Meet Your New Money BFFs

HI I'M

Michelle

I specialize in helping young professionals, entrepreneurs, and members of the LGBTQ+ community make sense of their finances, build wealth for the future, and grow thriving businesses. Together, we make your money work towards building a joyful, abundant, and giving life.

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How I got here

By now, you may have guessed that I'm a huge money nerd. A lot of people ask me if I've always been like this, and my answer is a resounding NO! On the contrary, I have a B.A. in International Studies (Liberal Arts degrees, unite!), taught Theatre in an inner city charter school, and have always preferred poetry to math.

Through life's weird twists and turns, however, I found myself in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program studying finance, and I ended up LOVING it!

Cut to a couple years later and I'm a big hit at parties, showing off my color-coded spreadsheets, teaching my friends about credit scores, and trying to convince folks that investing is not as scary as it sounds. Becoming a financial advisor and coach was a logical next step.

How I got here

By now, you may have guessed that I'm a huge money nerd. A lot of people ask me if I've always been like this, and my answer is a resounding NO! On the contrary, I have a B.A. in International Studies (Liberal Arts degrees, unite!), taught Theatre in an inner city charter school, and have always preferred poetry to math.

Through life's weird twists and turns, however, I found myself in a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program studying finance, and I ended up LOVING it!

Cut to a couple years later and I'm a big hit at parties, showing off my color-coded spreadsheets, teaching my friends about credit scores, and trying to convince folks that investing is not as scary as it sounds. Becoming a financial advisor and coach was a logical next step.

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My Philosophy

This journey has taught me two crucial things: 1. Until we're taught something, we can't possibly be expected to be good at it; and 2. WHO teaches us can often be just as important as what we're learning.

Young people don’t need their parents’ advisor, or some other old white man in a suit peddling products. They need financial advice from someone who is approachable, knowledgeable, and not going to talk down to them. My goal is to be that someone.

All that to say: if you're ready to get good with money, I'm ready to help!

maybe you saw me here?

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Meet the Young & Scrappy Team

Dani Herd (they/them)
First Tiger/Lead Storyteller

Dani is new to the money game, having spent the first decade of their professional life exclusively in the arts! Dani has a B.A. in English Literature & Creative Writing, and they think of themselves as a storyteller above all else. However, through working with Michelle, Dani realized their potential to use their openness, curiosity, and communication skills to help folks with their money. After working through the AFCPE’s independent study program, they became Michelle’s first full-time employee in June 2022. When not continuing their development as a money nerd, Dani is likely to be performing around Atlanta, reading/writing queer fanfiction, and taking naps with Clem, the best orange cat to ever live.

Oriana Falkowski (she/her/ella)
Grand Poobah of Getting S*** Done

Oriana considers herself a social worker at heart, with a B.S in Psychology and Sociology, and a M.Ed in Special Education. Prior to pivoting to financial coaching, Oriana taught students with visual impairments. She has been obsessed with all things personal finance since early 2016 when she decided it was time to stop just surviving and start thriving with her money. She is fascinated by the brain, human motivation, habits and how all of those things affect our relationship with money. Oriana is an Accredited Financial Counselor, AFC®, Candidate. When not nerding out on money topics, you can find her driving kiddos around, cooking up a delicious meal, or planning her family’s next adventure!

Mary Alves (she/they)
Master of Credits and Debits

Mary has worked in bookkeeping and accounting for nearly a decade. She started with an independent bookseller in 2013, and quickly became interested in the only books on the premises that weren’t for sale. After a few years working in the field, Mary supplemented their Bachelor’s in English Literature and Gender Studies with substantial post-baccalaureate coursework in Accounting. She has a sharp eye for process improvement, a drive to research anything she doesn’t understand, and a knack for wading through large datasets. Mary enjoys climbing on things, working with dogs, reading about whatever corner of science is most interesting today, and answering their preschooler’s weird and wonderful questions about the world around us.

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