Conscious Bookkeeping

just a girl growin up, Canon Digital Rebel

Okay, so I have something to admit.

After five years of having Superhero Designs, I am finally taking on the big project: creating a bookkeeping system. Now I know that I already mentioned that fancy little Quickbooks course a while back, but do you want to know what happened? I took the course for several weeks and then never opened the program on my computer. Hello, resistance!

After going to an introduction for an amazing organization called Conscious Bookkeeping, I realized that I mostly live in an intuitive world when it comes to money. I vaguely know how much I have, I don’t balance my checkbook and immediately seize up when anyone mentions accounting. My strategy is simple: I spend as little as possible and hope everything works out in the end. (Very scientific, no?)

I realized that I don’t know how to create a budget or plan for the future, how to become financially literate or how to grow in this area. So ladies and gents, it’s time for my initiation.

Conscious Bookkeeping offers a six week course here in the Bay Area. Their philosophy is that you can’t even get to the bookkeeping part (without glazing over completely) if you don’t look at your relationship with money first.


This is the basic outline of the class:

Phase I – Financial Therapy ? exploring your relationship to money on a practical, emotional, psychological and spiritual level
Phase II – Bookkeeping Training ? learning to set up & maintain a bookkeeping system for personal & business- creating a practice!
Phase III – Life Visioning ? visioning/ taking all the data and creating and living into a values-based Map of Intention (aka budget)

If anyone is interested, let me know! It starts September 22nd and is on Thursday evenings. We can get conscious about our finances together!

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. melanie

    That sounds like a great course — exactly the kind of thing I need to improve my own dealings with money. Wish I was in the area!!

  2. Julie

    I am an accountant, and a frequent reader. So, PLEASE feel free to email me with any questions during your learning process. I can also help you with your QB set up. (I’d be honored to help you, since your web site is a bright spot in my days)

  3. Georgy

    Golly, I wish I could attend along with you. This is part of the stuff I honestly need. Thank you for telling us about it. I’ll surf around and find as many tips as I can and join you on the quest. All Best to both of us.

  4. G-Man

    Good luck!

  5. Wanda Tucker

    Good for you! I hope it all works out…and if you ever need a coach, I’d love to talk to you about it.

  6. Meg

    If I was in the bay area, I would definitly join! I’d love to be in the bay area anyway right about now….
    My friend just reccomened a book to me that is something like financial planning from graduation to owning your first home. I’ll send you the name of the book when I find it (I don’t know if you own yet). Anyway, I think it will be good for me…. since I work in non-profits, and I’m still at the bottom of that ladder, I don’t make a alot. But I figure good financial planning is a foundation for the future regardless……
    The Artists Way reccomends bring a little notebook with you and writing down everything you spend money on WITHOUT judgment… and then looking at after a week. She says that our professed values and the way we spend money often don’t add up. Living in New York, I find that particularly true, in a big city, I find that you buy a bottle of water here, a sandwich there, a cab ride, some gum, and then suddenly you’ve spend $25. I have yet to be brave enough to do this….. but I think you’ll motivate me.
    And I’ve done quick books for my theatre company, and I have to say, it’s more fun then you think it would be!!! like I commented last time, it’s midwifery……
    Gonna go get me a small notebook! Tell us how it goes!!!!

  7. MamaChristy

    There is a Christian guy (you mentioned values so this may be of interest) named Dave Ramsey who has a book and syndicated radio show called “The Total Money Makeover.” He talks about leading a debt-free life – on any size income. His show is pretty inspiring with people calling in and talking about how they have become debt-free. It also makes you feel not so bad about whatever situation you are in because people call in with some pretty horrid financial problems. I don’t mean to sound like an ad for the guy, but it’s worth checking out if you are trying to align your values and your finances.
    Hope you really enjoy your course and get lots out of it. I look forward to reading about your experience!

  8. stef

    It sounds amazing and something I would love to do…I’m already booked Thursday nights but I’ll be looking into the next go around…keep us updated!

