A Money Coach in Canada

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Thanks to my experience with Nancy’s Money Coaching, I now have a healthy relationship with my money. Using techniques & strategies she taught, combined with tackling my old and outdated belief system around money, I managed to extract myself from $25K in debt. No more dreaded credit card bills weighing me down, no more not knowing what’s happening to my money – now I live within my means and feel pride in how well managed it is!

Vancouver, BC

How do you perceive yourself and your money? Do you have a healthy relationship? Do you avoid it? Feel anxious about it? Feel it’s beneath you to think about it?

Money should be a reflection of you and your values – a means of bringing more of yourself into the world. It can be a wonderful blessing, something that nourishes you and people you love, and allows you to help create the kind of world you want to see.

If you are skittish around it, or uninvolved, it’s like a loose energy that may not be helpful to you or people you care about or your community.

If you’re ready to get intimate with your money, start with my simple step-by-step program, It’s Your Money!

Hi, my name is Karen and I’ve been working with Nancy for several weeks now and am just starting Module 4. So far my biggest learnings have been 1) realizing that I am not far off in the estimates of my expenses and 2) looking at my finances isn’t quite as scary as it seemed when I started this process. Huge thanks to Nancy for making this process feel safe!

Karen in BC Sept. 2011

I don’t think Karen’s head was in the sand. But a lot of folks’ heads are, that’s for sure! Plenty of people can get away with it because their incomes, fortunately, exceed their intuitive lifestyle. But if anyone want to be strategic and intentional with their money, that’s not the way to go!

What often happens though is that just under the surface, things actually are NOT ok. Then a little (or big), unanticipated financial crisis occurs where the happy equilibrium to date gets busted. At that point, folks have a choice — hurriedly rectify the situation (if possible) and carry on as before, as step back, and start taking control of their money.

Is your own head in the sand about your finances? Are you blithely unaware and secretly scared of what you’ll find out? As the saying goes, There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself! Seriously: Again, again and again once my clients pull their heads out of the sand and start getting clear about their money they feel an enormous sense of relief. They know what they have to work with and can start building realistic plans. Would you want to have any other kind of plan? Or do you prefer no plan at all….?

If you’re ready to pull your head out of the sand and gain clarity, my online program will help. You will feel safe. Take the Tour to get started!

“We are currently on Module 9 of It’s Your Money. The biggest way this program has been helpful to us is that it has given us hope. We have been trying to get out of debt and into control for years now and it finally feels like it’s possible. Barry and Jeanette, BC Sept. 2011”

So many clients have a quiet hopelessness about their debt. They’ve been nearly submerged in it for so long they cannot conceive of it ever going away. Or perhaps they roll it into their mortgage only to wrack up the credit cards again.

In my experience, here is the underpinning reason folks don’t get out of debt once and for all: They focus solely on their debt – it becomes the central drama of their financial lives – instead of looking at their overall financial picture and seeing how debt-reduction can realistically fit in.

Here’s a practical example. Say Joe and Sue (fictional!) have a credit card of $7K plus a LOC of $11K. Then one day they bump up their LOC by $3K AND THEY PANIC.

Determined to GET RID OF THEIR DEBT they vow to cut back on eating out. To stop going to live theatre. Maybe even to sell the car and use public transit (but they don’t).

See what’s happening? They are not factoring in things like — some nights they work til 8pm and making themselves a meal is just.not.gonna.happen at that point. things like — going out for lattes is a stress-break, a vital little perk in the day, without which they feel pretty despondent (can’t even afford a freakin’ latte??). things like — next month is their anniversary and they are going to want to celebrate it.

When clients work with my program, they develop a holistic plan. One that accounts for their lifestyle and their idiosyncrasies that have unique money components. Only by grounding itself in LIFE AS IT REALLY IS, can any eliminate-debt plan hope to succeed.

There are the Krystal’s of the world, for sure, who are able to make it a priority and have it over and done with in a year. But for the majority of folks, a measured, one step after another approach is what works in the long haul.

I grew up with a keen awareness of what we could not afford. This was exacerbated by living a lower-middle-class life in Canada’s highest-per-capita income city and also by the fact that my two best friends during my formative years were in decidedly different socio-economic demographics (not that it was ever, not even once, flaunted).

The kinds of holidays, the size of homes, the clothing, the bedroom decor, even the refrigerator contents –  I knew what we could not afford. Most of the time it didn’t bother me, at least not consciously.   But still, I knew.   And over time, and combined with some other life circumstances, I developed what I’d call a poverty mindset. A poverty mindset is one whose default is “only just enough, if that”.   It is one that is quietly (or not)  suspicious of wealth and wealthy people.   It is one that either desperately pays attention to managing money, or avoids it altogether.

A poverty mindset kills the joy and good energy around money.

