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Archive of ‘Financially Fab Female of the Month’ category

Financially Fab Female of the Month: Carrie Smith Nicholson

At the virtual office that is Mo’ Money HQ, we’re obsessed with learning new ways to make mo’ money and manage what we’ve already got. That obsession, combined with our burning desire to share what we uncover with the rest of our millennial peers, pushes us to confront what we don’t know on a daily basis and ask the experts how they got (or are in the process of getting) their own financial shiz together.

This month’s Financially Fab Female, Carrie Smith Nicholson, founder of Careful Cents, has done just that and has helped more than 7,000 freelancers on their own paths to financial freedom. But Carrie has accomplished more than simply making mo’ money: she’s also made mo’ progress towards creating a happier life. Read on to see how she created a “life-centered business” and why she helps others to do the same.

FFFOTM - Carrie Smith Nicholson

1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Carrie Smith Nicholson and I’m an ex-accountant turned financial advocate for freelancers and small business owners. Over the past five years I’ve created a blog and community to help people overcome the financial mountains that come with quitting a day job to launch a business.

These are all obstacles I personally faced as I went through a tough divorce at a young age, ended up quitting my accounting job and became self-employed. Now, I’m on a mission to help small biz owners and freelancers establish business systems and organize their finances so they can stress less and earn money on their terms.

2. Do you have a money habit you practice that has made a big impact on how you made mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

I’m a savings account hoarder! Seriously, between my husband and I we have 17 bank accounts – most of which are separate savings for each financial goals we’re working towards. I’m a terrible saver by nature, and in fact classify myself as a bit of a spender, so I have to put systems in place that automatically save for me, and divide my goals into different accounts. That way when I’m tempted to spend money I have to pause before swiping my card, otherwise it just feels wrong pulling from the “travel fund” to pay for a new pair of shoes!

3. Who taught you to manage your money? What was their best advice?

My parents were very big influencers on me as a kid, especially my mom. I was blessed to have parents who talked openly with me about money, budgets, and even how to write a checkbook (old-school style). My mom had an awesome entrepreneurial spirit and launched many of her own endeavours, like jewelry making and tutoring. She taught me that you should never use credit as an extension of your income, but only use it when you have the funds in your account to cover it, or else save up for what you want instead.

My dad taught me the importance of balancing my career with my calling (which aren’t always the same thing), as well as taking time off for important family time and self-care routines. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. Both of them had large impacts on my mindset with money today and how I view my career goals.

4. What does being “financially stable” mean to you?

If you would have asked me this question a few years ago, I would’ve shared a completely different answer. But today, the meaning of “financially stable” means having enough income in my accounts to cover a few months of expenses, including our outrageous rent bill, while being able to take off work at a moment’s notice.

Since I’m self-employed I have the freedom to work on weekends, take days off in the middle of the week, or even go on a last-minute workcation. Being able to have a flexible schedule, while still being able to cover all my bills gives me the sense of financial security I crave.

5. What is the main lesson that you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

The American dream is dead. Don’t get sucked into working a job you hate, buying a house that’s too big or being trapped in a loveless marriage. I was guilty of all those things and it cost me a lot of heartache and years that I can never get back. Find out what you truly want your life to look like and then follow it with boldness. Create your own job if you can’t find one. Live in a smaller house with less stuff. Find a partner who can match your enthusiasm for a life-centered career. Focus on consuming less and giving more! That’s what this world needs, not the American dream.

Financially Fab Female of the Month: Katherine Hague

Hi, #MoMoneyPosse!

This month’s Financially Fab Female is empowering both investors and entrepreneurs with the information and skills to take their money management to the next level (while also creating huge opportunities to increase their income while they’re at it).

Katherine Hague has both founded and invested in multiple companies. Her first startup, an ecommerce platform called ShopLocket, got acquired by PCH International in 2014.

The self-described globe trotter, trend hunter, and marketer was named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network, and one of 5 Women to Watch in Wearable Tech.

There are so many ways to save money, earn more, and manage it well. Read on to see why Katherine says saving, although important, is not the most critical thing she does when it comes to building real wealth… and making mo’ progress in the process.