  9. Julia

    Congrats Andrea! Really getting to know and understand your finances takes courage. I know about feeling resistant to dealing with money…Have you ever read the books by Suze Orman? Her philosophy is “People first, then money, then things.” She really helped put me on the right track. She has written several books, is a financial commentator on one of the news channels (CNN or MSNBC on Thursday & Sunday eves) she also has done a couple of PBS specials and appeared on Oprah etc…Her approach was what made me realize that at some point we all have to face the music and become accountable for our money and the way we use it. Best of luck in undertaking & tackling your money issues. The course you mentioned sounds as if its approach is really postive. If I lived in your area, I’d love to check it out. 🙂

  10. Hen

    Haha! I just bought myself Quicken from Costco last week! I haven’t opened it again since the first time I used it. I’m not very savvy when it comes to finance too. So far I’ve managed just fine not knowing how much I have exactly in my bank account. But I feel it’s time I need to know more about financial management, especially if I’m gonna start a small business. Conscious Bookkeeping sounds like something I could appreciate. I hope you learn lots and tell them to have classes in Southern Cal too! Hehe.

  11. wn

    wow, that sounds like a great course. good for you. my husband and I went through many financial growing pains in the past few years to get us to a budget that works with our lives and doesn’t make us feel trapped or restricted. But I can tell you that now that we have one that works (well, with some adjustment from time to time) we have a freedom that we couldn’t have imagined. I find that we can permit ourselves to indulge a bit more…with less money…my husband is actually making less money (but is much happier) and it really wans’t all that painful a transition…
    Because we have basically eliminated the stress that comes along with trying to figure out IF you can make the goals that you have in your head work. It’s on paper now. Yea, it’s a little annoying to track stuff sometimes, but the paybacks have been worth it so far for us. We now own a home (well, a portion of it anyway), paid for our own wedding, are planning a trip on the Trans-mongolian express and are putting away money for international adoption. With less money. I think the only thing that it’s really affected is that we’re so much more conscious of money spent on frivolities. SO when we do spend on sillyness, we try to make it count and try to be mindful of the fact that we’re going to see that number on paper sometime soon. I know it’s not for everyone (and certainly wasn’t for me, at the beginning) But sticking to a budget is WAY worth it if you ask me!
    wow, that’s alot for a sunday morning..sorry andrea!

  12. Marilyn

    Personally, I prefer UNconscious bookkeeping…which is the only way I can muddle through it…especially when someone’s paying me to do it…under the misguided notion that my brain actually wraps itself easily around numbers..which it doesn’t. (Thankfully, that’s only happened a few times.) I like the IDEA of money…I just don’t like taking my big IDEAS and shrinking them down into ledger columns. 😉 Good luck! The course sounds good.

  13. Kerstin

    Hi Andrea,
    Ohmigod, I am getting quite excited reading about this workshop! Wish they did them elsewhere in the country.
    Exploring your emotional relationship with money is such a great idea. I’ve been terrible with my finances most of my life, probably for similar reasons why I’ve been struggling with my weight, all to do with emotional gratification and head-in-the-sand syndrome. I am actually about to go bankrupt here in the UK and I can’t tell you what a relief that will be. Luckily it won’t follow me to the States when I move there in two weeks and I’ll be able to make a complete fresh start and I really want to learn to be better with my money.
    Reading your post today is great timing and I’ll check out some of the books recommened by your readers and will sign up to the Conscious Bookkeeping newsletter.
    Many thanks for talking about this today 🙂

  14. mikaelah

    i glazed over just reading the post… what a trigger for me to vacate my body!… Good luck Andrea.

  15. Anja

    I need that course… I always try to avoid opening letters from the bank, particularly now as I’m living on student grants and savings and the numare going down and never back up again. My boyfriend tells me off and it’s such a relief to realise I’m not the only one with this problem! I’ll just have to try to motivate myself and face the numbers. And try to get the sand out of my eyes 🙂

  16. adele

    congrats on being so proactive!!

  17. Maria

    Sounds like a great course…
    I have two ways with money
    Cheap as…and refuse to spend any money, untill I realise I made everything really boring and I say NO to things all the time…
    or Super Duper Spender…
    I reckon I’m sort of Bulimic with money 🙂

  18. stosova

    “My strategy is simple: I spend as little as possible and hope everything works out in the end. (Very scientific, no?)”
    🙂 That is the exact method I use! Lately I have come to the conclusion that while it works on a day to day basis, I haven?t evolved from a certain level of (relatively low) life-standard for years. I get around and don?t suffer hunger, but my refusal to develop a plan that could move me up financially (ah, does everything have to be about profits?) keeps me a) stuck and b) perhaps thinking about money more often than if I had more money.
    To explore one?s own relationship with money before learning the bookkeeping etc. makes so much sense, especially for artists. I hope you will have an interesting course and keep us posted!

