A Money Coach in Canada

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OK, I really want to know:

1.  Do you think most people really do hate banks? Or do we just lash out from time to time?   Do credit unions have a better reputation, or are they the same as banks?

2.  Is it possible that a bank could be more than just a financial-transactions-kinda place for you? (eg. you get get your haircut, or, you can have this fabulous aesthetic experience.  Could a bank do the fabulous experience?)

3.  What do you love most about your bank, and what drives you nuts?

Readers:  Have at it!

Hi there!

If you just saw me on Global TV,  and want to learn more about being savvy with your money, here are some options:

  1. Bookmark this blog – and better yet, dive in and leave comments.  Join the conversation!
  2. Click the “smart shopping” tag in the cloud to the right, and scroll through to see what I’ve posted about in the past.
  3. Click some of the blogs on the right – a lot of them are canadians just like you and me who are learning to be smart with their money, get great deals, and live sustainably (in all senses of the word).

If you would like money coaching, feel free to send me an e-mail at nancy at your money by design (all one word) dot com.

I always meet with individuals for a complimentary one-off to hear where you are at, and discuss ways I can help.



Photo Credit: Roland

I had a splash of cold water dumped on my head this weekend.

It’s not that I hadn’t intellectually grasped the fact that being on the payroll would diminish my credibility as a genuine fan of Citizens Bank of Canada.

But neither had I realized the extent to which any kind of marketing (even though I don’t consider myself a “marketer”; I’m an “evangelist”) job is instantly suspect.

Here’s the thing.

  1. Most people who know me, get pretty fast that I’m straight-shooting and straight-up.  This is one of my most deeply held personal values.  It was/is critical to my success as a money coach:  If a client is going to trust me with conversations about their money, they need to be sure that I’m not going to engage in so much as a hint of duplicity or judgment, not to mention anything unscupulous.
  2. With the exception of a brief stint here or there, every one of my jobs have had personal meaning to me.  Life for the paycheque is no life at all.

But there I was at BarBank Camp BC (an unconference with mega brain power and creativity applied to discussions about banking/credit unions) and the question came up:  Is it possible for people to actually love their f.i.?

I think it is, because I love mine.

But here’s where things got perplexing.

I love mine enough…that I’ve chosen to work there.   Before I worked there, I told others about it.  Lots and lots.  Now, I do the same thing except even more, and yes, I get a paycheque (NOT commission!) for it.

But when I posed the question to the group, I got a resounding response that simply by being on payroll, my authenticity diminished (one person even suggested, diminished by 90%).

I’ve never encountered this before:

When I was VP of a hotel college  no one questioned whether I was sincerely being a VP.

When I delivered financial literacy seminars for FSGV no one questioned whether I was a sincere facilitator.

When I  worked as an employment counsellor years ago for HRSDC no one questioned whether I truly wanted clients to find a great job.

So why is it that now that I (once again) get paid to do what I love – give lots of shoutouts for a kick-ass bank, suddenly my motives are suspect?  I don’t get it.

Readers:  What do you think?  Are we soooo cynical that anyone with so much as a whiff of marketing to them gets tossed to the bottom of the heap of credibility?

ZenHabits is one of the loveliest blogs I know.

Today’s post was on micro-addictions, and how to overcome them.  I recommend taking a moment to read the post.

Interestingly, I was interviewed by Global TV about money habits – the little things, not the huge stuff and in a way, the little things are micro-money-addictions.  (watch for it this Monday, 6pm news – BC only, I think.)

So here’s an adaptation of the original post, directed towards money.

Think of a little money habit that you have, that does not serve you well.


photo credit: idogcow

Hands up:  Who…

  • eats lunch out, too often?
  • goes shopping, just for the sake of getting out and doing something?
  • often impulsively picks up the tab for others, even though your RRSPs aren’t in solid shape?

Here are some tips to help, again, drawing directly on the ZenHabits post by Jonathon Mead.

  1. Do your best.   When we fall back into die-hard habits, it’s easy to resign ourselves to failure in this area.  Once we resign ourselves, it’s hard to make a change.  Instead, give yourself a bit of mental space to seek to do better.
  2. Chip away.   Take a second, right now, to think of making a change for just one day.  For example, plan to bring your lunch on Monday.   Or this weekend, make plans that are not shopping.
  3. Think small and act big.  There is so much pressure in our society to make heroic-sized changes.  Don’t think that way or you’ll likely psyche yourself out from the get-go.  Instead, think of a small change you could make, then act fully on that small change.
  4. Change your environment.  For example, do you go shopping in part just to get out of the house?  Why? Is there something you could do to make your home more appealing?
  5. One thing at a time.   I frequently need to my clients – typically coming to me for money coaching all raring to go – to master one change, before moving to the next.  Rather than a dramatic overhaul, try eliminating only one bad money habit, and switching it to something positive.  Do this until the new habit is firmly in place, before moving to the next change.
  6. Be persistent.  If you fall off, dust yourself off and get back on the plan.  If you dropped a chunk of serious change in a round-of-drinks for the 15 person crowd, well, so be it.   It doesn’t have to be any prediction of future behaviour.
  7. Reject perfection.  The perfect time to start something will never arrive.  Start tomorrow.  Give it a shot.  See what happens, rather than aiming for the time when all the stars will be aligned.
  8. Do some value work.   This is so ! important.  The whole point behind changing money habits is to live out your values.  What are your values?  Take a moment to identify at least three key values you hold, and ask yourself how well your money is going into those values.
  9. Be content.   Enough said.
  10. Stop Thinking.  Start doing.

Readers:  any other suggestions on how to approach changing a micro-addiction that impacts your money?

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