A Money Coach in Canada

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GremlinAbout 70% of my clients contact me initially because they are afraid of something about their money.

Many (!) are afraid they will not have ‘enough’ and will be a bag lady (or some similar fate).

Others are afraid that their debt will overtake them and drive them into the ground.

Some simply have a free-floating anxiety about money in general.  Are they financially ‘good enough’?

Again and again, my greatest joy is to see people stare down their respective money demons.  To watch them pull back the curtain and discover their financial-wizard-of-oz has occupied a disproportionate space in their heads.  And to equip them to tackle their respective demons head-on.

One woman was afraid her spouse would reject her if he knew how much debt she had.  He didn’t.  He was somewhat un-nerved, but it certainly wasn’t any kind of deal-breaker.

A male client, having experienced divorce and job loss, was convinced his home would be repossessed too.  It wasn’t – he sold it at a solid profit.

I’ve worked with numerous couples who were afraid their diverging financial ‘styles’ would tear them apart.  Instead, they learned to bring their respective strengths to the table to from a tight-knit economic unit.

 If you have fears, take heart.  Financially, as in other areas, it’s probably the case that The greatest thing to fear is fear itself.  If you need some moral support to dive in, e-mail me at contact at your money by design (dot the commercial kind).

Real life case studies draw on my experience past-and-present with clients. The individuals are heavily disguised, but the underlying issues are the same.

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Roger had stocks that had made money and lost money.

He had debts owing the gov’t, student loans, banks and credit cards.

He had boxes, and boxes of unopened financial documents.

He hasn’t filed taxes for three years.

Although he is a high-income earner, he honestly has no idea if he’s dead-broke or on reasonable ground. He wants to clear up the past years of un-tended finances, yet just thinking about it causes him to do anything but take action on it. He’d rather just keep working harder and harder to earn enough to ‘feel like’ he’s doing OK.

We spent three months working together on his finances, and there is a happy ending. But what might you have suggested to help Roger successfully take on the project of clearing the decks and taking charge of his money?suit.jpg

ymbd.gifWhat would happen if you spent time over 6 months getting ALL OVER your personal finances?

Smart with Money is YMbD’s signature series and a new group starts Oct. 25th.

6 sessions over 6 months plus 2 individual coaching sessions

1. Shifting Gears and Taking Charge

find out the ‘need to knows’ to make strategic changes.

Where is your money going, right now?
What is your credit rating?
What is your net worth?
What changes can you make to create a monthly cash flow that aligns with your values and goals?

2. Debt: Kick it for good.

Debt is an element of most Canadians’ finances. It shouldn’t define our financial life. What triggers the use of credit in your life? Develop some counter-strategies. Create a sustainable plan to kick the debt habit.

3. Your Brain.Your Guts.Your Money.

What did you grow up learning about money?
What do you believe now about money?
What is influencing your relationship to money?

Create a strong set of powerful beliefs, designed to empower your mind and increase the likelihood of positive experiences with money – including attaining your goals.

4. Goals, Dreams and your Real World.

By this point, you will have a clear idea of your current financial situation. You will have developed a mindset conducive to moving forward. This session is clarifying your goals and setting things in motion with a realistic, attainable action plan.

5. Making Money Work… while you play golf. or volunteer. or whatever.

Ever left your financial planner’s office still puzzled about what’s going on with your RRSPs?
Ever read a statement and been completely confused?

This is a rockin’ session that will leave you jazzed, pumped, and confident that you get the need-to-knows of putting your money to work for you. No financial products sold, just solid intel!
6. Lasting Change.

By this point, participants have experienced significant and exciting change. This session prepares you to keep on the right path for the long haul. YMbD wants you to keep moving forward financially for the rest of your life!

I’ve got 6 seats left. This program has changed many financial lives … it could change yours.

Check it out!

This is Part 2 of Corrina’s story.  She is a young professional in Vancouver whose husband had an accident and became a quadriplegic last year.  This is her story of how she managed the financial implications.  (Part 1 was posted last Sat.)

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I don’t even know where to start. In the event that a catastrophic injury should happen to you or someone you love you WILL get financial assistance from somewhere. If the injury was sustained in an automobile accident your funding (as they call it) will come from ICBC. If the injury occurred on the job the funding will come from WCB. If it occurred at home or in a private residence this is the worst case scenario: the funding will come through the ministry…the government. And I’ve been told (but I have not confirmed) that we are unable to privately insure ourselves in anticipation of something like this.

