ls“There is something truly magical about Denise. I invited her to speak at my women’s life coaching meetup after seeing her do an amazing job speaking at another meetup I attended. She has such an effervescent, warm, inviting manner about her- she is completely captivating. All of my guests couldn’t say enough about her. Denise makes the topic of money into a sacred conversation. She brings so much wisdom, spirituality and depth when she teaches, and her information is so relevant and useful. Denise has a way of making her audience and her clients feel so safe and cared for while talking about the very vulnerable subject of our personal finances. I recommend her highly as a speaker, as a money coach, and author of the book Earn, Save, Spend, Give. Denise is amazing!” www.keishagallegos.com





10367587_10152135339348443_5695420298734791811_n“I was in transition, newly retired, newly re-married + had overwhelming anxiety about money. All the time. I worried about money at the beginning of the month. During the month. And at the end of the month.

I never felt I had enough, even though I have a decent portfolio. I scrimped and worried. I wanted to contribute to my new life + didn’t know how much I needed to live on, how much to share + I was scared to look at it all. Big gulp, big breath, lots of tears.

My journey with Denise has been transformative. With great compassion, tenderness + humor, the roots of my anxiety was uncovered + understood. I shifted from overwhelming anxiety, sleepless nights, and constant stress to a place of peace, control, confidence and now me + money are pretty good friends. I rarely worry about money anymore. I have enough in my life, money + love + so much more. All this happened over 6 sessions with Denise. I wouldn’t have believed this shift was possible for me, if I didn’t experience it firsthand.”

P.S. experiencing “enough” isn’t all about how much money we have…it’s really about consciousness + choice + directing our dollars to nourish our deepest values + getting real clear on what’s important.





I must also thank Denise Hughes, a financial counselor in San Carlos, Ca, who befriended me and who spent untold hours sharing with me her knowledge of the psychology of money, both for the Love and Money column I write and in particular this book. Her generosity, humor, and ability to describe how our noggins operate has greatly benefited this book and allowed me to better understand how money flows through all our lives directly and unconsciously. 





0832099“Denise is an amazing innovator and leader in her field. She is the best when it comes to understanding people, how to make money a source of wellbeing and fulfillment, whether you have too much and need help managing it, or too little and need help growing it. She gets it and has been a blessing for me personally! She is a Life and game changer! I can personally give her the highest recommendation from our work together over the past ten years.”







Denise provided me with the practical stuff of money management – I need that part. But, then she went on to address who I am and who I want to be and where I want to go. With her help, I was able to state my values (without fear of judgement). Did you know, I was clueless on what I really value? Whoa.

She shared her knowledge, experience and positive energy with a tenderness matched with a firm resolve to address what’s really going on in my head and chest. I’m not perfect with my money – but with this training a huge amount of anxiety was lifted and the rest can be managed.





154944_1718850495275_4171291_nI am grateful to Denise who coached me with patience, care and insights.She gently showed me how to find peace with money. It was hard work and I got off track many times but Denise stood by me and helped me pick myself up and start over. A few years ago,I was a single mom with $70k+ debt making $30k a year and now I am down to $14k debt and made over $75k last year. I would not be where I am now without her help.Thank you Denise. You are a god send.







Copy-2-of-040906-Business-Picture2“I have known Denise for many years.  She has helped and continues to help a number of my clients work through complex issues relating to money and values as well as helping them produce meaningful spending plans that are an integral part of their overall financial plan. This enables me to leverage my time as a financial planner and focus on what I do best.  I recommend her work wholeheartedly.” Malcolm is a CFP professional with offices in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara.  Visit us atwww.sterling-futures.com. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________





yager-209x3001“I have had the privilege of having Denise help me with numerous clients over the years.She is a consummate professional and completely trustworthy, providing a safe  environment for clients to work out their most difficult money issues.” Marcee is a nationally recognized expert in integral financial planning. She is also a certified mediator and a practicing spiritual director. _________________________________________________________________________________________





Larry and I are ordinary people.  Larry is in banking and I work part-time at my church.  We have three sons and one dog.  We own our home. Our combined income affords us a good living. In order to make things work in managing our household I began charging on the credit card for needful things like clothes for the kids, household supplies and gas to name a few.

