A Money Coach in Canada

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My faith is possibly being restored: I went to Oppenheimer Park at 5am this morning and found no less than twenty-one, 21!, of my fellow well-housed neighbours there in the park with me, collectively in solidarity with the homeless. Plenty of press came, but no police this morning as they’d received the press releases too (I wonder if they went to another park?)

And, more amazingly five of my neighbours actually DID sleep outside there last night. I’m blown away, and wish I’d joined them. Another night.

And one last thing for the record. I brought my daschunds and they were totally cool in the park, and in fact there were 4 other dogs there so they all had their own doggy protest.

OH, AND MORE GOOD NEWS: according to this just released by cbc BC had an almost 3 BILLION dollar surplus in 2007. Anyone wanna tell me our housing issues can’t be addressed??

I just got back from a three-night getaway.

Some generous friends from out in the valley (hi there – you know who you are *wink*) have a place that I now refer to as Martha Stewart Unkempt (the Unkempt is a compliment. And the inside is kempt. The outside is just all lovely and done, but not manicured). An acreage, a vast lily and fish pond, berry bushes, garden, and tall, very tall trees that seclude the property.

The dogs are welcome too, much to their delight. It’s doggy disneyland: squirrels, crows and for once in their blessed lives, a green yard (they’re concrete jungle urban daschunds). Oh, and a geriatric, ever-tolerant, black lab.

And the sounds: birds at night, creatures rustling in the bushes, the zap of bugs getting to close to the light, chain saws and trains in the distance.

The point is this: truly, truly the best things in life are free.

Readers: any best-things-in-life moments that you’ve had this summer?

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Thanks to Darth Guru for pointing to this!

anituqebank1.jpgDespite the fact that I work for Canada’s best-kept-secret bank that usually gives the highest interest in Canada, each paycheque I carve off a chunk and send it over to that big orange-coloured online bank.

Why do I do it? Because my day-to-day banking is at Citizens, and if I keep my savings at the same financial institution I know me: I’ll spend it.

Something crucial will come up –

The Fleuvog shoe sale

The Apple store opening

An unexpected expense (read: daschund trip to the vet emerg, or my demonic dishwasher)

and my savings for christmas, vacation will be plundered.

And yet I know that those expenses, if not planned for and funded, will kaibosh me when the time comes, so I am committed to protecting them from, well, myself and the daschunds.

By keeping them in the “other bank”, it puts a brake on high-pressure temptation. They don’t get plundered.  The hassle factor of finding my online access code, going to the site to transfer the funds and knowing it will take three business days – meh. Not worth it anymore.

Christmas, vacations and a handful of other priorities are accounted for.

Readers: do you have any tricks or tips that help you protect your money from seemingly impossible-to-ignore opportunities to spend?

ps: don’t tell my employer about this.

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photo credit: evilangela

1. Hockey Fans. Some inside scoop: you must join this contest. Inside scoop: odds are really quite nice. So just enter. Enough already. And congrats Detroit and our own Newfoundland!

2. Vancouverites – know anyone with kids looking for an eco-camp for the summer?

What could be more fun than FUN?? FUN Camps is Friends Uniting for Nature – a new and exciting environmental leadership program that is piloting this summer at UBC campus. If you have kids aged 11-15, you don’t want to miss out on the chance to offer them fun hands on learning in the area of sustainable living.

They’ll learn all about how to create a healthier life and planet for themselves AND they’ll have a fantastic time, meeting new friends, doing workshops, making solar powered cars and heading off on FUN field trips. This is the first year that a program like this is being offered and space is limited. So sign up fast – it’s time to make our world a better place. Where better to start than with our kids? Registration has just begun, and space is limited. (Also exciting is that we got a $10,000.00 grant from the Climate Action Secretariat of BC, and $3000.00 of that is going towards scholarships for low-income youth. )

INFO SESSION: interactive information session at lululemon (2113 West 4th) on June 9th. 6 – 7pm

3. And for this 50th offering, check out www.10onWednesday.com My friend is a source of all kinds of treasures at garage-sale pricing.

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