1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, public speaker and author.

I started a company called ShopLocket about five years ago. ShopLocket helped small businesses launch products and collect pre-orders online. The business was made possible in part by a $10K investment from a friend and we went on the raise over $1M in venture financing.

I sold ShopLocket two years ago, at the age of 23. After selling the company I began investing in startups myself, focusing on companies led by female CEOs. I’ve made six angel investments to date, and have started an organization called Female Funders to empower other women to start angel investing too. (Angel investment is basically any investment in a small, privately-owned business where the investor is investing their own money.)

As part of Female Funders I launched Angel School, a self-guided online education program available to both investors and entrepreneurs. The program helps women both fund and get funded. (Did you know that only 2.7 percent of venture funding goes to female CEOs? Through Female Funders and Angel School, I want to equip women with the tools and networks they need to help change that number.)

In addition Angel School I’ve written a book called “Funded: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Your First Round”. The book has been published through O’Reilly Media and should be shipping in the next couple months! If you’re an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level, get your pre-order now 😉

2. Do you have a money habit you practice that has made a big impact on how you made mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

Always start a negotiation with the largest number you can say with a straight face. All negotiations start with “No.”

I’ve always found it hard to ask for more than I thought I deserved. And especially early in my career, I didn’t think I was worth much. I found myself under-pricing my services as a consultant, undervaluing my products, and even undervaluing my company. But I didn’t have the nerve to ask for more. It wasn’t until I realized that negotiation is not about how much you think you’re worth, but how much the other person is willing to pay that things started to change. I came to realize that not only did I start getting more when I asked for it, but people started to take me more seriously, and customers even became more interested in my products! Don’t let your own insecurities hold you back or diminish your value.

3. Who taught you to manage your money? What was their best advice?

No one ever taught me to manage money, at least that I can remember.

Growing up, money was always a big worry for my family and it added a huge amount of stress to our day-to-day lives. I hated that feeling and I was incredibly motivated to change my financial fate.

Early in my career, all I knew was that I never wanted to worry about money again, and I never wanted my kids to worry about money the way I did. My solution was to save. I saved until I had enough money to move out of my parents’ house after university ($10K) and then I saved so that I could quit my job and start ShopLocket ($16K).

I would never have had the financial security to start my company if I didn’t save, and my company wouldn’t have been successful if I didn’t have a basic understanding of corporate finance (much of which was learned along the way). But the truth is, I don’t think it’s my money management skills that have been the largest driver to my financial success.

Building a company and learning how to negotiate for what I deserved is what led to my financial success, not the management of my money along the way.

4. What does being “financially stable” mean to you?

Financially stable to me means that I don’t have to worry about covering my basic wants and needs. It means that I have the freedom to follow my passions without being held back by financial constraints.  

I’ve learned that you never actually stop worrying about money, in fact I probably think about money more than I ever did before. But, for the most part, I now have the means to take advantage of any opportunity that crosses my path. To me that’s a huge accomplishment. That’s financial stability and probably more importantly — that’s financial freedom.

Now I have my sights set on even greater financial success. I talk a lot about the need for women to go out there and build the next billion dollar company, and if I’m going to preach it — I better get out there and lead by example. What’s next, I’m not really sure. But it’s going to be BIG! 🙂

5. What is the main lesson that you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

I think that starting your own business is the best way to accumulate wealth. Don’t just shoot for a great salary. The richest people in the world didn’t make their money from a salary — they made it starting companies. There is no way I would be where I am today were I to have stuck to the corporate path out of university. My best advice is to invest in yourself and your ideas. Work hard. Skip the corporate ladder and build your own path to financial freedom.



Financially Fab Female of the Month: Kathryn Meisner

Hey there, #MoMoneyPosse!

In this series, we highlight our financially fab fam who have learned how to make mo’ money and manage what they’ve got… and who then generously share their hard-earned wisdom with us! (Now that’s spreading the wealth.)

