A Money Coach in Canada

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MY! What a quarter I’ve had! 2 months without a tenant followed by Christmas and travel, plus purchasing a new fridge and a new macbook plus a $700 vet bill plus $600 in semi-annual property taxes due plus helping out someone who needed a serious chunk of change plus the deposit on some renos LEAVES A GIRL BROKE for a bit, even if she is a money coach who sets aside funds for these sorts of things.
So my desperately-needed winter holiday was doomed.

Or so I thought.

A colleague is moving from Yellowknife back to Halifax and because her car didn’t sell is making the drive down to Edmonton. “Anyone care to accompany me? I’ll pay for the gas!” she said. “Pick me! Pick me!” I cried.

And then despair: no good deals to fly home to be found! I mourned piteously to a brilliant and fabulous friend who brilliantly and fabulously pointed out, “don’t you have any airmiles?” I leapt up immediately to check and SQUEEE by buying a few more for $25 I had enough, just enough, to fly home from Calgary!

Joy and Rapture!

It gets better. I have some wonderful friends (ever heard of Netchick? Oh yes, I bet you have!) in Calgary to visit and who have also kindly agreed to host me!

Mostly, it’s a working holiday to work on this blog (hoping to jazz up its look) but man oh man, I’m looking forward to seeing good friends from my Vancouver days plus being in a city. A city! I love Yellowknife but there’s nothin’ wrong with a few sirens in the background. And six-lane traffic (or at least four). And Starbucks wherever your eye can see (don’t sneer til you’ve gone without one for weeks on end). And London Drugs. AND AN APPLE STORE.

I do plan to splurge a bit — a spa treatment, a dinner out, a brunch out, maybe a 3-D movie? (any recos?)

But still, this fell together in a glorious and frugal manner and to all those who made it possible (you know who you are) a big thank-you.

Readers, how ’bout you? Have you ever had an unexpected holiday or getaway that was amazingly inexpensive? (in a good way, I mean! Not like, say, losing your wallet so sleeping in your car instead.)

Are you stressed about money? You’re in good company – it’s a common thing!  Many folks respond by avoiding thinking about money altogether.  There are more productive ways to handle the stress and simultaneously re-arrange the power relationship between you and your money.

5 Actions to take if you’re stressed about money:

1. Crunch your numbers. Empower yourself with an accurate, not fear-based, picture of your financial situation. I can’t tell you how often my money coaching clients would experience a great sense of relief when they actually crunched the numbers – both the good (assets) and the bad (debts).  Once they clearly understood where they were at, they felt more grounded and could think more clearly. Extra good news: almost always the picture was brighter than they’d thought!

2.  Put yourself in charge! Stress is often a result of feeling out of control over something that matters.  If you you are held back from this either by your own thinking (I’m no good with money) or by a partner (she won’t let me), even taking incremental steps will help lower your stress.

3. Prioritize. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to solve everything.  Choose your top three (maximum!) priorities that you want to address over the next year.

4. Act! You’ve decided upon your top priorities. Now spend at least 15 minutes each evening and at least 1 hour each weekend planning (and scheming if need be!) how you will address the root causes of your financial anxiety. With the plans laid, consistently act on them until you are satisfied.   These could range from plans to increase your income to making the phone call to the cable company with a repayment plan to a conversation with your family about needed changes.

5. Give yourself a break. It’s a rare person who doesn’t have some significant money issues at some point in their life.   Don’t beat yourself up over it!  Do what is in your power to do, then carry on with your life and enjoy family, friends, whatever good things are in your life that encourage and delight you.

Photo Credit: Josef aka Hipnosato

One of the wonderful aspects of growing older is having friends over an extended time. This is one of my closest friends, of twenty-two (22!) years now. We met as university roomates and hit it off from the start. Countless walks on the beach, conversations ranging from the meaning of life, the relationship of time and space, growing our respective businesses and yes, romance (she’s been married for most of our friendship while I’ve been the serial girlfriend) she is family to me (as her husband and kids to me, and my daschunds to them!).

Anthony, I think this is what you were getting at re: not being *alone* as a single on Valentine’s Day yeah?

Readers – have you had a friendship that’s lasted over the years with whom you’ve maintained close ties?

Guest Post by my high-school classmate Cheryl (thanks Facebook for the reintroduction!), a Jolica Gift Consultant residing in Saskatchewan.
Cheryl (Jolica)
I have been with Jolica since May 2009 and the journey has flown by, full of fun challenges and rewarding results.
This Fair Trade company showcases the quality hand-workmanship of artisans from Chile, Peru, Nepal, India, Thailand, and India. We focus on accessories: silk, cotton, viscose, pashmina, and alpaca scarves; leather and tapestry handbags, totes, briefcases, and wallets; 925 sterling silver jewelry; semi-precious stones; painted glass jewelry. The items are uniquely hand-crafted; no two are exactly alike!

