A Money Coach in Canada

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Practicing what I preach.cooking together

Money and politics and values are all entwined. Here’s a wonderful opportunity to discover how your food purchase habits can radicalize towards sustainability.

The 100-mile diet is all about encouraging those of us in the lower mainland to have plates full of locally produced food. Did you know our average meal travels 2400 kms from farm to your plate?

I’m going to give this a go, myself.  Frankly, eating properly for my body, much less for the planet, is a real struggle for me.  I eat on the fly, have a lot of packaged food, and rarely shop in any organized fashion.  As mentioned in previous posts, this costs my wallet, and more, costs my sense of well-being.  I’m hoping taking this kind of challenge with others will help me be more thoughtful and orderly in this area.

Here’s an event to learn more:

100mile challenge networking event

Rhizome Café at 317 E.Broadway

Thursday, July 26 between 6-9pm

I found a really interesting question posed on a fellow Canadian finance blog. She writes,

I just went to Quizno’s for lunch (I printed off a free coupon off their site!) and ordered a yummy sandwich. I paid via VISA (I’m only allowed 10 debit transactions for free a month) and promptly left. On the walk back to my office I realized that I never signed the Credit Card slip.

Now I know my VISA can be charged directly to my debit account, however, I didn’t enter a PIN, so I know that didn’t happen. The receipt I got shows that it was a VISA and the charge went through, but I don’t know if they can put the payment through if I didn’t sign the slip.

I’ll have to wait and see if it shows up on the ‘net.

This got me thinking – when it comes to company mistakes, how far will you go?

Wow. What a thoughtful question. I recall in my 20s, making a 15 minute trip back to a hardware store to give back a couple bucks for an item they’d neglected. I’d noticed at the time, hadn’t spoken up, but was troubled the whole way home.

I think my de facto m.o. is now: weigh out the cost to the business, plus my inconvenience to correct the mistake, plus estimating whether I’d want the customer to correct the mistake if I were in their shoes. (the answer isn’t always yes.)

How ’bout you?

This morning I sent out one of my “Money Missions” (an e-mail program helping people get super-organized with their money), and for one group, the mission was to choose a not-for-profit, and organize some regular giving mechanism – post-dated cheques, pre-authorized payments, etc.

I had to pause for a moment. The truth is, for the past year, I have given almost nothing, even though I intend to, and desire to. My reasoning until now has been, “I’m building my business”. (Your Money by Design, helping middle-income Canadians become really savvy managing money) “Every dime goes back into building my business”. And it’s true: I’ve been personally living more frugally than I have in my life. And yet. I have cable. I have internet. I bought a gorgeous new mac. I bring in a cleaner for my condo from time to time. And yet I “can’t afford” to give?

Time to change this. I’ve now sent monthly cheques off the the charity of my choice. They’re not massive, but they’re happening. It feels good. It feels right.

Chris Newell, like me a 40 something, has done a lot of thinking and grappling with her relationship with money.
While not a case study per se, it’s a great example of real-life issues and real-life solutions.

My philosophy for money was shaped while I was quite young, and this has served me in many ways, but I have struggled with money issues and have been extremely stressed out about money, many times throughout my life.

Like many baby boomers, I got my first full time job and moved into my own apartment right after finishing high school. (This wasn’t so much a choice, as it was the circumstances in my life at the time). The process of survival seemed obvious to me. Get a job. Get paid. Pay the rent. Buy the food. Play with what’s left over. Because one of my jobs at that time was working in a bank, I also had a chance to learn a lot about financial management such as budgeting, credit, loans, savings and investing. This knowledge has been invaluable to me as it has helped me navigate the tumultuous financial waters of my life of changing jobs, unemployment, and health crisis, not to mention financially assisting many relationships, (I tended to be attracted to the co-dependent types).

My feelings about money have waxed and waned throughout my life, but overall I’d have to say that I’ve probably felt more angst and contempt about it than peace and joy. Today I work hard at my relationship with money, which means, like any relationship, there’s what I put into it, and what I receive from it.

I have a formula which I’ve adopted for this:
Money – Earn It; Spend It (Needs 1st, then Wants); Save It; Grow It; Share It.

As long as I adhere to this, I feel that the relationship is healthy, positive and amicable. Getting credit at 18 years of age and maintaining a good credit rating throughout my life and starting my RRSP’s at 29 years of age, have been two of my smartest financial decisions!!
Both have allowed me to survive when I was unemployed and/or in a health crisis, and both have allowed me to pay for big ticket items such as a car, vacations and my condominium. While I’m not a financial management expert, these are two things that I encourage anyone to do, ideally when they are young, but to implement as soon as possible, at any age.

Of course, getting a job that pays well can help a lot, but that wasn’t the case with me. I never made more than the average person, ($12.00 p/hour) and with changing jobs so many times, I never had a chance to build up my employment capital (pay raises, company benefits, pension plans), so the money I have and use now has not necessarily been from what I’ve earned, it’s been from what I’ve done with the money I’ve earned. Another quote inspired me to do this: “It’s not what you earn, it’s what you save.”

Contributed by MJ Ankermann, Urbanista, a vancouver realtor.

After watching Live Earth and thoroughly enjoying it, I started thinking about the changes I have been seeing in the condo market in Vancouver in the past year. While condo dwelling in itself is green living, as we take less of a footprint on the land, it has been hard to participate as far as function and design.

That has been changing as we are seeing condo developments being built with ‘green” concepts. To name a few there is: The Donavan in Yaletown that is being built with a geothermal heat pump system that is considered by Natural Resources Canada, to be the most energy efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective space conditioning system available.

There is also the huge Southeast False Creek Sustainability Community Plan, which includes private developers such as Polygon with The Foundry, building according to LEED Green Building Standards. These standards include green roofs and the implementation of car sharing programs, something which The Capitol in downtown Vancouver is also doing.

sam-sullivan.jpgThere is also the extensive Eco-density Plan put forth by The City of Vancouver and spearheaded by our mayor Sam Sullivan. These are policies and designs that are going to shape our future and help us keep the pledges from yesterday’s world concert.

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