A Money Coach in Canada

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The mole has landed

When *do* you work on strengthening your money habits?

I’d be willing to bet on this:

  • If you quickly and definitively answered  something to the effect of “Monday evenings after supper” or “When I go shopping, I now have a plan ” you and your money are probably in good shape and getting better.
  • If you have to vaguely respond  or “when I feel like I should” your money is likely a bit precarious.
  • If you pretty much don’t regularly set aside time to strengthen your money habits, odds are you and your money are routinely parted.

So here’s my final January challenge to you. Over January, I have posted plenty about changing money habits.

My challenge to you is this (and fwiw I’ll be joining you in this — I’ve been getting lackadaisical and this money coach needs to heal herself! that happens from time to time, you know!) : Clearly name a time and place, or a routine situation, when you will work on strengthening your money habits.

It could be:

  • Next time a friend invites me for lunch, I’ll suggest coffee instead
  • Each Monday after work I’ll review my bank balances for 15 minutes
  • I have joined a money club and we meet Thursday evenings

Whatever it is, if you have a time and place for it, odds are your money habits will develop.  Good on ya.

Sneak Peak –  February’s posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays will focus on Money and Relationships and our relationship with money.  Keep popping back!

A Captured Moment with my Grandson

What are you doing right?
Your habits with money. What are you doing right, already?

  • Are you good at finding genuine deals?
  • Are you good at staying out of debt?
  • Are you good at being generous?
  • Are you good at finding or getting money when you need it?
  • Are you good at making things or repairing things yourself?

Is there a way you could enhance that?

Last Wednesday’s post was about applying your unique strengths to your money habits.
Today’s post is more direct. You do have money habits. And some of them are good. Note them and find ways to expand them.

Here’s something I’m good at. I’m good at investing. I’m good both at reading the financial pages (an acquired, and addicting, skill) and I’m good at kinda just telling what companies are going to take off, just before they actually do take off. Starbucks – check. Westjet – check. Le Chateau – check. Apple – check.

This is a good habit I have – reading, watching, setting money aside and then buying stock.
(REMINDER THOUGH – I’m not a financial planner and THIS IS NOT FINANCIAL PLANNING ADVICE. It’s simply a personal anecdote re: what I’m good at.)
I can do this a little bit, say, every quarter. But I can enhance my financial picture by doing it more frequently, and increasing my investments amount a bit. This will pay off for me.

So what are you good at? And could you do more of it? How might doing more of it pay off for you?

PS If you do want financial planning, visit my friends Tanya and Barry’s site.
PS If you want help with the basics like how to resist impulse purchases and getting out of debt, I’m taking beta testers to test my program in early February before we roll out completely live!


In my January series about changing money habits the focus to date has been on working with our strengths rather than relying heavily on will power. This leads to greater probabilities of success.

Here’s another known phenomena. Too many choices paralyze us. Once again, we need to work with ourselves, not against ourselves. This means we need to narrow our habit changes. This is counter intuitive. We typically want to get going and getridofourdebt|createandkeepabudget|shopmorefrugally|sockmoneyintoourRRSPs all at the same time. No. No, no, no.

Focus on One Thing At A Time.

So here’s a question I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again: What one small money habit, if you applied it regularly and consistently over three years, would have a dramatic (positive) impact on your finances?

ps – My offer to take my money-coaching online program at no charge in exchange for being a beta tester has flown off the shelves! I have room for a few more. Interested? Check this out.

Strong White Boating Rope

A recap of two key thoughts in earlier posts about changing money habits:

1. Your brain has two systems operating together at all times: your rational brain and your instinctual brain. Don’t pit them against one another – your rational brain will nearly always lose. Or, in real life, you will buy the coveted item you can’t afford against your better judgement. Or you will avoid facing facts. Instead, learn to work with both parts to achieve long term change.

2. Playing to your strengths is likelier to lead to success than trying to fix your weaknesses. Think about it a moment. When you are doing something well, you feel good, right? And you usually want to do more of it? Whereas if something is difficult, and you often fail, you prefer to avoid it, right? So. Let’s put your strengths to work, shall we?

The first step is to identify your strengths. Here is an exercise to help you to just that.

Choose 8-12 people who know you reasonably well from your various walks of life. Coworkers. Friends. Teammates. Family. Professional connections. Customers.

Send them an e-mail or a letter asking them to provide anonymous (-ish) feedback about your strengths to you. I did this once for a professional development assignment at work, so trust me, it’s do-able!

Here’s some sample text.
Dear ___________________,

As someone who knows me through **XYZ** I would really appreciate your feedback on a personal undertaking of mine. I want to ensure I am making the most of my strengths during 2011. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on what you see as my strengths. I am asking several people for feedback. Your support by way of feedback would be invaluable to me.

If you are willing, would you please list for me 3 key strengths you see in me? If you are comfortable, providing an example of that strength in action will help provide clarity.

1. _________________

2. _________________

3. _________________


Then, you can provide them a link to a survey on survey monkey, or ask them to e-mail you directly, or to send you a letter back in a self-addressed envelope. Your Call.

Once you receive all the feedback, create a composite of your strengths. This is what you have to work with!

On Wednesday, it will be time to discover how to bring those strengths into play re: managing your money effectively.

For those of you who are daunted by this exercise: You may miss out on some hidden capabilities, but a simpler, more private exercise is simply to reflect on the matter over several days. What have employers said about you? Friends? What are some activities you excel at?

C’mon, say it with me now:

If at first you don’t succeed,

[audio:http://nancyzimmerman.com/wp-content/Try-Try-Again.mp3|titles=Try Try Again]

That’s right. We’re talking about the virtue of persistence.

Here’s a question I frequently ask money coaching clients:

What one money-managing habit, if done consistently over years including times when things derail, would ultimately improve your financial life in a powerful way?

There is no right answer here.
Take a moment to think about it.
What is it for you?