A Money Coach in Canada

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When I was a kid, my family said a quick grace before every.single.meal – oatmeal breakfasts before kindergarten included. These became (regrettably) perfunctory and rushed over the years but we kept up the tradition.

As an adult the habit fairly quickly faded away. In fact, I’m starting to feel uncomfortable with the extent to which I don’t take even a nano-second to take note of the fact that I am engaging in a primal, life-sustaining activity which often required the death of another being. Meals for me have more often than not become woeful in their slap-dash, toss on a plate and eat obliviously while I surf the ‘net or watch TV manner. Or my inhale as I’m walking around getting ready for work in the morning manner. Meal eating has become a purely functional affair.

I don’t think this is good. I don’t think this is good at all. In fact, I think it’s grim. It is anti-contentment.
And assuming (?) I’m in good company with my culture in this, it’s no wonder we are so obsessed with weight loss, and even obsessed with calories, yet out of touch with our own eating habits. In government-speak, perhaps we need a framework for how to approach our meals!

I’m not quite ready to go slow-food. But over lent, and hopefully beyond, I am going to start a new praxis of contentment: I am going to pause for at least 3 seconds before every single meal. Will I always Give Thanks per se? Perhaps, and I probably should. But at a minimum I will take a couple deep breaths, and attend to the fact that I am about to participate in a profound act of being human and participating in the food chain.

Readers – what about you? Did you say grace when you were growing up? Do you now? Do you engage in any quasi-ceremonial act before eating or like me, do you just dive in?

ps: after writing this, I found this gorgeous post How to Eat Like An Italian via twitter. #5 – perfect tip for me!

Photo Credit: Wiedmaier

Telus customers can donate by texting in the following ways:
• Text “QUAKE” to 45678 to donate $10 to The Salvation Army in Canada
• Text “ASIA” to 30333 to donate $5 to The Canadian Red Cross Society
• Text “GIVE” to 45678 to donate $5 to UNICEF

Anyone can donate to Red Cross by texting ASIA to 30333 to donate $5 from your account to the canadian red cross’ tsunami relief efforts. (Rogers, Telus, Virgin, Bell customers)

Photo credit by Lost in Japan


See this unsightly, unseemly pile? This pile, friends, this pile has been with me since I moved up here from Vancouver 2 years ago. I kept it out of sight / out of mind in the back of some shelving which worked until The Renovations (more another time on that) started this week. Nobody tells you to Beware the Resurfacing Piles when renovating, do they.

It’s time for me to deal with it, and deal with it I shall. There’s nothing crucial or time sensitive (or if there is, I’d better hang up my hat) but it’s a bunch of money-related its and bits I need to toss or sort and file. I reckon it will take 90 minutes. So, every day when I return from work, it’s straight to this pile for 15 minutes until it is all properly sorted.

Now don’t go all harshing on me for this epic failure. I bet several of YOU have a pile somewhere of financial papers that are in a similar state of disarray. Care to join me in ‘fessing up and dealing with it? And we can lift a glass to one another next weekend when we’re done?

Do you ever get irritated by the relentless Gotta Get The Latest Bright Shiny Object?

I’m an apple fangirl – and a stockholder – so I’m a bit ambivalent about the release of the iPad 2. Yay for improvements and yay for continued growth of a mighty fine company in which I hold shares.

But … I shelled out nearly $700 just less than a year ago for my iPad v.1 and you know what? It’s still awesome! No camera, no facetime, a wee bit thicker and heavier than the new one but… it’s still in perfect condition and I still absolutely love it.

So this woman won’t be rushing for the iPad 2. In fact, I think I’ll be content with my current iPad for a few years to come.

ps – thanks again for nabbing me my iPad, Kyle!

Photo Credit: Jared Earle

Saturday posts during March focus on decluttering your finances.

Here’s a biggie.

Have you borrowed money from a friend or family?
Do you have an articulated plan to repay them, and are you sticking to that plan?

If you’ve borrowed and don’t have a plan, or have one but don’t stick to it, it is costing you.

It is costing you the value of your word. This means that whenever you say anything, you will not be taken as seriously anymore by those who know you have not kept your word about the loan.

It is costing you your relationship. The other person may be gracious or not making a big deal about it, but you can bet that inside, some amount of damage has been done. Check the comments on a previous post of mine.

It is costing you your self-respect. There is no way that you can borrow money from a friend or family member and not repay it without that fact taking a toll on your self-esteem. Not having and keeping a plan to repay it is immature and even cowardly.

Here’s your challenge. Do a mental scan of the past several years. Do you owe a friend or family member? Don’t be “that guy”. Own the situation. Make the call. Send the e-mail. Do it now.

Photo Credit: Roel1943

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