A Money Coach in Canada

Follow & Subscribe

Disappointed with how things turned out?

Yeah, life doesn’t usually turn out how we think it will. And often the way it turns out doesn’t compare favourably to the life we anticipated. Maybe we don’t feel grown up enough. Maybe we don’t have the RRSPs saved we thought we should by now. Maybe we quietly wonder why others have the Audi, the Yaletown condo, the Fluevogs, the weeks in Italy that we don’t.

Regarding money. Disappointments about money. A recovery plan:

1. You are not alone. Know that. Whatever aches, shames, frustrates — you are not alone in being disappointed about your finances. Take comfort in this. Nearly every one of my clients – physicians, realtors, politicians among them – quietly wonder the same thing (admittedly on a different scale). We all face disappointments great and small.

2. It’s probably not your fault. Or not most of it. You and I and our money are shaped by our birth year, by government policy, by what is happening in Greece, and yes, to some extent our will to take control of our finances as well. So cut yourself some slack.

3. Acknowledge that comparing your situation to others is a fool’s errand. Who knows the full story? They may have had other priorities. They may have received an inheritance. And yeah, possibly they have made more financially astute choices to date, but whatever. You are where you are; they are where they are. Let it be.

4. Remind yourself of what’s good in your life. Then take this 30 second exercise to blow your mind.

5. It’s true, you know, that today is the first day of the rest of your life. If you are convinced you can do better for yourself – however you define better – shake off the disappointment or guilt or failures of yesterday and move forward. Move forward.

update: for a recap of all Sept Money 101 posts, click here
Photo Credit: Opaline Fracture Design

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. Renee

    One of my favourite songs. And great advice, all of it.


    Oct 02, 2011
  2. lena

    looking for tips on how to discourage kids from comparing: so’n’so went to Hawaii, so’n’so has one of those -and the inevitable: why can’t we


    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    Great Q, Lena.
    Been thinking this over. Here are some thoughts:
    1. It’s important that your kids not feel deprived or develop a poverty mindset (see my post on the topic here but that doesn’t translate into “everything everyone else has, you need to have too” obviously. It’s an art, I think, helping kids not feel like they’re the ones who don’t stack up, without indulging. And our culture does.not.help.
    2 Suggestions for considerations.
    Suggestion A: as mentioned in the post above, could you consistently help kids decide for themselves if they want to choose to find a way to afford the item. Wherever there’s an opportunity to provide them agency in it, why not?
    Suggestion B: develop a family praxis and culture of gratitude — help them really take note of and root themselves in what is wonderful and rich and meaningful in your family. (you may be doing this already) This can be a counterweight when the I Wants come up.
    Suggestion C: shift and broaden the comparison — help them develop awareness that they are actually better off than so many other kids not only globally, but likely even locally. This is tricky – comparing is generally not useful. But we all need to be aware that there is a broad spectrum of economic conditions in which any given family operates.
    Suggestion D: talk a lot in terms of priorities. So it’s not “we can’t go to Hawaii” it’s “well, this year, our priority is X”. Again, this shifts out of “we can’t” and “you can’t have” to a more empowered, open-to-possiblity approach
    Suggestion E: always, have some kind of giving praxis – a kid in a developing country, or fundraiser — something that positions the kids as givers.

    Hope those help. I’m somewhat self-conscious since I don’t have kids, obviously, but hope there are some germs of ideas in there that could work well for you.


    Oct 06, 2011

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge