A Money Coach in Canada

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2522609853_a8e786fc86_m.jpgJust a short thot.   I’m utterly fatigued of words like Abundance.   ProsperityWealth.

They have the odour, for me, of negligent obliviousness to the fact that we are not paying, and have not paid for a long, long time, the true cost of our acquisitions that constitute this so-called wealth.  We’ve been naively content to let people (women and children especially) in developing countries pay the price, and of course, the planet.   See:  The Story of Stuff among many other indictments.  (note: I include myself in this paragraph!)

Furthermore striving for abundance (etc.) is based on a false premise:  That we do not currently have enough, and that we will feel better if we somehow attain a threshold we can call abundance, prosperity, ad nauseum.   Problem is, that threshold rarely is defined and we never arrive there.

I have a secret hope that as the false-ness built into our economies, esp. those of us in North America, continues to be exposed for its vacuousness (like flying on private jets to ask for massive taxpayers’ handouts) and deception (like Bhopal),  that we will insist, absolutely insist, that we rebuild a better way of doing economics.  It may mean pared down wardrobes, fewer shoes and even (gasp!) an end to dog fashion.   Really, I just don’t care about those things so much anymore – do you?

Might we be willing to exchange our abundance for an abundance of clean air and clean water?

Might we be willing to exchange our prosperity for basic nutrition for children around the world?

Might we be willing to exchange our wealth for creating an economy where the genius and creativity of individuals have a fighting chance to actualize regardless of country of birth?

I’d do it in a heartbeat.

PS:  So – if anyone’s looking for a money coach who’s going to cheerlead enroute to further excess , I guess I’m not your gal.   But if you, like me, want to wisely and thoughtfully manage your money so that our presence on earth is a net benefit to the global community and planet, not a net loss, let’s talk.

PPS:  I haven’t got it all figured out yet either.  But I’m sure trying.

PPPS: photo credit: Leeziet

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. John Berringer

    Well said Nancy!

    I am with you on this one all the way.

    Nice Grooveshark widget too! I shared that song with my 4 yr old daughter and she said it was quote: “So beautiful.”


    Nov 24, 2008
  2. brad

    I’m curious what “wisely and thoughtfully manage your money so that our presence on earth is a net benefit to the global community and planet, not a net loss” might translate to in concrete terms.

    Does it mean investing in “socially responsible” funds? I’m not sure, since once shares are out there in the stock market they’re just getting traded back and forth; if I buy 200 shares of RJ Reynolds I’m not actually contributing to the welfare of an “evil” company, just the welfare of the previous owners of those shares. Similarly, if I invest in a socially responsible fund that buys shares in “clean” companies, I’m not really benefitting them by buying their shares once the shares are out in the open market.

    Does it mean investing more in local causes? Maybe — where I live there are a number of funds that you can invest in that in turn invest in community environmental or social projects. That’s good, but I live in a rich nation; couldn’t I do a lot more good by investing the same amount in the developing world? Something to ponder and investigate.

    Does it mean donating a greater percentage of my income to charities? Sure, that’s always a good thing if you can afford it, and that’s already part of my own personal financial plan.

    What other ways can we accomplish this goal?


    Nov 24, 2008
  3. @John Thanks for coming by, and for sharing the hope.
    @Brad Those are *exactly* the kinds of questions we all need to grapple with, me included. The starting place, I think, is to become informed on issues like the Alberta tar sands, like labour practices in the factories from which we purchase our goods, and keeping in touch with current issues like the auto industry. This is hard work, and often confusing, but that doesn’t excuse us from the job.
    From there, we can start making more informed decisions about where we spend our money, purchasing built-to-last (not built-to-become-obsolete) from people who are treated fairly (again, a complex question) and who use sustainable methods.
    Re: the RJ Reynolds (pharmas, PM, etc.) my response would be: if everyone would *stop* buying the shares, share value would plummet and that *would* have an impact.
    Investing: Frankly, I hope our whole system is reinvented.
    Charity: increasingly I hope we see Social Finance – where it’s not about hand-outs (although there will always be a place for this too), but about investing, as you said, in developing countries (fair trade coffee companies, for example).
    This was a long riff. And my money-coaching work doesn’t necessarily extend *that* far. But it does start with encouraging clients to really think through their values, start aligning their money management with their values, and inevitably it leads to at least a measure of this kind of thinking.


    Nov 24, 2008
  4. Great post, Nancy.

    I’ve looked at this question from ‘both’ sides, from the vantage point of 12 years on Bay Street, and then 5 years or so hanging out in the downtown eastside, and more recently, spending as much time in Africa as I can manage. A couple of random thoughts:

    + A system that measures success primarily through growth is nothing more than a suicide machine.
    + The ‘rest of the world’ wants what we have.
    + The planet will self-destruct well before the ‘rest of the world’ gets anywhere close to our level of affluence.

    That leaves two options: Either the rest of the world remains in poverty so we can maintain our lifestyles, or we have to give up some of what we have in order for others to live better. Many people are willing to be generous, but most would draw the line at actually changing their own lifestyle.

    I think much of this comes down to worldview. Ultimately I believe we’ll have more success educating people and asking them to change the way they look at the world than we would trying to convince them to give another $100 a year away. That might sound pessimistic, but I actually find it very hopeful.


    Nov 24, 2008
  5. brad

    A bit of wisdom on this topic from the inimitable Jeanette Winterson.


    Nov 26, 2008

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