Jolica Display

Here’s my “Top 10” reasons I love being involved with Jolica:

1. Jolica’s products are Fair Trade. Our products are not mass-produced under questionable work conditions; we know who made our items and where they come from; we can even have a relationship with these individuals!

Jolica is proud to be a member of the Fair Trade Federation and to change lives in countries around the world through conscious commerce. We encourage our guests to be intentional about their purchases because their choices, about what and where to buy, matter.

2. We are proudly Canadian! Jolica began in September 2005, in Ontario, the dream of Ted and Darlene Loewen and friend, Ann-Michele Ewert.

3. The Jolica Foundation
Since Jolica began in 2005, five percent of every retail purchase has contributed to changing lives through the Jolica Foundation. We have been honored to provide insecticide-treated mosquito nets in Tanzania, space heaters for homes of the Chilean artisans, kitchen gardens for Afghani women, the gift of sight for people in India blinded by cataracts, or community respect and training for women who test milk in Pakistan.

4. Our prices are fair and reasonable.

–and as a gift consultant: —

5. We have an amazing leadership team by the names of Ted, Darlene, Ann-Michele, and others who listen to our input … and all of whom I would call “Friend”!

6. Sale items count towards party totals. Customers can order from our discontinued product list at reduced rates and still have it benefit their friend, who is hosting a party.

7. As part of our partnership with Jolica, we receive a wonderful free website that we can personalize.

8. Shipping is so very affordable -Only $5 to party host’s address! Our customers do not have to pay postage for returns. And we have an amazing Lifetime Replacement Policy.

9. We have Jump Start – this program lets you count your order twice: when you order as a guest and when you host your own party – it benefits both your friend and you, when you host your own parties.

10. Our incentive/reward trips visit the artisans with whom we partner; we don’t go on touristy cruises… instead we get to meet the locals and discover the true flavour of a place, and I love that!


The products and business opportunity are open to people in both Canada and the United States.

There are several ways that you can partner with us to make a difference in our world:
*Purchase a gift – On behalf of our committed gift consultants, our talented artisans, and the entire Jolica team, we want you to know that your purchase matters; your party matters. Every Jolica party and every Jolica purchase matters to people in many corners of the world.
*Host a party or fundraiser – As a Jolica hostess you know that your party is not just about you. Of course you enjoy the benefits of a generous hostess plan, but the enduring rewards of hosting a party are felt in the effect that you have on artisan communities through Fair Trade and the Jolica Foundation. Your party can dramatically benefit the livelihood of an artisan in Thailand, the eyesight of an East Indian child, or the life of a Pakistani woman.
*Join our team of gift consultants – Jolica gift consultants love that they can help other people while earning an income themselves. They are delighted to find an opportunity that aligns with their values.

If you would like to know more about Jolica, please visit my website or send me an email: FairTrade @ sasktel.net
Find us also on Facebook and on YouTube.

handshake II

Quite some time back, a fellow blogger posed the same question (if I could remember who or when, I’d link). To my surprise the resounding response was NO! These ranged from people who wanted to protect the relationship by not lending money to some pretty strong comments about not lending money since it was the other person’s problem, not theirs.

I felt sad after reading the comments (and there were dozens).

It seems to me that if we are able to help someone else out in their hour of need, especially if they are close to us, why wouldn’t we? And what’s the point of accumulating some wealth if it’s not, at least in part, to be able to extend some of the goodness to people we care about?

I’ve been fortunate in my family and friendships, I guess. It doesn’t happen routinely, but most definitely we’ve supported one another financially over the decades. I helped my brother get his first car (a snazzy Toyota MR-6, remember those?) when he was a youth. He later helped me out when I needed a computer. My parents helped me a bit when I bought my first place. I helped them out when something unexpected happened. A friend who believed in my and my vision helped me out when my business was at a low point in its cash-flow. I later helped another friend out down the road.

Obviously the amount and the repayment agreement were proportionate to the strength of the relationship. And to my knowledge I’ve never been asked for help that was a result of an addiction.

But as a rule of thumb, I think my close friends, and I sure hope my family, knows that if it came to it, I’d help out without blinking an eye.

Readers: do you see this as a “good fences make good neighbours” situation? ie., don’t bring money into the relationship? Or do you agree with me that helping people close to us out is part of the reason to have money in the first place?

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