A Money Coach in Canada

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1.  Turn off the TV

2.  Borrow an item next time you need / want it, rather than purchasing it

3.  Sit very still and breathe deeply for five minutes every day

4.  Befriend an aesthetic of minimalism

5.  Purchase quality items

Please add to this list in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Tolka Rover

Hi all.
Some of you may recall I’d intimated some change was afoot in my Yellowknife home. After debating and number crunching, I finally decided my kitchen had to go. I’m thrilled with the results and the best way to put it is that the place has changed from being The Place I Reside to HOME.


And More Before (love the vinyl, heh?):

And One Last Before Pic (the fridge used to rust on the side, for heaven’s sake. No idea why):
old fridge

(featuring re-purposed corrugated backsplash, re-purposed “butcher block,” energy efficient fridge and dishwasher, cork (renewable resource, and yes I realize this is debated), and concrete table made by local artisan):

Renovated Kitchen


I’m pretty pleased. Of course, Karen would have done it all herself. But she has a kind of awesome that I just don’t have. Yet.

When is the last time you had a meaty conversation about the meaning of life? Or attempted to think through (much less articulate) what living a good life means to you?

It’s been years for me, frankly. Sure, I know what kind of things deeply please me: downloading a good sci-fi flick (finally discovered Doctor Who!) on my hd 40″ flat-screen TV; a well-crafted, made-in-the-USA weekender bag; a sumptuous supper with good wine at France & Doug’s place (who grow all their own produce and use solar panels for energy and pump in their own water from the lake by which they live).

No doubt you have your own list of good things.

These lists of ours are where we allocate our dollars (just ask Oprah).

While lovely and worthwhile, the sum of those lists don’t necessarily equate to a good life. And there’s no guarantee that at any moment a whole lot of those won’t be removed from us by illness, job loss, or a stock market crash. (Canada’s 2011 election results indicate most of us instinctively understand that, and so we voted in the guy who promised to protect us against the possibility).

A recent HBR article re-challenged me to do some hard thinking about all this. The author writes:
[In contrast to consumerism, there’s] an alternate vision, one I call eudaimonic prosperity, and it’s about living meaningfully well. Its purpose is not merely passive, slack-jawed “consuming” but living: doing, achieving, fulfilling, becoming, inspiring, transcending, creating, accomplishing — all the stuff that matters the most. See the difference? Opulence is Donald Trump. Eudaimonia is the Declaration of Independence.

Figuring out what “living meaningfully well” means to each of us requires quietude and deliberation. It is not about going from pleasurable episode (fun Doctor Who flick) to pleasurable episode (lovely dinner with friends) to pleasurable episode (vacation in England) but an over-arching, continuing, life-long narrative into which the episodes fit, or don’t. On a personal note, I’ve dusted mine off from years ago and mine is simply this: to be and become the most Nancy I can, in this one life (to my knowledge) that I’ve been given.

As we work through these very.big.questions, we will discover we can extricate ourselves from our culture of consumption in favour of living into our very own, unique lives well lived.

Photo Credit: elkit

If there’s one passion fueling me in my work as a money coach, it’s this:

I believe our culture has gone wildly astray in our relentless pursuit of More Stuff, I believe that our planet and our we ourselves are increasingly damaged by it, and I believe it does not have to be this way if we learn to take a pause, collect ourselves, and re-imagine money and meaning.

My ultimate hope for my clients is that as they get a handle on their finances, and grow in confidence about their money, they will use the power of their dollars to make change in the world, possibly in a way that even governments and politicians won’t.

Posts in June on Wednesdays and weekends will hone in on this. Some posts will be how-to’s, while others will be more theoretical. My hope is that you will join me, and also teach me in your comments, in learning to re-imagine money and meaning.

photo credit: CyboRoZ

What goes on in the House on the Hill is not ALL that different than what goes on in your house. It’s just writ large.
They negotiate, forge alliances on some things and will forever disagree on others and they HAVE A BUDGET.

If in your house, your partner or family member wasn’t fully forthcoming about the budget or how he or she spent your joint money, how would you feel?

This video (Thanks, Andrew Coyne) gave me a bit of an AHA moment – I hadn’t previously made such a direct comparison, but now that I think of it, it’s obvious. It’s 3 minutes to watch and don’t panic when he introduces himself. It’s accessible. Just keep doing the mental comparisons between your house and The House.

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