From Wall Street to Financial Wellness: Psychology, Life Transitions, and Jimmy Buffett

Cara Macksoud, FBS® | CEO of Money Habitudes |


Cara Macksoud discusses her journey from playing ice hockey on an all-boys team to working on Wall Street and eventually transitioning to nonprofit work. She highlights how her upbringing influenced her financial mindset, the impact of her parents’ teachings, and her own experiences with money.

The conversation covers key topics like the correlation between input and output, the pain of paying, and the importance of teaching children basic job skills. Cara also reflects on pivotal moments that led her to shift from a high-energy Wall Street lifestyle to parenting and seeking flexibility and autonomy.

Her work with unbanked kids and transition to financial education and psychology therapy culminated in her role as CEO of Money Habitudes. Throughout, Cara emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s relationship with money, decision-making complexities, financial independence, and the pursuit of happiness.


Cara Macksoud, FBS® is the CEO of Money Habitudes. After a 15 year career as a trader on Wall Street and stint as a CFO for a NYC nonprofit, Cara transitioned into the behavioral finance space. She completed the Financial Therapy Graduate Certificate at Kansas State University and holds a BS in Finance from NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Certified Financial Behavior Specialist® and a member of the Financial Therapy Association where she serves on the board as the Chair of Student Engagement. Additionally, she is a member of the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) and is an AFC candidate.


  • The influence of upbringing and family on financial mindset and career choices
  • The transition from a high-energy Wall Street lifestyle to parenting and the challenges of staying home led to a realization of the need for flexibility and autonomy.
  • Cara’s work with unbanked kids and the shift to financial education and psychology therapy played a significant role in her career transition to becoming the CEO of Money Habitudes. Understanding one’s relationship with money is crucial for financial well-being and personal fulfillment.
  • Balancing work, family, and personal fulfillment is a complex and ongoing challenge.
  • The pursuit of happiness and fulfillment evolves over time, and it’s important to adapt and reassess one’s goals and priorities.
  • Time is a valuable and finite resource, and making the most of it is essential for a fulfilling life.


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