I Am Being Misunderstood

  I hate when I screw up. The last few weeks have been exciting, upsetting, challenging and interesting. I stepped out with a big message – a new way of talking about money. How we spend money How we make decisions about money A new blueprint for money – one that is by you, for you I have had a lot of really positive feedback and I really appreciate those who have seen the most recent webinar. I have also had some negative feedback, and to be honest even the positive feedback has been different than I was expecting. The emails I sent got a lot of attention – unfortunately, some of the attention was not on the topic I was trying to bring up. The money message I have is about personal responsibility, so it only makes sense that I take responsibility for my part in this misunderstanding. I screwed up. I sent a couple of emails with language that seemed like I was launching an attack on the coaching industry. That was really not my intention, and on reflection, I understand why some interpreted it that way. For that I accept full responsibility. So, let me clarify. Here is what you really need to know. I am a part of the coaching industry and have benefited from the coaching I have purchased. I have many wonderful colleagues in this industry and I recognize the value coaches bring to the clients we work with. I, like you, have made money mistakes. Some of my best examples have come out of decisions I have made in the last few...

Are you an ostrich?

If I asked you what your biggest money mistake was, what you would say? There are 3 big mistakes I have seen many families make (and admittedly these are mistakes I have made and have learned so much from). Read on to see if what you can do to stop being an ostrich. Not knowing how much it actually costs to run your life. When life gets busy, and tracking expenses is a pain.  Between the credit cards, debit card and numerous payments that need to be made, keeping a handle on it can feel hard. It is likely that you were never taught how to manage your day to day money.  The banks are very happy to give you more credit, so if you go over a bit, it isn’t the end of the world, right?  But then the debt starts to creep up and up.  If you don’t know how much it costs to live your life, how do you know if you can afford it? A great step to take is to consider the spending areas you might have been forgetting.  You will likely think of including your mortgage, utilities and groceries in your spending but don’t stop there.  Be a detective – scan your credit card and bank statements for additional frequent expenditures like your Costco membership, dog grooming and gas for the regular trips to the in-laws.  These are things that cost money and may get missed in calculating your regular monthly spending. By simply understanding how your money moves through your life, you may identify some problem areas. Making small changes could help...

Where is your M-Spot?

You just know that receipt was on your dresser, but it has disappeared. The tax bill was supposed to be in the kitchen drawer but it is missing. You thought you paid the gas bill, but here it is, unpaid, under the magazines. Are your financial papers all over the place? Are bills and documents hard to find? Would you like more control over your household finances? Create a Money Spot Start creating calm around your finances by setting up one location in your house where all things money go. All financial mail, bills, receipts, paperwork and so on. Try a three-tiered tray system or three baskets. Next, set yourself up with the tools you need to look after your money life: stapler, sticky notes, stamps, paper clips, calculator, envelopes. Keep them handy at your Money Spot so you can complete your financial tasks in one sitting. Label your trays or baskets and organize your paperwork Basket One: All incoming financial information. Teach your family (and yourself) that all financial documents and requests go to the Money Spot: bills that arrive in the mail, receipts from your wallets or your cars, your child’s field trip request… anything to do with money and the family finances. Basket Two: Bills to Be Paid. Set up two file folders in this basket – Bills due to be paid during the 1st-15th and bills to be paid 16th – 31st of the month. Basket Three: All items to be filed. Place all paid bills, statements and information here. They are now ready to be filed once or twice per month. Now it is...

Boxing Day: Five tips to keep the merry in the holiday

Believe it or not, Boxing Day does have a history that isn’t about shopping.  The day after Christmas was traditionally the day that servants and tradespeople had off, and they received a gift from their employers – their Christmas Box.  It is now a bank holiday, and an opportunity to spend an extra day with family and friends, relaxing and eating leftovers. In recent history, Boxing Day has become a day for massive shopping expeditions. Post-holiday sales used to start in January, but in the last few decades, sales have begun on the 26th.  This shopping day now rivals the American Black Friday with early openings, insane crowds, long lines ups and anti-social behaviour.  Electronics stores, in particular, will have 50-100 people in lines for hours before the stores open. Crazy, I know, and I invite you to skip the chaos and the possibility of overspending.  However, if you are determined to head out to the stores, have fun and start with these five tips. Decide how much you will spend Know your numbers – what you are willing to spend and what your stopping point is.  Consider leaving the credit cards at home and using cash.  It will help you stick to your plan. When you run out of your planned money, go home! Do your research Heading out to wander around the mall with no plan is a recipe for overspending.  Be clear on what you want to purchase.  Check in to see if it fits your overall goals and be clear on what a regular price is so you know if you are getting a deal...

Building a shed one dollar at a time

So – we want to build a shed.  We live in the woods about 25 minutes outside of Barrie in Central Ontario.  We heat our house for a lot of the winter with wood, so we have a wood splitter and a big wood shed.  It would take forever with just an axe!  We also have an ATV to haul the logs out of the woods, and to plow the snow in the winter. We would like to have more space in the garage this winter, so we need somewhere to put this stuff.  The shed has to be big enough for the stuff, and we don’t want it to cost an arm and a leg.  Time to get creative. My wonderful husband Kevin and I approach these projects with an open mind and an intention to come up with ways to be creative.  Our goals are to reuse and recycle materials where we can, and to find creative ways to keep the cost down.  Here are some of the things we did to stick to these goals. Kevin will build the shed, so no need to pay for labour. (Yeah Kevin!) He planned the shed to be 98 sq ft so it was under the 107 sq ft limit so we don’t have to pay for a building permit. Kevin checked out some wood bundles at RONA and checked in at Habitat for Humanity’s Restore to see if there was anything useable. We reused some railway ties that we had leftover from another project for the base. Kevin talked to the neighbours about some wood they had sitting...

The 3 BIG Mistakes people make with their money

You probably have a pretty great life. A nice home, car and job. You look after your loved ones, pay your bills on time, and maybe even save for the future. It is likely that you are also concerned about your money life.  Despite the fact that 43% of North Americans spend more than they earn, that is actually a symptom of the root problems. I have put together a list of the 3 big mistakes I have seen many mid- and upper-income families make (and admittedly these are mistakes I have made and have learned so much from). “Ignorance is bliss” – Not knowing how much it actually costs to run your life. When life gets busy, and tracking expenses is a pain.  Between the credit cards, debit card and numerous payments that need to be made, keeping a handle on it can feel hard. It is likely that you were never taught how to manage your day to day money.  The banks are very happy to give you more credit, so if you go over a bit, it isn’t the end of the world, right?  But then the debt starts to creep up and up.  If you don’t know how much it costs to live your life, how do you know if you can afford it? A great step to take is to consider the spending areas you might have been forgetting.  You will likely think of including your mortgage, utilities and groceries in your spending but don’t stop there.  Be a detective – scan your credit card and bank statements for additional frequent expenditures like your...