Long ago, I loosened this stranglehold mindset, and now money, and my mindset around it, means something entirely different.  Night and day different.  I’ll post about my new mindset later, but in the meantime,

Here are two techniques that helped me break out of that mindset. You can do it too, and you can help your kids do it.

1.  Replace “I can’t afford it”   with “How can I afford it?”

Do you feel the difference?  The former stifles all possibility.   The latter opens up possibility and invites creative response.  It creates options.

Bonus:  this one is a great one to use with kids and helps them inculcate a mindset of financial possibility from the get-go.  Next time they ask for something, ask them to come up with ideas on how they can afford it  (emphasis:  how they can afford it).

2. Cool visualization exercise – the dissolving flower / cloud

If you suffer a poverty mindset, there are probably a number of  unhelpful beliefs and feelings towards money riddled throughout your mind and heart-of-hearts.   These will be influencing all your approaches to money.  Here’s what to do with them.

a. Sit somewhere quietly, close your eyes, and take a few deep, full breaths to centre and focus yourself.

b. Visualize either a flower with many petals or a cloud floating in front of you.

c. Let each unhelpful belief come to the surface of your mind, then take that particular belief and place it on a petal or the cloud.

c. Do this for as long as the various beliefs or thoughts arise, each time placing it on the petal or cloud.

d. Then allow that flower or cloud to float away from you further and further into space and (important) as it floats away, visualize it dissolving.   The petals gently separate from the flower.  And then each petal and the core begins to simply, softly dissolve into nothing as it continues to float away into infinite space.   I you visualize the cloud,  imagine it gently pulling apart from itself into smaller and smaller drifts as it moves further and further away.  Each flower or cloud becomes nothing.

e. Re-emerge to your day, open your eyes, take a deep breath and experience the lightness and freedom after the release that will have occurred.

Do this exercise as often as you need to.  And if you embrace these exercises, I’d love to hear how they play out for you, so pop back and leave a comment.

PS – if you want to start managing your day-to-day money effectively, my online program will give you a solid foundation.  Even if things are a bit tight for you right now, it will help!  And it’s affordable for just about anyone, at $25.

update: for a recap of all Sept Money 101 posts, click here

Photo Credit: lalunablanca

It’s all coming together, this virtual launch party!

Saturday Sept 10, between 11am – 7pm.  POP BY OFTEN!

*Mountain Standard Times*

11:00 – live-stream video kick-off right here on my blog.

11:15 – noon  TWITTER-CHAT with some of Canada’s most illustrious Personal Finance folks!  Head over to Twitter where you can join a twitter-chat with…

  • the amazing Krystal, of Give Me Back my Five Bucks fame.  She got herself out of student loan hell and into Vancouver’s housing market BLAZINGLY FAST.   Find out how!
  • We’ll also be joined by Marcy Berg , a delightful mortgage broker from Toronto who will talk about common financial muddles she sees  (mortgage brokers see it all, you know!).
  • With any luck, Squawkfox whose blog about frugality took off into the stratosphere and who wrote  the book 397 Ways To Save Money will pop by as well (fingers crossed)  Update – no luck this time.  Catch you next time, Squawkfox!

We’ll be using the hashtag #money  — how easy is that?  So come chat with us!


Melanie (not her real name) has gone through a few life changes recently.  She got married to Liz (not her real name either) and has returned to school.   Melanie plans to start my program It’s Your Money.  She’ll give me an overview of her finances, and I’ll give her some strategies and tips to help her rock the program.


I’m not giving any hints of what the questions are but there will be questions and prizes!

Pop by and see how much you know about money!

If you’re not connected to my facebook page yet, for heaven’s sake come on over! 🙂

Join a livestream conversation with me and my former boss (who was an awesome boss!) who now helps mid-life and “silver collar” folks with their careers and retirement strategies.
We’ll be right here on this blog, and you can chime in with comments (typed) on my Facebook page. We’ll have strategies and tactics to help you order your finances so that you don’t feel so trapped. BONUS part: discussion for those who have retired, but can’t quite make ends meet.

2:30 -3:30 pm –  YMbD ALUMNI HOUR – hear how clients past and present have benefitted by taking charge of their money! Prepare to be inspired. You may even be able to ask some of them questions.

3:45pm – enroute to a Yellowknife-based money coaching sessions – we’ll livestream the transit. See Canada’s north! (Great Slave Lake! maybe even some Ice Pilots in action!)

Lesley (not her real name) is a middle-aged woman, mom of 3 young-adult kids, whose husband suddenly left her. She has a good income, but has not had to be in charge of her finances before.  She’ll describe her story, and we’ll take it from there.

5:30 pm – 7pm  HANGOUT WITH ME!  SAY HI!  I’ll be live-streaming via SKYPE and G+ and Facebook.  Some local friends will be with me In Real Life too.

Give me your best piece of advice for how to get the word out about my program (without buying a page in the NYT!) and you’ll be entered in a draw for $100 gift certificate for Amazon!

Photo Credit:  Tolka Rover

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