If a catastrophic injury should happen to you or someone you love you should know a few things. I have learned:

1 – Your insurance carrier is your friend

2-    Your insurance carrier is not your friend

3 – Your insurance carrier is bound by policy – in the case of WCB it is legislated policy and there is no getting around it. You can either work within it or challenge it at the Supreme Court level. Good luck with that.

4 – Your insurance provider will withhold information. For example, they may choose not to tell you that you are eligible for some financial benefit. If you learn about it on your own and ask for it you’ll get it. If you don’t learn about it on your own you may not be informed by the insurer.

5 – Do your own research. There are organizations out there to educate you. In the case of an injured worker you should definitely contact the people at the Workers Advisors Group. They can help you interpret policy, appeal decisions, etc.

6 – If you are deemed to be permanently disabled you are eligible for your Canada Pension Plan benefits right away. This is worth around $1000 per month, give or take. Apply for it right away – they pay from the date of application, not the date of injury.

7 – If you are thinking about getting back to work, each insurer (or funding provider) has a program to help you reintegrate into the workforce through vocational rehab or placement assistance.

8 – Vancity has a great program for small business loans for persons with a disability.

9 – There are government grants out there available to persons with disabilities for the purpose of starting a small business.

10 – There are tons of breaks out there for these folks, too. Things like an ACCESS TO ENTERTAINMENT membership, which gets you half price rates for movies etc. If you require a care attendant that person will get in for free (this includes spouses, children, and friends accompanying you to the event).

I am still very much in the information gathering stage, but my husband has applied for his CPP, and is in the process of getting back to work. For him that means starting a small business. I am on the Your Money by Design program and getting a handle on day to day money management. I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. For the long term financial stuff….well, that’s what I am still working on, but I am feeling pretty good about it these days.

Thanks for reading & I hope this was helpful,
Corina

Corrina is a young professional in Vancouver. Last year, the unexpected happened. In this two-part post (to be continued next Saturday) Corrina tells the story of how she coped financially when her husband became a quadriplegic.

PART ONE

I’ve been a lot of things to a lot of people in my life. You know… the roles that are typical for most women these days: wife, mother, friend, boss, colleague, chef, organizer, chauffeur. I’ve been quite successful in most of my responsibilities, however the one area I’ve always missed the mark: household financial manager. I am absolutely useless.

Recently my life changed. Back in November my husband had an industrial accident that left him quadriplegic. The moment I heard the news I (temporarily) lost all ability to think, plan, act. I didn’t return to work for a few months, and during that time I let my already precarious finances take care of themselves (thank goodness for automatic payroll deposits and preauthorized payments). Amazingly, when I finally looked at my finances ten weeks later nothing had bounced and I had much more money than I expected! What had happened? I mean, I was buying all my meals at the hospital, spending a ton of money on parking every day, and much more on gasoline than usual. Surely these expenses must be at least equal to what I was spending before, if not more.

After not a lot of consideration it occurred to me: the only thing that had changed in my financial world was that I had not intervened in it. Clearly I was the problem!

I realized that I would not have the band-width to take care of my own finances for quite some time, and asked my Dad to take it on for me. He agreed, and so I handed over to him all my fancy tools: my fancy spreadsheets with calculated fields and hidden columns, my detailed list of creditors and expenses, balances and interest rates, and my bank card. My dad so very generously took it on and within six months we were in a much better financial position than before….I mean, in six months we had saved two full months net salary! What was going on? Again I have to say, clearly I was the problem.

I sat down with my dad and asked what the heck I was doing wrong. All my fancy spreadsheets, lists, outlook popup reminders…..they weren’t doing me any good. My dad can barely use a computer mouse or make a cell phone call, but apparently when it comes to personal money management tactical skills win out over technical ones. My dad started to talk to me about saving my receipts, and then actually LOOKING AT THEM. He talked to me about staying in touch with my bank account (sound familiar?) My dad talked about doing the mental math when I make a withdrawl. What a concept! Did he mean that I shouldn’t just withdraw and withdraw until I get a ‘declined’ message????

After listening to my dad tell me these things I realized that I had heard these messages in snippets somewhere before…..of course you know it was in learning about Your Money By Design.

Now I am on the program. Hello, my name is Corina and I am a spendaholic. I have been saving my receipts and I am appalled at my habits. After adding them up…who do I think I am? Paris Hilton?? No wonder my finances got better without me around!

There is more to our financial story….not only did I need to really get a handle on things to ensure a stable future for our now-different family, I needed to look at our future and income in a whole new way. I needed to learn what disability benefits, tax breaks, grants or allowances would be available to my husband. Not an easy task, and not much out there in the way of learning resources to help the layperson.

j0400293.jpgI don’t even know where to start. …… to be continued next Saturday!

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