Lillian’s Story

Hi, I’m Lillian Karabaic.

I am passionate about helping people create new financial stories. I help artists, small business owners, nonprofit worker bees, college students, and millennials smash debt, save up for their goals, and budget like the badasses they are.

What I don’t do: sell banking products, hustle credit cards, or tell you that you need to get “grown up” job instead of making art or working in non-profits.

Day 220: Last Day of Portland Startup Week

The Long Version of the Story

In April of 2015, I got a raise from $15/hr to $19/hr. This was the most money I had ever made in my life, and I had worked hard to deserve it (the easy part) and to ask for it (the hard part).

I’ve always been “good with money” –  I’ve never gone into debt (not even for my expensive liberal arts degree), always saved well, gave to charity, put a little every month in a Roth IRA from age 21, eschewing consumerism- but I’m not naturally skilled in the “earning” side of the equation. My average annual earnings totaling up 13 years in the working world, despite working 3-5 jobs at a time for most of that time, is ~$15,000.
Day 212: The Teal Skirt Will See you Now
But this influx of $9,000 extra dollars a year didn’t make me feel relief at first- instead I felt panicked and stressed. I had no debt, I lived simply, and I afforded most indulgences I wanted (burritos and bike parts). What else did I need?

I became anxious about blowing this opportunity to change my financial story – this could be a life-changing amount of money over the long term, if I just made the right choices with it.

I wanted to avoid mo’ money, mo’ problems – and instead cultivate mo’ money, mo’ freedom.

My stress about “wasting” this extra income led to me pouring over library books and podcasts – consuming every scrap of information I could find on investing, planning for retirement, and saving for a house. I learned about safe withdrawal rates and index investment strategies and tax loss harvesting. I became a Laywoman’s Investing Expert for the Median Wage Earner.

And coworkers and friends – even my boss – started to notice that I kinda had my sh*t together. They started asking me about their 401Ks, mortgages, health insurance, grocery budgets. I found how much I loved finding ways to make investing and saving approachable for everyone.

I began teaching Get Your Money Together Bootcamps as a way to organize these conversations. The bootcamps are a place to work through all that emotional crap you have built up about money – and there’s always something. And then we tackle the nitty-gritty.

This is not a bootcamp about numbers, though we’ll definitely look at your numbers – this is a conversation about money that cuts through the overwhelm. And it’s a big step in building a healthy relationship with your money and building the road map for your future.

I want to help you with all this stuff. Because you kick ass, so your money should, too. Join me?