Kathryn Meisner is a career coach who specializes in salary negotiation, how to kick a$$ at work while actually loving what you do, and teaches her clients how to become both confident and competent when on the hunt for their dream job.

Kathryn knows that one of the fastest and most effective ways to accomplish your financial goals to simply make. more. money. As someone who has made the most of her own career changes, Kathryn is offering the #MoMoneyPosse a short and sweet bonus for the new course she’s launching! Check out her advice about how – women, specifically – can be proactive and take control of their finances… one negotiation at a time.


1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a career coach, aka “the guidance counsellor for adults.” I help people find and land the job that’s right for them.

I also help women earn more money through salary negotiation strategies that are specific to women (and actually work). I’m doing my part to decrease the gender pay gap, one woman at a time!

I offer one-on-one coaching sessions and a few times a year, I open the doors to my aptly-named online course, Guidance Counselling for Adults.

GCA is actually open right now until May 2nd and there’s a special promo code for Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress readers so you can save money while figuring out your career.

Use the coupon code “MOMONEY” and you’ll get 20% off when you enroll in the Foundations level of GCA.

2. Do you have a money habit you practice that has made a big impact on how you made mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

Negotiating my salary while keeping my expenses low is the financial practice that has given me that biggest bang for my buck (pun intended)!

I had to pay for my own education which meant that I had over $65k of student debt when I finished university. I lived extremely frugally but saving a few bucks here and there wasn’t adding up as fast as I needed it to. That’s when I realized that the impact on my budget (and debt repayment) was going to come from my salary.

So I became “a student of negotiation” and learned everything I could about negotiation – especially negotiation for women.

I started by doubling my salary within 1.5 years while I was working at a charity. I negotiated a $10k increase when I was hired for a non-profit, grant-funded role (folks who have worked in this sector know this is not easy!) I then made a $50k jump in one job change.

All of this was because I negotiated my salary. Nobody was going to offer it to me. I had to ask and know how to negotiate.

When I merged finances with my husband, the $65k debt became over $80k… Through the practice of salary negotiation and keeping expenses low, we were able to pay off our debts when we were 30 (super proud of that!)

And when I say salary negotiation is a practice – I MEAN IT. It’s a skill, and like any other skill, it can be learned and requires practice. Negotiating as a woman can often require specific skills and extra practice because we tend to undervalue ourselves or not even try to negotiate.  

Now, I get to help clients do the same (some have negotiated salary increases over $55k).

3. Who taught you to manage your money? What was their best advice?

My parents! Starting at age 4, I had an allowance. They always shared our financial situation with me and my brother. While it was sometimes stressful, it really gave me insight into managing money. I learned the value of a dollar at an early age.

Also – Shannon Lee Simmons is my financial fairy godmother. She has helped me me build upon my good financial habits and has helped me learned the financial side of my business.

4. What does being “financially stable” mean to you?

Paying my bills, saving for the future, having an emergency fund, travelling a few times a year (considering going to Iceland for the second time soon!), and having the flexibility to do things like leave my job and start a business.

5. What is the main lesson that you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

This one goes out to all the ladies: ASK FOR MORE. Negotiate your salary. It will immediately impact your finances. The more you earn now, the more you can save now, and the more you can earn later.

In case you missed it, Kathryn is giving a special gift to the Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress fam! Enrollment for her new Guidance Counselling for Adults (GCA) course is closing super soon, so if you’d like to sign up and take advantage of a sweet 20% discount, don’t forget to input the coupon code MOMONEY.

Woo hoo! Thanks, Kathryn!

Financially Fab Female of the Month: Alex Weber

Hey #MoMoneyPosse!

It’s our April Financially Fab Female of the Month (no foolin’)! In this series, we less-than-humble-brag about millennials who have learned major life lessons about what it takes to make mo’ money and manage what they’ve got.

Alex Weber is the founder of True North Life Design, a life coaching startup that empowers women to discover who they really are and what they really want to achieve. An accomplished former journalist who went through a quarter-life crisis at the age of 23, Alex realized that despite how good she looked on paper, it wasn’t making her happy. So she made a major career shift into “soul-preneurship” and hasn’t looked back.

