A Money Coach in Canada

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Good day, Globe & Mail visitors and welcome!

If you’d like to learn about my money coaching business,  it’s over here.

If you’d like to hear my rags-to-riches (well, not HUGE riches, but a decided turnaround) click the 2 min vid to the right.

Other than that, browse around my blog.  September posts may be particularly of interest – a series of Money 101s like how to bust a poverty mindset, how to recover from financial disappointment, and whether you should save money whilst carrying debt.

Questions for me? I respond to e-mails:  nancy {at} your money by design dot com

Thanks for popping by!

And thanks to Andrea, a Smart Cookie, for a fun interview.

Sept 2011’s Money 101 post roundup:

What were you taught about money?

How to bust a poverty mindset

Quick chat with John Chow on culturally-shaped attitudes towards money

Cover it Live twitter chat w/ Krystal on how she got out of student debt so fast, and Marcy on common money messes she sees.

Get New Parents (if yours didn’t give you a healthy approach to money)

Saving. Should you save if you’re in debt? and other such questions.

Debt Elimination: Part 1 Part 2

Disappointment Recovery Plan

And of course all the goodness that was my Online Launch Party!

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

PART TWO (see Part One here)

Rack debt up again – frack!
Whittle debt back down.
Slowly rack debt up again.
Hack furiously at debt.
Outta debt!!! < happy dance >
OOOOOPS – forgot about the car repair payment due but no money ’cause it paid off the debt.
Back in debt.
Discouraged. Pissed off. Get outta town for the weekend on the credit card since it’s racked up anyways.
In more debt than ever.
Forgetaboutit. Just forgetaboutit.

You cannot get permanent results with temporary changes. (Liz said this first)

If pulling out your credit card because you don’t have the money for your purchase is a lifestyle, your lifestyle is out of whack with your income. It’s time to make some permanent adjustments. Will it be painful? Possibly, but not as painful as living with screwed up finances for the rest of your life. And probably not nearly as painful as you might think.

1. Start by getting a real handle on what you’re doing with your money.

2. Have a sober look at your lifestyle. I don’t mean the lattes.
I mean medium/big ticket things like:

  • your choice of transport
  • your choice of home
  • the extent to which you socialize and how you socialize
  • your choice of job (not enough income/location)
  • your bright-shiny-objects (lookin’ at you, fellow geeks).

Are there systemic aspects of your lifestyle that are slowly taking you under? Wednesday’s post asked you to identify some small changes you could make to your lifestyle. Today I ask you to think carefully about the bigger picture. Are there some fundamental changes you need to make, permanently? This is not a quick-fix thing; this is a long, hard look thing that will require serious discussion with other people in your life, identifying multiple options for yourself, selecting the one that is most workable, and the resolve to make a permanent shift.

Wbat’s peace of mind worth to you?  What’s that inner assurance that you are getting ahead worth to you?  The lifestyle changes above are the pricetag.   Over to you.

3. Find ways to increase your income. This is a whole topic in itself. It doesn’t have to mean a second job (but it could). You could start a small home-based business. You could ask for a raise. You could see if your investments could do better. You could actively seek higher-paying work. You could get your teen-age+ kids to contribute a bit to the family coffers.

update: for a recap of all Sept Money 101 posts, click here

Photo credit: Bill Luken

Did your parents set you up with a savings account and ensure a portion of whatever money you received went into that account?

Did they ask you about your kid-sized goals (wishes) and let you know how much you’d need to save up for it, and encourage you in it?

Are you doing the same for your own children?

I cannot emphasize enough how being someone with savings changes you.  And ripples out positively into all aspects of your financial life.

In debt?  Be someone with savings, who saves.

Doing just fine? Be someone with savings, who saves.

Having a rough time financially? Be someone with savings, who saves.

Unemployed? Be someone with savings, who saves.

Have savings but keep plundering it?  Keep saving anyway until one day it clicks and works as you intended.

On a fixed income?  Be someone with savings, who saves.

Single mom?  Be someone with savings, who saves.

And make sure your kids know you are someone with savings, who saves.

Here’s why:

  • Having savings and being a saver assures you deep down there may be times of real struggle but you are never truly broke.
  • Having savings and being a saver embodies the truth that while you may owe others, you are never owned by them.
  • Having savings and being a saver is a freedom gesture from all the messaging intended to lure you into buying stuff.
  • Having savings and being a saver has a mysterious way of multiplying itself.
  • And in addition to that, from time to time it may save your ass.
  • More likely, it will allow you to achieve a financial goal that means something to you.

If you are ready to become a saver, and want some additional strategies and support, my $64 online program will help.  In fact, I’m going to be a bit aggressive and say if you are earning over $30K with no dependants, or over $50K with dependants, yet are not saving anything (living paycheque to paycheque) you *need* to check out my program.

If you’re Canadian, and choose to save with ING (which I recommend) quote this “orange key” 14641937S1 and if you contribute $100 we’ll each get $13 as a bonus.

update: for a recap of all Sept Money 101 posts, click here

Photo Credit: Letterror

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