  19. kelly

    hey…i haven’t taken that course too! only
    my husband teaches it here at home
    and it is called the bryce’s [neurotic
    and no fun] booking keeping course. sounds
    like i could use the same course as you.
    i have 10 invoices sitting in my out box.
    i am not digging the money side of business!
    enjoy the sessions.

  20. jennifer

    Hey, that sounds like a great course to take even for your personal finances!! Maybe I should see if they offer anything in the Central Florida area…

  21. jenn

    sounds like a wonderful class… do they offer anything on line for those of us not in the bay area?

  22. heidi

    i found debtors anonomys(sp?) in 95 and it has been a miracle. it’s very hands on and creative and supportive. hope this helps.

  23. heidi

    i found debtors anonomys(sp?) in 95 and it has been a miracle. it’s very hands on and creative and supportive. hope this helps.

  24. mati

    wow, this is just what i am struggling with. I am very tempted. As you can imagine i don’t have the $400 to spend for the course and i’m in school & pressed for time! But then again, what a better way to spend $ by learning about it! hmmm…. i’m going to ponder this. Good for you for being brave and asking for support:)

  25. poemfish

    A friend of mine who started her own business told me about this site: ~ it appears they have branches in most states. It’s only $25 and she said she learned a lot. I am taking the course in Omaha next month!

  26. Amy

    Hey Andrea –
    I work for Paychex in Tucson, Arizona and we take care of payroll and payroll taxes for small business owners. It is a wonderful company with lots of integrity and we can take care of everything to keep you in compliance with state and federal regulations. You should check us out in San Francisco. The number is 650-952-5777.
    Happy Finances!

  27. Teece

    OMG! it sounds fabulous. Do you knwo if they will teach it down here in LA anytime soon?

  28. another andrea

    I think it’s great you’re doing this. My husbando takes care of our books, both our personal and business ones. I keep telling myself I should teach myself this “financial stuff” but I find it really boring. Hence, I’m unmotivated, and I never learn. Awful huh?

  29. Pamela

    I love the poster who stated that she was bulimic with money! I have the same problem, feast and starve. I come from a working-class, cash-only, immigrant family–money was scarce, spending it was based on practicality. That sensibility keeps me from fully expressing the madly indifferent-to-price shopper that exists within me!

  30. Diane

    Managing anything is a true skill, a real craft even. Money is almost at the top as Julia reminded us, people being first. But whether it’s money, time, responsabilities versus entertainment, kids toys accumulating, house paint cans, house cleaning… it’s challenging every single day. Some are really good at it. Thank God!
    A friend of mine who manages his money quite well said once, “When one loses money or an unexpected and unwanted expense comes along, It’s just money and it’s made to be spent.”
    Keep us posted! 🙂

  31. SarahL

    what a wonderful and scary growing step this will be, and I’m excited to hear how it goes. I was in a very similar situation as yours for a long time, until I was forced to deal with my finances in preparation for a cross country move. I wasn’t lucky enough to do it because I wanted to or with a supportive course; I think you’re lucky to have chosen a gentler way. Remember to be gentle with yourself as you go–it’s easy to beat yourself up over things you’ve done or not done with money, but what’s important is what you do NOW. I don’t know what kind of follow-up support your course will provide you when you’re done–I suggest you check out some of the message boards over at the Motley Fool website (, they’re full of people like you (and me!) at all stages of growing into financial maturity and they can keep you going when you stumble backwards. Most of all, remember that everybody stumbles backwards, but it doesn’t mean you’ve stopped moving forward on your path. Good Luck!

  32. angela

    oh andrea. you’ve done it again. hit the spark and ignited what so many of my thoughts are these days. i’m reading a book right now called the dynamic laws of prosperity by catherine ponder. she takes a bit of a spiritual, possibly religious route in her teachings and writings, but so much of it makes sense, or can be applied to life.
    like simply being aware and instead of harping on the negative side of money and constantly confirming or speaking out loud of “i wish i had more” or “i’m broke”, to turn it around. kind of like a mind of matter of the situation.
    some days it’s easy to follow and believe, other days it isn’t as easy.
    money can be a scary thing, and a wonderful thing. but i think it’s being conscience about it, or finding out the things like this course will offer. why do we think about money the way we do? why do we have the habits we do?
    that being said, i have to do my bookkeeping this week and yes, again, regardless of my working on the awareness or my own readings, i’m procrastinating it again.
    i wish there was a way to finding out how to make it grow, become less the worry, to share more, save more, give more, have more.
    oh. money.
    i can’t wait to hear more about this course…
    and hoping all is sweet and well with you my dear.

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