But the writer in her hasn’t wandered off: Alex published her first e-book, Discover Your True North, in January. This spiritual roadmap helps show millennial women that happiness is within us – as long as we get out of our own way.

Now, the #girlboss who lived “the textbook millennial life” is sharing how her money mindset evolved from her mid-teens, to the quarter-life crisis, to how she now gets cozy with her cash every Monday.

Alex shared her high vibes and cash flow wisdom with Mo’ Money Mo’ Progress and our #MoMoneyPosse!


1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Alex! I’m a life coach, writer and founder of True North Life Design, a website that empowers women to connect to their inner wisdom and design lives they love. Through one-on-one coaching, group programs, and workshops, I help women understand their values and beliefs in a really deep way, then inspire them to take action and create the life they truly want to be living.

I also send out a weekly coaching newsletter, for free, with tons of tools, resources and guidance for millennial women who desire to live radically happy, authentic lives. You can subscribe by visiting True North Life Design.

2. Do you have a money habit that you practise that has made a big impact on how you made mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

Yes! And it’s been a game changer. When I first started my business in 2015, all of the “money stuff” really freaked me out. So I actually hired a financial coach to get my butt in gear. She gave me THE best piece of advice I’ve ever heard about money: make it fun. Now every week I take myself out on a “Dollar Date.” I go to my favourite cafe, snuggle up with a luxurious latte and get intimate with my money. I pay all of my bills, send out invoices, update my spreadsheets… anything financial that needs to get done that week happens on my Dollar Date. I also typically do this Monday morning, so it’s out of the way and off my mind. This weekly practice has totally shifted the way money feels to me. It no longer feels scary or like a chore, I actually look forward to it!

3. Who taught you to manage your money? What was their best advice?

To be honest, my parents were a little “hands off” when it came to teaching me about managing money. So a lot of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned through experience. I first started earning an income when I was 15 and over the past decade have made tons of mistakes. I’ve gotten myself in and out of debt a few times and that experience in particular as taught me so much about money.

So honestly the best piece of advice I have, especially for millennials, is to know the difference between GOOD DEBT and BAD DEBT, and to only accumulate the good stuff. Good debt is accumulating debt in order to make more money. Student loans and business loans are examples of good debt because the intention is to use those loans to advance your education or business, both of which will lead to money down the road. Bad debt is accumulating debt that will not make you money. Using credit cards for online shopping and vacations are examples of bad debt. This is the debt that haunts you and can become really challenging to pay off because not only do you have to tackle the physical debt, but you’ve got to deal with your mindset. A “spend now, pay off later” mentality can be really tough to shake and can keep you in trouble for years.

4. What does being “financially stable” mean to you?

To me financial stability means not having to worry about money. It means feeling comfortable and at ease with your finances, and earning enough to have all of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs met.

5. What is the main lesson that you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

Keep going! I know what it feels like to graduate with student debt and feel like you’re always behind financially. But I also know that it is possible to change your financial situation with intention and consistent action. You might not see results right away, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, but don’t get discouraged! There is a compounding effect that happens when you keep moving towards your big goals and dreams. All of the little tasks and tiny to-dos may not feel like they’re taking you very far, but they are! So keep going and trust that every step you take is a step closer to financial stability and eventually financial freedom!

If you’re loving Alex’s high vibes, you can sign up for her weekly coaching newsletter and learn more about her work by visiting her website,



Financially Fab Female of the Month: Erin Lowry

Happy Leap Year, #MoMoneyPosse!

We’re so excited to introduce you to February’s Financially Fab Female of the Month: Erin Lowry!

She’s the founder and creative mind behind the website, Broke Millennial. This saving-savvy writer has contributed to outlets like DailyFinance, and her Broke Millennial posts have been syndicated to Business Insider, among others. By day, Erin is the content director for MagnifyMoney.

Phew! Boss lady, here. Love it!

Erin generously shared her hard-earned lessons about making mo’ money and managing what she’s got.

