How Creative Money LLC is Different

Meet the Creative Money LLC team, Seattle’s premier Financial Planners. A lot of traditional financial planning advice is provided with the hope you’ll purchase an investment or insurance product.  This means that the advisor’s incentive is to limit their financial planning advice around certain products you buy.   We don’t do that, and we don’t sell products.  Here’s what you get with Creative Money:

  • Financial planning direction and guidance, whatever your income.
  • Coaching you through a decision, instead of selling you on one.
  • Support through the emotional roller coaster of making tough decisions around your money.
  • Solving challenges instead of selling you products.

Who Are We?

Mindy Crary, CFP®
Financial Planner


Creative Money LLC is Mindy’s brain child. As a Certified Financial Planning® practitioner, Mindy backs up everything we say around sound holistic guidance, not just from 22 years in the big financial industry, but with professional certifications around the coaching industry, and a Masters in Business too. And to support and expand the Creative Money LLC vision, she has assembled a team of the coolest, most genuine, down-to-earth people the financial world has ever seen to help her execute on the Creative Money LLC philosophy.

Mindy spends her downtime writing, reading, doing Orangetheory and looking for the perfect French fry. She did her first 5K in 2019 after more than a decade, and decided to look for sunnier, warmer outside activities. She toys with becoming vegan but so far bacon and barbeque are still making that decision for her.

Samantha Kirby, CFP®
Financial Planner


Samantha Kirby brings more than 15 years of experience in finance and accounting to the Creative Money team. She has a BA in Business with a concentration in Finance and Economics. As a Certified Financial Planning® practitioner, Sam loves combining her knowledge and experience with down-to-earth practical advice. Sam is based in Bellingham but enjoys traveling to Seattle to visit (and to eat ice cream at Salt & Straw).

Sam spends her downtime as the matriarch of an all-boys family who likes to tempt fate with death-defying activities like mountain biking, hiking and generally running through nature exposed to predators (husband included). It doesn’t really bother Sam since she is pretty easygoing…we think the ice cream helps. A lot. Read more about Sam…

Brett Lathrup, CFP®, CCFC
Financial Planner


Brett Lathrup has been in the financial services industry since 2015, has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, is a CFP® professional, and is also a Certified College Financial Consultant (CCFC). Prior to becoming a financial planner, Brett worked with contractors and architects in the commercial building industry. Spending most of his days looking at building plans and sifting through construction documents taught him how to hyper-focus on the details, no matter how small. 

When he is not helping clients, you can find Brett hacking away on the golf course or being a pit boss on one of his many charcoal grills and smokers. However, his favorite days of the year are college football Saturdays. Read more about Brett…

Katie Noble, CFP®
Financial Planner


Katie Noble has been with Creative Money since 2019 and is one of our veteran planners. She has a bachelor’s degree in business and finance and earned her Certified Financial Planning® practitioner designation. Prior to joining Creative Money, Katie worked with corporate budgets, preparing her for the spreadsheets and minutiae of analyzing our client information. She speaks Excel fluently but balances that with her connection to every client’s individual needs, personality, and goals.

During her downtime, when Katie can’t express her unholy love for budgets, spreadsheets, and compound interest, you can find her exploring Seattle parks with her wife, trying out new recipes (especially anything to do with dough!) or rearranging her superabundant collection of teas. Read more about Katie…

Joann Nieciecki
Financial Planner


Joann Nieciecki brings more than 20 years of experience in valuation consulting and advisory services to the Creative Money team. She has a B.S. in Finance and is an Excel wizard that’s soooo thorough with her client plans we now realize that spreadsheet can be a verb, not just a noun! Joann has passed the CFP® practitioner exam, completed all education requirements, and is well on her way to completing the 6,000 hours needed to fulfill the experiential requirement to using the designation.

When she’s not busy having fun in Excel, Joann can be found spending time with her husband and two sons, watching Masterpiece mysteries, or <MASSIVE NERD ALERT> attempting to complete all the shrines in Zelda: BOTW. Read more about Joann…

Amy McIlvaine, CFP®

Financial Planner


Amy McIlvaine, CFP®, comes to Creative Money LLC by way of Wall Street (cue Wolf of Wall Street soundtrack). With 25 years in financial services, Amy has helped non-profits and even lent her finance skills to launching a sustainable kitchen endeavor. Working with individuals and families on personal financial planning helps her scratch the itch she had to find a more collaborative way to vibe with clients than in traditional financial services. She has a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance.

When not in financial planning mode, Amy e-bikes, hikes, pickleballs (is that a verb?), golfs, and binges on crime dramas. She has a long “bucket list” of travel destinations, but we don’t plan to let her out of our sight for the foreseeable future. Read more about Amy…

Sandy Nielsen
Data Manager


Sandy Nielsen has been a part of Creative Money LLC since 2018 and she is our behind-the-scenes connection to clients as we collect, organize and clarify financial information. That may sound simple, but if you start to imagine all of the personalities and all of the data Sandy juggles on a daily basis… let’s just say we are continually in awe at how effortless she makes it all look!

Sandy lives in Seattle with her husband, a commercial energy-efficient lighting consultant. When she’s not white knuckling it through watching her three sons attempt to adult, Sandy likes to read, do yardwork, manage websites, and play word scramble games. Oh, and sometimes she sleeps for like 3 hours a night.

Sophia Trinh
Financial Planning Assistant


Sophia Trinh brings her experience in data collection and interpretation to manage client data for the Creative Money team. She works behind the scenes to collect and organize client financial information. Sophia joined in 2022 and holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering, specializing in Business Intelligence.

When she’s not gathering data and organizing for our financial plans, Sophia likes to exercise, read about personal finance and find ways to progress in her zero-waste journey. She also loves a quiet afternoon with a 2000-piece jigsaw puzzle and coffee.

Erika Taylor
Operations Manager


Erika Taylor has been a part of Creative Money LLC since 2018 and brings more than 15 years of experience in marketing/client service in the financial services industry to the team. Quite simply, Erika is in charge of everybody and everything if it doesn’t have to do with financial planning. Honestly, we’d get her a crown if we thought she’d wear it.

When she’s not busy keeping us all organized, she spends the rest of her time cheering on her youngest son’s hockey team and hiking with her four-legged fur child, Tigger. Since her oldest is off at college, she squeezes in moments of guilt and empty nest onset anxiety with any leftover free time.

The team at Creative Money LLC is a lot like you.  Practical. Emotional. Energetic.

And sometimes even mental. 

We understand that your greatest obstacle to financial clarity and action really is you.

Are you an aspiring financial bad-ass or someone who needs helps making their financial life amazing?

If you want, you can…

  • Connect on Facebook (We make no promises to not share photos of Mindy’s cats)
  • Download our insanely useful library of worksheets and tools (Free Resources)
  • Book a consult to shape up your moola
  • Of course, you might just need a good chuckle… you can get that here, or here, and here and here :o)