A Money Coach in Canada

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My money coaching practice has no room in it for judgement. Many of my clients do enough of that for themselves – frustrated, embarrassed, referring to themselves as “no good with money” and “irresponsible”. The fact is, we all screw up in various areas of our lives. Some of us repeatedly get into lousy relationships. Some of us can’t get along on the job. Some of us chronically drink a little too much booze. Etc.

And some of us have dropped the ball regarding our finances for reasons ranging from pure exhaustion (managing our money is one more demand on our time) to hopelessness (so why bother).

Over the past four years of access to privileged information – how people handle their money, their worries, the foibles – I’ve learned that it’s rarely as simple as, “well, here’s the smart thing to do, so just do it already!”

This has expanded to macro economics, and my politics. I’ve learned to dig a little deeper on issues like poverty. It’s not usually as simple as, “well you seem young and healthy, so get a job already!”

Today’s National Post gave some discouraging news: 1 in 8 canadians live below the poverty line. Now before you dismiss that as likely a generous ‘poverty line’, here’s how it’s defined:

  • for 2 people, a combined income of $21K
  • and for a family of 4, a combined income of $32K.

For my fellow vancouverites — can you imagine a family of 4 surviving on $32K in this city?

I cannot absorb that fact, and think it’s somehow ‘their fault’ and ‘they’ should get their act together. I’ve seen how complex it is for those of us with plenty of money to ‘get our act together’. And just like my great joy, and privilege, is to do what I can, compassionately, to equip and empower my clients around their finances, politically, I’m re-aligning towards: which politicians are oriented to equipping and empowering the poor? the marginalized? those among us who for whatever reason don’t seem able to do what seems obvious to those of us on the outside?

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. Brian

    I too try not to indulge.. It seems offensive in this poverty environment.. I think real living poverty in this city , is one of the dirty little secrets. People living in $300,000 condos. BUT, their real lifestyle and disposable income is at the poverty level.

    not taking the right vitamins, eating the right food, and not taking care of their health.. All these things take money they don;t have.

    Sad but true.. and i can’t imagine a family of 4 living in Vancouver on $32,000. Impossible.. I can barely do it. and i have no debt, mortgage, car or credit payments.


    Nov 27, 2007
  2. … and a family of four on social assistance has even less than that – barely $20, if i’m not mistaken. plus being poor is expensive (e.g. when you don’t have a car, you can’t go to the superstore).

    i always thought it would be interesting to get together a few people and have them live at the poverty line for a week.


    Nov 28, 2007
  3. Isabella – I think you have a real idea there! Some kind of ‘solidarity’ week – discover what it’s like — let’s talk more. In short: I’m in!


    Nov 28, 2007

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