A Money Coach in Canada

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The problem with being a money coach is like anyone claiming a measure of expertise, you feel like a total idiot if you ever mess up yourself. But like everyone, life happens and I missed something for the first time in years – it’s RRSP season so I’m going full-tilt with clients and the bank; my dog is mysteriously scratching himself constantly and I’m totally worried (not fleas. allergies?); I came down with a brutal cold, and my cash-flow system, which usually runs like clockwork, derailed a tiny bit, with ugly results.

My clients all know I use, and recommend, a simple banking structure to keep things running smoothly.

  1. One main account into which all income goes, and from which all regular payments (mtg, insurance, internet, phone, hydro, car etc) get debited.
  2. A second spending account for discretionary items like groceries, entertainment, clothing. This gets regularly funded a set amount from account #1.
  3. A third high interest savings account for those ‘extras’ throughout the year – vacations, christmas, emergencies, vet bills (one sub account per item), also funded regularly from account #1.

The beauty of this system is you don’t have to think too much.

#1 means your bills are always paid on time.

#2 means you don’t overspend (since there’s a set amount available, and no more)

#3 means the tough spots are accounted for, and funds ready when you need them.

Trouble is, if #1 derails for any reason (and it’s an easy one to ignore since it’s all automated) you can, well… bounce a cheque! And in my case, since I work for the bank part-time, I don’t pay fees, so don’t keep $1000 cushion. I had spare funds in there, but this was a large pre-authorized payment.

Why did it derail? Simple. I forgot to deposit a couple cheques from clients. Just forgot in the craziness that is my life these days.

It’s embarrassing and frustrating — but keeps me humble. And I never claim to be perfect, just someone who’s (generally!) learned a number of tips and tricks to manage my money effectively and thoughtfully.

Hopefully this won’t happen to me:

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About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

5 Comments

  1. Oh I’m sorry about the bounced check 🙁 RRSP season seems very stressful for all that work in it…
    Lets hope too your name doesn’t go up on a billboard, that would be embarassing!! LOL! Did you find that online or did you actually see that yourself?!

    [Reply]

    Feb 23, 2008
  2. I’ll get over it, with time 😉
    Found the image online – oops – better link to the flickr!

    [Reply]

    Feb 23, 2008
  3. The problem with me is that I get dinged with monthly fees once in awhile. And the sad part is that I have a no fees President’s Choice account that I haven’t gotten to moving my cash yet… since August!

    Have you got a cure for procrastination? I just despise admin work.

    [Reply]

    Feb 25, 2008
  4. @mariam – you and me both! a couple thoughts:
    1. getting the money into P.C. should be as easy as a click of the mouse, non? Do they have your void cheque from your current fi? Then it should be 2.4 minutes to accomplish the task. If they haven’t linked to your other account, and you need to get them some docs, then…
    2. I wonder if all us PF bloggers should declare an Anti-Procrastination Day, and altogether get something stroked off our respective to-do list?
    (and *cough* should PC ever disappoint – do consider Citizens Bank of Canada – same deals, not the same marketing budget)

    [Reply]

    Feb 25, 2008
  5. Just as annoying is having a payment go through that you forgot about which pulls you below the 1000 minimum. You’re not bouncing, but you’re paying a fee for the month unless you want to go ask the bank to reverse the fee because you’re such a nice customer… :p

    [Reply]

    Mar 06, 2008

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