A Money Coach in Canada

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Mr. Cheap (and he IS, proudly!) over at FourPillars blogs mostly about money but with a dose of his weight goals thrown into the mix. I’m not about to blog regularly about my weight — but suffice it to say, I’m committed to some weight loss of my own, possibly courtesy of Bargainista’s contest for 3 months worth of free nutrisystem. I’m undoing my contest chances by spreading the word, but it is Freebie (or nearly) Wednesday! (and fyi, if you haven’t signed up for Bargainista’s feed, or bookmarked her site, you’re missing awesome sales intel).

To enter the contest, we need to explain our motivation. Here’s my thinking about my need to lose weight (and it’s on the serious side, heads-up):

I am about 20 pounds over my healthy weight. You wouldn’t know it (according to friends, lol) to look at me, but my doctor confirms it’s absolutely the case. My desire to lose the excess me is partly for my own health and energy, but also from another philosophical grounding point. It’s this. I blog about being wise with money. I have a business that helps people be thoughtful with their money. My dream goal is that Canadians become so adept at handling their money (out of debt, not buying crap, finding meaning in things other than consumption) that we become known for it, and are able to be generous towards developing countries, and find really creative ways to live sustainably.

And yet here I am overeating on a regular basis, even as, night after night, the character I affectionately call ‘the homeless lunatic’ sleeps against the heat duct of the building across my street. He is skinny, underfed, and lines up for the soup kitchen down the street for whatever food they have on offer. And I overeat, even as addicts in my neighbourhood walk on cartoon-like legs and have guant faces because they don’t nourish themselves properly with food. Not to mention the kids in refugee camps around the world.

For me to consistently overeat and carry around excess me is just. plain. wrong.

So, Hello 2008: I’m going to try my d-est to get hold of my eating. To eat appropriately, and heathily. To respect the people who are starving enough not to mindlessly stuff myself.

end of story.

A lot of us are fed up with the commercialization of Christmas – and no wonder! The majority of us don’t celebrate the Christ Mass at all, and a holiday to Buy Stuff is completely counter to our increasing awareness of the harm our consumptivism (it’s a word now, says me) is doing to our home, the planet earth.

For the person who has everything, here are some lovely gift alternatives to purchasing Stuff.

1. Through OxfamOxfam, world visionWorld Vision or Inter-Pares’ Solidarity-not-Stuff: purchase a goat, some chickens, some rabbits for a family in an impoverished country. It’s surprisingly affordable and more importantly, helps people in desperate situations – a couple egg-laying hens can provide basic nutrition for a family. The gift is given in your recipients name, and they’ll also receive a card informing them of the donation made in their name.

2. Have a young-ish niece, nephew, or grandkids? Consider purchasing them term deposits for their future use (college, travel, start a small business, nest egg) — but not just any term deposit. If you purchase the Shared World Term from Citizens Bank of Canada (not to be confused with citbank) dollar for dollar, the principal is used for micro-credit lending (eg. fair trade farmers)coffee in developing countries. The term will be held in your account but clearly have the benefeciary’s name on the term certificate. They will also receive a card.

3. One Laptop per Child. Purchase an extremely affordable (as in $100) laptop and your young recipient receives a laptop …. and so does another child in a developing country.

These are the kinds of initiatives that bring back some of the truly meaningful giving ethos of Christmas (which, for the record, I celebrate at a wonderful, slightly eccentric anglican church, St. James, in the downtown east-side. anyone welcome – 10:30pm but be prepared: it’s the full meal deal. Not xmas eve lite.)

oh, and … the classic…

Some terrific freebies this week:

1. citizensmall.gif will donate $1 to the foodbank for each gingerbread e-card you decorate and send. Fun for adults; even more fun for the kids. Try it!

2. The Pacific Baroque Orchestra violinis donating a free concert (‘Twas the night before Christmas) to the downtown eastside, Vancouver.

Biber, Corelli, Vivaldi
plus Handel’s exquisite Harp Concerto in Bb
Friday December 14
St. James Anglican Church

All are welcome; if you are able to donate at the door, all the better.

Musica Intima
Sunday 16 December

“Rose In Winter” includes traditional
and contemporary carols and
Biebl’s Ave Maria
By donation
St. James’ Anglican Church

garage-sales.jpg“Center Stage 2” – 2 days of sales

Great Deals on Everything!! Better than a garage sale!!

3171 Lake City Way, Burnaby
– located behind the SkyTrain Station just off Lougheed Highway

Wardrobe Sale & any remaining Set Dec

Thursday December 6th

1 to 5pm

Lots of Dance Gear / Warm Up Gear / Club Wear

Tx for the heads-up, Steve!

Lots of great stuff this week!

Avril LavigneAvril Lavigne is giving a free concert courtesy of BestBuy in Burnaby, this Sunday. Check out the full scoop on Miss 604s site.

First Weekend Club presents the film “Tears for April: Beyond the Blue Lens”. It’s an extraordinary (true-life) film following the life of a young woman in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, but most remarkably, the film is created by 5 police who are deeply familiar with the area. It’s playing for 4 days only over this weekend, at Tinseltown.

If you know anyone with teenagers in Vancouver, esp. ones vulnerable to drug use, this is a must-see. If you live or work around gastown/dtes it’s also a must see.

Want 9% interest on $500 for 6 months? citizensmall.gif Citizens Bank of Canada’s campaign concludes this week. Shoot me an e-mail at ngzca at yahoo (the commercial one) and I’ll invite you! The only ‘catch’ is the deposit has to be $500, and stay in the savings account for 6 months. It’s an awesome bank – truly unique on the Canadian landscape.

dscn0009.JPGSaving the best for last: just in time for the Party Season, this Cranberry Glass Sautoir, ca 1920s, in mint condition. $50. Thanks, 10onWednesday!

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