Erin Lowry - FFFOTM (1)

1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Erin Lowry, the founder of Broke Millennial. The site helps promotes financial literacy in the millennial generation, mostly by me oversharing stories from my life (much to my family and boyfriend’s dismay) and tying them into larger lessons about money management.

2. Do you have a money habit that you practise that has made a big impact on how you made mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

Being a money hoarder from a young age certainly helped! For really unexplainable reasons, I’ve always loved saving money. (But for an embarrassingly long time (too long), I didn’t have it in a savings account!) There is just something about being able to have a little more control over your own destiny that appealed to me. These days, my primary function for making my money work for me is a pretty boring combination of automating savings and investing. I contribute about 40 percent of each paycheck to a combination of my 401(k) and my own savings account. In addition, I also use tools like Digit to save just a little bit more off the top.

I’m also not satisfied with just having one job (thanks unpredictability of the job market!), so I freelance on top of my full-time day job. One hundred percent of my freelance income gets saved with 50 percent going towards an account that’s earmarked for paying taxes and the remainder is saved for a down payment on a future home, 25 percent going towards my travel fund (which unfortunately has just turned into going to weddings), and the remainder is either put in my personal emergency fund or the emergency fund for my dog, Mosby. I always have at least $1,000 in cash for Mosby, so if this fund has been used recently for a vet visit or vacation to doggie daycare, then I will contribute until it’s back up to $1,000.

3. Who taught you to manage your money? What was their best advice?

My parents taught me, or as my Dad always says, he’s the villain in most of my financial literacy stories. The entire reason I started the blog is based off the first financial lesson my Dad ever taught me (at age seven) about net profit.

I’m incredibly fortunate that my parents were not only financially literate themselves, but also focused on passing down money knowledge to my sister and me. We were raised to learn the value of a dollar because we had to buy most of what we wanted, or at least stake 50 percent. This went all the way through college, when my parents did require us to pay for half our education. Luckily, my sister and I both got academic scholarships.

It should be noted, that they weren’t doing this because they couldn’t afford to cover the cost of college or because they couldn’t afford to buy us toys growing up. In fact, we lived a rather privileged life and grew up traveling the world. Rather, this tactic was employed to keep us both grounded in reality as well as ensure we would be ready for the financial burden of life after getting off the parental welfare program.

This is a long-winded way of saying that my parents’ best advice was simply to understand how money worked. Even when I wasn’t making a ton, it never stressed me out because I knew how to budget, I knew how credit cards worked, and I knew how to avoid debt.

Actually, scratch that. The best piece of advice my Dad ever gave me was to get a credit card my freshman year of college and to make one purchase a month on it and pay it off when the bill came. That practise netted me a 720 credit score by the time I graduated college, without paying a penny in interest, which made my life much easier — especially getting an apartment in New York City.

4. What does being “financially stable” mean to you?

Financial stability is being able to support yourself and have a significant emergency fund prepped. It means that if everything were to go sideways in my life tomorrow, I still wouldn’t run crying to my parents asking for backup.

5. What is the main lesson that you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

Money is empowering. It’s stressful to think about because most millennials are in debt or never had a personal finance 101 class, so it’s this taboo topic that dominates everyday life. But learning how to take control over your money, even if you have debt, is an incredible and freeing feeling. Just being here, reading this, means you’re proactive about learning basic finances and taking the first steps towards being a money management superstar.

Founder of


Financially Fab Female of the Month: Lucie Fink

Hey #MoMoneyPosse! It’s our Financially Fab Female of the Month! In this series, we show off the stellar women (and men!) who live by example to show us all how to make mo’ money and manage what we’ve got.

This month, we’re featuring Lucie Fink, an associate producer and on-camera talent at Refinery29 who, after moving to New York, leveraged her side hustle to pay her bills. Now this is a fab female who understands the power of Instagram and social media! Lucie is a stop-motion artist who embraces (and monetizes!) her creative side with contracts to create and produce videos for companies like The Today Show, GoButler, Wrap.Me, and, just to name a few.

We asked Lucie to share with us some of her biggest money life lessons!


