A Money Coach in Canada

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See this unsightly, unseemly pile? This pile, friends, this pile has been with me since I moved up here from Vancouver 2 years ago. I kept it out of sight / out of mind in the back of some shelving which worked until The Renovations (more another time on that) started this week. Nobody tells you to Beware the Resurfacing Piles when renovating, do they.

It’s time for me to deal with it, and deal with it I shall. There’s nothing crucial or time sensitive (or if there is, I’d better hang up my hat) but it’s a bunch of money-related its and bits I need to toss or sort and file. I reckon it will take 90 minutes. So, every day when I return from work, it’s straight to this pile for 15 minutes until it is all properly sorted.

Now don’t go all harshing on me for this epic failure. I bet several of YOU have a pile somewhere of financial papers that are in a similar state of disarray. Care to join me in ‘fessing up and dealing with it? And we can lift a glass to one another next weekend when we’re done?

Well this is a juicy week!

Canada is about to get its first plastic money.

Lululemon’s founder, Chip Wilson (I’ve met him a coupla times. Good guy but I’m so not a Lululemon person. No yummy-mummy, me! But I digress.).. Chip Wilson is now a billionaire

Angry Birds (I’m stuck at level 4-2. Where are you?) developers have raised $42M in seed (ha ha) money.

Public Servants probably need to shell out more from their paycheques to fund their future pensions.

and the UK holds their bank rate to 0.5%

PhotoCredit: Brian.Ch

Do you typically think the worst about your financial situation?

If so, that’s a common psychological phenomenon. It’s known as filtering.
Filtering means you take the negative or upsetting details and focus on them, while filtering out the positive aspects.

For example, clients of mine often focus excessively on their debt compared to their assets. While debt is worthy of attention and counter-strategies, it should be put in appropriate perspective as a part of overall net worth. Otherwise, debt can assume the drivers seat in financial decision making. This is usually counter-productive.

So here’s a financial decluttering task should you choose to accept the mission.
Identify an aspect of your financial life that may be upsetting you out of proportion. Do some “talk back” by articulating a corresponding positive aspect.


  • “I have $25,000 of debt AND I HAVE $80,000 EQUITY IN MY HOME”

Photo Credit: SparkleIce

Saturday posts during March focus on decluttering your finances.

Here’s a biggie.

Have you borrowed money from a friend or family?
Do you have an articulated plan to repay them, and are you sticking to that plan?

If you’ve borrowed and don’t have a plan, or have one but don’t stick to it, it is costing you.

It is costing you the value of your word. This means that whenever you say anything, you will not be taken as seriously anymore by those who know you have not kept your word about the loan.

It is costing you your relationship. The other person may be gracious or not making a big deal about it, but you can bet that inside, some amount of damage has been done. Check the comments on a previous post of mine.

It is costing you your self-respect. There is no way that you can borrow money from a friend or family member and not repay it without that fact taking a toll on your self-esteem. Not having and keeping a plan to repay it is immature and even cowardly.

Here’s your challenge. Do a mental scan of the past several years. Do you owe a friend or family member? Don’t be “that guy”. Own the situation. Make the call. Send the e-mail. Do it now.

Photo Credit: Roel1943

089/365 Money...What Money

Are you a broke mom who gives too much?

I worked with many women in their 50s who were broke. At most, they had their home partly paid off, but they had little savings and not much of a nest egg at all. They were understandably deeply anxious about it.

At the same time, they were sacrificially supporting their young adult kids: requesting no rent, or making their kid’s car payments/cel phone bills and more than one mom was putting them through private college.

This was difficult for me. I don’t have kids so I don’t personally know the deep, deep sacrificial love these moms had. And I didn’t know all the familial complexities and history the led up to this point.

But the moms were broke indeed, and rightly starting to sense that they were running out of time.

We would work together to find ways to ask the kids, sometimes for the first time ever, to start contributing to the family finances (rent. paying own cel. selling the car). Sometimes it happened, sometimes not. I suppose that’s because asking a child to start paying rent is so much more than a financial transaction, isn’t it?

If you’re a broke mom who gives too much, the one thing I’d say is this: it’s like being on an airplane and the oxygen mask drops down. Adults are asked to put their masks on first, and *then* help get the masks on the children. If you’re own financial life isn’t healthy (esp. at midlife), consider putting your own financial “mask” on and once you can “breathe normally” you will have a lot more capacity to help your children.

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