Even though our income was good, it never seemed like we had enough money. Very quietly we were going deeper and deeper into debt with no plan or way to pay it back. Our finances were in dire straights. Our dreams of retiring or living a more simple life seemed impossible. We were stressed out about our finances. Part of the stress was because the subject of our finances was a topic my husband and I avoided like the plaque.  For most of married life (over 27 years), we danced around this issue.

There were a few occasions that we truly got serious and went “head on” with this sensitive subject. We tried marriage counseling, new methods of discipline accounting, endless meetings and none of this worked for us. It was very frustrating. We were referred to Denise by a financial planner. Let me just say here I was scared that once we began this process it would seem like a huge weight around our neck, restricting and depriving us of many things in our lives.

Our finances were already a huge burden, but fear that it was going to be harder to bear with a financial counselor grew. Well, I was wrong.  It will be almost two years since we began working with Denise and we marvel at where we are today.  Today, we are debt free, have not used our credit cards in two years, have a nice savings account and are on a cash basis. So what changed since we started meeting with Denise? Today, I have never felt better in my life about our finances and am at peace about everything we do regarding our finances.

What made this possible?  Denise helped us look at our personal philosophy regarding money and how that affected our use of it in our family. I come from a background where we didn’t have a lot of money and my husband came from a background where his family had money but was always worrying about it.  How we perceived money impacted how we managed money in our family.  We took time to talk about thinking patterns that translated into spending patterns that were unhealthy and destructive. We diffuse those “hot “ buttons in our financial life that caused us to be wasteful and destructive.

We began putting a sensible and logical structure into place that would help us account for our money but more importantly plan for all our needs.  Through this process we learned to distinguish between “a need” and “a want or desire”. We have discovered amazingly that through this process, not one need was overlooked and we never felt deprived.  The discipline of tracking our money was not easy.  It takes time and commitment, and I have to say that we did not arrive at this very easily.

Through Denise’s counsel and guidance, we have dismantled destructive and unhealthy thinking and spending patterns.  We are more disciplined and consider ourselves much better stewards of what has been given to us.  The most hopeful result from this process of working with Denise is that we are able to realize some of our heartfelt dreams.  We can now actually plan and see these once lofty dreams become a reality in our lives. This is truly amazing.

Many people have asked me about this process that we have gone through and are still going through – there is one thing that I always share with them and that’s it really not about the “money”.  It’s about what you bring to your finances and how it manifests itself in the spending or your money.  We have never felt more “unburdened” about our finances until now.  Bottom-line, we have reached a quiet abiding peace within our family.  Thank you Denise for all your help. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________




My husband and I first met Denise Hughes a year ago through a referral via a friend.  We had great credit, but difficulty communicating with one another regarding our finances and achieving successful goals. Denise worked with us to set up a plan to help guide us together toward a more effective direction.  Working with her was very “Eye Opening.”  My husband and I learned how our spending habits differed, as well as how to hone them to achieve goals. Today, my husband and I pay our bills together. We are focused. We talk instead of argue.The additional end result is harmony between my husband and me, less stress and arguing. Denise possesses expertise in financial counseling encompassed with compassion for the clients that she is working.  She is worth every hour, and every dollar you spend with her; it is an investment in your financial future with yourself and your spouse. ________________________________________________________________________________________




“I was in a pretty fragile state when I met Denise. I had a large amount of unaccomplished dreams and an uncertain future. The first thing that Denise did with me was to help me pinpoint where my financial habits came from. The second thing she helped me with was, disappearing the guilt I felt around my situation and finding a strategy to move forward. Within a matter of weeks, my life started to open up in an extremely positive and magical way. I went from doing a side job that I detested to doing more of my dream work. I really could not have done all this without the support that Denise provided for me. Her way of working is gentle, tender and loving. She has incredible strength and power without using force. She really has been an angel and blessing for me.” ________________________________________________________________________________________




