About

Getting out of debt and building wealth can feel insurmountable.

If you find yourself in debt and feel like personal finance is too difficult to understand, you’re in the right place.

Do you have debt you want to pay off but feel like you don’t have enough money?
Do you want to understand personal finance and make intelligent financial decisions?
Do you want to have a family life that isn’t fraught with financial stress?
Is your dream to build wealth and have a comfortable retirement?

No matter how inexperienced you are with money, it’s never too late to learn how to become a wealth builder.

I remember graduating from college with student loans and living paycheck to paycheck. The job market was terrible and I was making slightly over minimum wage.

With student loans, a car loan, and credit card debt, climbing out of a negative balance seemed impossible. It felt like I’d be in debt for 20 years at the rate I was going.

Anyone I talked to about debt kept saying how:

Everyone has debt. Student loans and car loans are ‘good’ debt.”

To me, debt was a weight hanging around my neck, not allowing me to make decisions that were right for me without feeling tied down.

Thoughts about money were always top of mind and gave me anxiety.

If this sounds like you, I’m here to help.

I believe that EVERYONE can learn how to take control of their money. It’s not only for “math nerds” and financial gurus.
I want to share how anyone can turn their financial woes into financial success regardless of their income.
I show you how to create a healthy positive aura about money and take away the stress.
I’ll motivate you to pay off debt and build wealth to truly live the life you were born to live – making the best decisions for YOU without finances holding you back.

Steffa Mantilla headshot graffiti background

Hi, I’m Steffa Mantilla!

I’m an online budgeting and debt payoff strategist. Personal finance is my passion and I teach families how to save money, live a debt-free lifestyle, and build wealth.

Steffa has been featured in:

MarketWatch
US News & World Report
Yahoo! Finance
Simple Dollar
CreditCards.com
MSN.com
GO Banking Rates
OppLoans
Bustle
Best Company
UpJourney
DollarSprout
and more!

How did I get here?

After 12 years in the high-stress zookeeping profession, I became pregnant with my son. Even before I was pregnant, I had been feeling burnt out for the past two years. I had maxed my upward mobility and felt stagnant.

Despite having my dream position, after my son was born I quickly realized that I wanted to stay at home with him. I knew there had to be a better family/work balance than working every weekend and holiday.

I refused to accept that in a few short weeks I would be placing my 2 ½ months only infant into a daycare that 90% of my paycheck would go towards covering.

I had a few goals for staying at home, in addition to taking care of my child:

Start a side hustle to immediately bring in income.
Start a blog to help other families with their personal finances so they could have the same options in their lives that financial freedom brings.

How was I able to stay at home?

After putting off having a baby for years in order to build my career, I refused to now miss out on my child’s life.  I looked at our finances, found ways to cut costs, and factored in all the extra expenses that occur when going to an office.  

It turns out, after factoring in daycare costs and other work expenses, our budget was only $500 a month short!

I used my strengths and contacts in order to start a pet sitting side hustle business that brought in immediate income. It was flexible and covered the gap in our budget.

Another thing that allowed me to stay at home was that my husband and I were debt-free except for our mortgage. I had formulated a plan to pay off all of our debt and I wanted to share this with others.

Currently, my husband and I paid off close to $80,000 in debt total and are still chugging away paying down the mortgage.

I started this site to help others with the same financial dreams who need some guidance!

By following me, you get the benefit of learning from my experience. I’ll walk you around the common hurdles people face. You benefit from my mistakes and avoid repeating them yourself.

Doesn’t that sound awesome?!

Some of what you’ll learn includes:

What Does Plantsonify Mean?

In January of 2020, Plantsonify rebranded to Money Tamer to better serve its readers.

Plantsonify is a portmanteau of “plant” and “personify.”  To personify something is to attribute a personal nature to something non-human.  

On a similar note, I love the idea of attributing actual qualities of nature to one’s own self.

One definition of plant is “to put or set in the ground for growth.” We’re planting ourselves financially in order to grow,  in addition to being a plant-based family.  

Establishing a healthy root system by removing debt allows us to grow and invest for our future.

Let me help you reach your financial goals!