pair of sandals that I wanted to get, and then finally, I bought my sandals.

My husband jokes around whenever something breaks, he's like, oh, are you going to spend two years to get another one. I realized that I grew up where my mom, she does not like to spend money at all. That's like, the worst thing you can do is spend money. I spent so much time as a child with her. We go from store to store looking at sales, and we grew up in a very financially stable and secure household, so this wasn't a product of like, necessity.