“Prior to working with Denise I felt trapped by debt and money.  As a single 43 year old woman, I didn’t really have many dreams for my future because I couldn’t see past my debt.  I was very honest in my initial evaluation and she really seemed to ‘get me’ from the first meeting.  Denise has an incredibly gentle and non-judgmental approach to her work and after spending years beating myself up because I couldn’t solve my own money issues, her kindness meant the world to me.  She has given me the tools to problem solve and to figure out how to live a financially and emotionally healthy, happy and bright future.  She is a lovely person with a really special gift of working with people.  She has opened my mind to all that is possible in my life and I am immensely grateful for all her guidance and support. She has helped me create a life of freedom I didn’t know was possible.” ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




“When we first started with Denise, we were using credit cards to finance our everyday expenses as well as periodic expenses like property taxes. We were stressed out, wanted a very different financial picture than what we had and didn’t know how to go about creating it. Denise helped us in two big ways. She helped us gain control of our finances while helping us to change our money mindsets. We make good spending choices today based on our values and priorities. We no longer use credit cards. We talk about money, before we argued about money. We are on our way to being debt free! Today, we have more peace in our lives around finances than we’ve ever had.”





“Before we started working with Denise, our money lives were separate and pretty fraught with tension. We were raised with different attitudes about money. Both of us had a fair amount of shame and we thought we’d never be able to “share” money in a way that felt like we were really together. In working with Denise, the top three things that brought us together around money was 1) Denise’s skillful questions of inquiry, gentle reflections and guidance in helping us to have necessary conversations. This helped us open up about our fears and needs. 2) As we became more open with one another around money, it helped the rest of our relationship improve too and we finally got legally married. 3) We are in a place we’ve never imagined, sharing finances, working with a system and using each of our strengths in service of our financial health! We’ve paid down $10,000 in credit card debt and we are not adding to it. We have a spending plan and stick to it without feeling constrained!”





I grew up in a middle class family where there was never enough money. I worked to buy what I wanted. I married someone who spent money easily and freely – a dream come true. After successes in business there was a business bankruptcy that was devastating. Ultimately I divorced my husband and then he passed away. I was left without life insurance to raise two children and figure out my money situation myself. I struggled: accumulating credit card debt, getting out of debt only to get back into debt. I needed more than a financial planner, some one who could help me move through the fear and emotions I had around money.  Then I started working with Denise. I now spend time planning my expenditures. I have not gone into any unplanned debt in the year that I have been working with her – a record for me. I’ve learned the importance of spending time keeping current with my expenditures so I know exactly where I am financially at all times, that is a powerful place to live. It is not always easy. Yet, like any new behavior it takes time to learn and appreciate the benefits of the changes we make. For the first time in my life, I have hope that I will no longer be imprisoned by my financial past and that I can create a future worth looking forward to. Denise’s work is life changing. I wish I had learned these lessons earlier in my life. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________




“You have no idea how much you helped Cameron and I. Things for us are very different now. I am going to school full time, working towards a degree in Finance at San Jose State University. Cameron had been working full time, but is currently taking a break from work to recover from major back surgery. We never would have been able to survive our temporarily downgraded lifestyle without the skills we learned from our sessions with you.”





I am so grateful to have found Denise through a client who had impressive success working with her. Creating a solid cash flow foundation is such a complex area of personal finance,  having a specialist to go to is extremely valuable. Denise quickly is able to work through cash flow issues and see the underlying reasons behind money conflicts. She helps clients step into a life of financial integrity. Scott at www.brewsterfp.com __________________________________________







“Your generosity of spirit and flow and energy around money are so natural and easy. You remind me of a dancer who moves naturally with the music, as is there is no separation of form or spirit.” www.financialintimacy.com