1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Lucie Fink, I’m 23 years old, and I’m a video producer, stop motion artist and on-camera lifestyle host at Refinery29.

2. Do you have a money habit that you practise that has made a big impact on how you made mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

YES! Shortly after graduating from Johns Hopkins and moving to the “real world” of NYC, I realized that I needed a side hustle — a creative outlet that would allow me to make art, build a personal brand and bring in some side cash. Via my Instagram account (@luciebfink), I launched a side business where I create stop motion videos for brands to share on social media – and now my Instagram feed pays my rent!

3. Who taught you to manage your money? What was their best advice?

My parents taught me about the importance of saving, and they set a great example. They saved up for 16 years after getting married, and didn’t have children until they had saved enough to put all three of us through college with no debt. They have also taught me the value in “treating myself” and constantly encourage me to buy myself something nice when I’ve worked hard for it.

4. What does being “financially stable” mean to you?

To me, being “financially stable” means having the ability to grab a drink with my girlfriends on a Thursday night without worrying that I’m overspending. After I receive a paycheck, I put a certain amount in my checking account and the rest goes to savings — it’s important for me to remember that the money in my checking account is the money I’ve set aside to spend. I’m allowed to spend money as long as I stay on track and don’t overdo it.

5. What is the main lesson that you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

As I mentioned in my “5 Days on a $50 Spending Budget” video, life is expensive. Sometimes, it’s the little things that get you (last-minute drugstore necessities, a coconut milk latte from Starbucks, etc.). If you plan on budgeting, don’t do so to restrict the amount of money you’re spending, but do it rather to become more aware of how you’re spending your money, and to find subtle ways that you can save across all areas of your life. And don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while! If you’re working hard, you deserve it – and most often, you’re the only one who TRULY knows what you want!  

Check out some of Lucie’s awesome stop-motion videos! Here are some of her faves:

National Pasta Day




Cocktail recipe


Donut decoration

Want to learn more about this Fab Female? Check her out here:

Instagram: @luciebfink
Twitter: @LucieBFink


Financially Fab Female of the Month: Shannon Lee Simmons

Welcome to our Financially Fabulous Female series!

In our almost year-long journey of creating Mo’ Money, Mo’ Progress, we’ve had the chance to learn from some absolutely amazing women (and men) who have taught us how to earn more, negotiate, save and take control of our finances.

In a monthly series we are excited to share with you our inspirations!

The first financially fabulous female we’re excited to share with you is Shannon Lee Simmons.

As a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), CIM (Chartered Investment Manager) and founder of The New School of Finance, Shannon is in the trenches of helping SO many people learn how to take control of their money. What’s so amazing about Shannon is that she teaches with humour and relatability. In The New School of Finance she has course called ‘Don’t Get Effed at Tax Time,’ ‘Budget with Your Boo,’ and ‘Track that Shiz’ to name a few.

We had the chance to ask Shannon a couple of questions and we’re thrilled to introduce you to our first Financially Fabulous Female!



1. Hi! Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a certified financial planner, chartered investment manager and founder of the New School of Finance.

2. Do you have a money habit that you practice that has made a big impact on how you make mo’ money or manage what you’ve got?

At the beginning of every year I list out my goals and plot out what needs to happen financially for me to make those happen. Then, I work backwards from there. I do my finances on purposes and adjust every year to reflect new goals, constraints and priorities. The savings plan I had when paying down student debt ain’t gonna cut it when saving for a down payment. I do this with my friends – we make a whole planning day around it. It’s not boring, it’s really fun and makes you motivated to reach your goals!

3. Who taught you how to manage your money? What was their best advice?

My parents. Their advice: Don’t let money define you.

4. What does being ‘financially stable’ mean to you?

Having enough money to pay your bills, travel and save for the long-haul.

5. What is the main lesson you think Millennials need to learn, or hear about, when it comes to making mo’ money and mo’ progress?

A little bit can go a long way. Don’t get discouraged. 🙂

Learn more about the amazing Shannon Lee Simmons here:

new school
Twitter: @shanleesimmons
Instagram: @shanleesimmons