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Like most people, I never learned about personal finance in secondary school or in college but it was not until after college at my first real job that I came face to face with my ignorance. My boss was proudly presenting our retirement benefits to a small group of us new hires and I had so little understanding of what he was talking about that I read a novel behind the folder of paperwork we had been given.

I felt shame and embarrassment because I felt like I should somehow KNOW this stuff already. I had managed to get through an Associates degree in liberal arts and a Bachelor of Engineering program and I had no idea what to do with the money I was now making. This same boss told me he wanted me to have an emergency fund (he used a more colorful term) set aside so that our employment contract could truly be at will. If ever it didn't work for either of us, we could terminate with the confidence that I would not be living on the street the next day. That was some of the best advice of my life.

With those catalysts, I began a lifelong education into the world of personal finance on my way to financial independence.  I can’t begin to count the number of books I read, magazines I subscribed to, and blogs that I followed including one that I eventually wrote for and this one that I recently launched. I found I had a genuine interest in this topic that grew into a passion which empowered me to take control of my own financial life.

Eventually I went to work for a 401k plan administrator as an analyst and a participant educator, launched a small company as a registered investment advisor and hosted a financial talk show on my local community radio station. Now I provide financial coaching to motivated people who are ready to make their money work for them.

All of the steps I walk through with my clients, I have previously walked on my own. I know how challenging it can be to take on these changes while managing a busy life. I work hard to create practical, achievable milestones that will put you firmly on your chosen path. Financial fortitude is within your reach. If I could do it, I’m confident you can too. Let’s talk about how.

If you visit my Services Page, you’ll see that you can schedule an online appointment. You can also reach me by phone or text at 941-993-6366. I look forward to hearing from you.


I should probably start with the disclaimer that I am a dear friend of Carol’s. However, I am also a business owner and, as such, have repeatedly turned to her for financial advice. I am not uncomfortable saying I’m good at my job, but I can’t say I’m good at EVERY job. So, when guiding the financial health of my personal finances and business was the job at hand, I can’t begin to express how happy and grateful I am that Carol is good at hers!
— Julie W.

Free to be Finance was born organically in answer to that age old question “what would you do if money were not an object?” My own path from financially ignorant to financially independent freed and inspired me to be a guide to others on their journey. As a financial coach, I help motivated people realign their relationship with money freeing them to be the secure, creative, independent designers of the life they envision.


Carol Christie,  Principal, Candidate for CFP(R) certification, Certified Financial Literacy Educator, Proud member of the LGBT community