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Investing in Financial Wellbeing- Counting On Yourself ft. Sonja Ecklund

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It’s important to acknowledge that you do have the power to make something different about your financial circumstances, regardless of what your circumstances are.

Sonja Ecklund

We all have a personal and unique relationship with money that affects our mental health every day. Andrea & Brooke have both been exploring their relationship with money through Sonja Ecklund’s Financial Wellbeing Workbook and were thrilled to welcome Sonja back to Ivy Unleashed to discuss her creation.

She’s Back!!

Sonja Ecklund

Sonja is a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, a yoga teacher, a financial wellness professional, a low-impact minimalist, a debt free lifestyler, and a houseplant enthusiast. She has over 9 years of coaching experience in both corporate wellness and private practice and has helped thousands of clients become the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves. Sonja empowers people to create mindful, sustainable, and intentional lifestyles through the art of coaching. She is passionate about helping people rewrite their money stories and her financial coaching workbook has helped over 100 people create a proactive financial wellbeing plan.

Check out Sonja’s-

Instagram- @sonjaecklund


Etsy Shop-

Episode Highlights

“I believe the best investment you can possibly make is in yourself. “ – Sonja Ecklund

Financial wellbeing- a state where people can meet their financial obligations and make the choices they need to to allow them to enjoy life. It’s an important aspect of our health that deserves care and attention.

Sonja became passionate about the topic after taking control and changing her own money story. With $6,000 in her checking and $40,000 in student debt, Sonja left a 3-year long relationship and moved into her mother’s basement. She felt like she couldn’t leave the relationship because of money, and that was a situation she never wanted to find herself in again. Sonja decided to spend $2,000 on a yoga instructor class, which ended up being an incredible investment. It was an opportunity to work on herself, learn what was truly holding her back in life and what self-limiting beliefs were standing in the way of who she wanted to become.

“Instead of looking at where I was in life and thinking that I had failed, I starting thinking about it like it was an opportunity.” – Sonja Ecklund

As a financial wellbeing coach, Sonja works to help people define what financial wellbeing looks like for them, discuss which habits are needed to reach their goals, holds them accountable to the goals they set, dives into barriers and challenges, and helps individuals get clear on the action steps and direction they need to take.

It all starts with your relationship with money. Ask yourself these questions- “What words and feelings come to mind when I think of money? Do I feel capable of making a lot of money?”

How to start owning your money story-

  1. Recognize it’s a process.
  2. Meet yourself wherever you’re at in our journey – show yourself grace and compassion.
  3. Take action.

Our money history dictates a lot of our values and unfortunately for many it’s a skewed perspective. It’s most likely based on what your money story looked like growing up. But good news… it can change. You have everything you need within you to make that happen. Ask yourself what can you control and start there.

It’s a spending plan, not a budget-

People often think the first step is to stop spending and become strict about sticking to a plan.

A budget can cause a cycle of feeling shame when you can’t stick to it, explains Sonja. She likes to think of it more as a spending plan- something that helps you build awareness around spending. Sonja recommends writing down all your expenses (rent, mortgage, credit card bills, travel, groceries, student debt, medical debt, etc.) so you can figure out how much you spend a month. This will help you get a clear picture of where your money is going. A plan is a guideline- just like having a meal plan, workout plan. Like any skill, it takes work and practice.

Paying Back Debt-

Two approaches-

  • Snowball method (smallest amount first)
  • Avalanche method (pay off debt with the highest interest rate first)

Both are aimed at your inner psychology, Sonja explains. What do you feel best about when you think about paying back your debt, it’s important to understand what motivates you.

Sonja’s Recommendations-

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to managing your money.

Think about yourself before you think about others.

It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement.

Sonja made paying off debt a game. This worked for her, but she reminds us that there’s no right or wrong answer to how often you should be checking your accounts. If checking is taking over your life, you’re distracted at your job or can’t be present in your relationships because you’re thinking too much about money, then you need to reassess your action plan, Sonja argues.

It’s important to openly talk about finances with your partner. You don’t have to agree, but you have to talk it through. Sonja recommends having these conversations around your kids as well.

Money stories that aren’t true – “debt is bad” and “having money is bad”

Practice Affirmations – “I am capable of making a lot of money.” “I will be intentional with every dollar I make.”

You can count on yourself and you can trust yourself when it comes to money. Most people are really intimidated by the finance industry, but it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Financial Advisor vs. Coach-

Advisors have access to your money and can make the moves for you. A coach is never going to touch your money, their job is to empower you to make the moves on your own. Sonja recommends investing in an advisor if you have multiple assets to manage or a large business. For young professionals, most can get away with paying a fraction of the cost of a financial advisor by learning how to do the work themselves (or using a Robo investing service).


Sonja recommends investing your money in places that are socially responsible. Her own financial wellbeing workbook is designed to get you thinking about your values and what you care about to help you build awareness around where your money is going and where you want it to go. The more money you have, the more money you can give to causes that you support and you can do good with your money. Use your money to support causes you believe in- we vote with our dollars every single day.

What you can do today

Download Sonja’s incredible workbook. The workbook forces you to reflect on your relationship with money and bring awareness to where you need to put more attention to. It’s a $10 investment to get you thinking about your next step when it comes to your financial wellbeing (link below under resources). Sonja’s financial wellbeing workbook is a powerful tool everyone needs to get their hands on.

“It is never too late to change your money story.” – Sonja Ecklund


In this episode you’ll hear about creating awareness around your relationship with money, different ways to invest, paying back debt strategies, social responsibility with money, how to build confidence and self-efficacy with money, and so much more. Tune in to learn how you can count on yourself with making financial decisions and invest in your financial wellbeing.

Behind-the-Scenes Video

3 Gold Stars

  1. Understand the facts and the feelings of your financial situation. Ask yourself what level of commitment you’re ready for. Is it a workbook, a coach, or a financial advisor?
  2. Automate your money and make your money work for you. Set up automatic payments for your debt and savings.
  3. No matter how old or young you are, start saving for retirement. Roth IRA – open one and fund it asap.

Ivy Reflections

From Sonja’s Financial Wellbeing Workbook-

  1. What is your biggest, loudest, most overwhelming self-limiting belief about your financial situation?
  2. What stories have you been telling yourself about your financial situation? What are you ready to release?
  3. What does financial wellbeing mean to you?

Piece of Gold

 The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.

Marianne Williamson

Healing Food of the Week-


Mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium, potassium, and zinc.

Healing Properties: Multiple antioxidant compounds contained in mushrooms help protect against heart disease and cancer.

Fun Fact: Shiitake, Oyster, Maitake, Lion’s Mane, Porcini, and Reishi are a few other mushroom variations that provide a multitude of health benefits worth exploring.

Recipes you need to try!

Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms


Miso Mushroom Soup on

Mushroom Ginger Miso Soup-


Resources You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth  eBook: Sincero, Jen: Kindle Store

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We thank you for joining us in the fearless pursuit of self-discovery and growth and hope that you transform our lessons into your gold. 

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Listen to your truth and go chase your gold.

– Gold Ivy Health Co.

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