A Money Coach in Canada

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She was in her early 50s, and her whole life had managed to attain large chunks of money every couple years or so.  Starting a business then selling it.  Buying real estate and flipping it.  But she had nothing to show for it.  Deeply compassionate towards her family, friends, and people she’d met in volunteer work in developing countries, her money flowed out to others in need as swiftly as she could bring it in.   One time her mom became close to death from an illness – the client’s money bought her the best care possible (and yes, the mother lived).  Another time a dear friend was left stranded, with kids, by her partner – the client helped her get on her feet.  You get the idea.

Treasure ChestThe client has left a beautiful legacy of people who’s lives stood a fighting chance thanks to her generosity.

But her bank account is nearly empty, she rents a small apartment in Burnaby, and she has no RRSPs to speak of.

How would you suggest she balance her care for others, with her own financial safety net?

Ok, we interupt this progamming for an announcement from our sponsor….

Your Money by Design

Your Money by Design is my company, and we help middle-income earning Canadians take charge of their money and get ahead. Our signature seminar series, Smart with Money, starts up again September ’07  in Vancouver. In 6 evenings over 6 months, for less than the price of most gym memberships, here is what you will learn:

  1. Shifting Gears and Taking Charge: managing your cash flow effectively to ensure your goals and values are being met. Getting the data you need to make informed decisions. Finding ways to have money left over at the end of the month.
  2. Debt: methods to kick the habit, for good.
  3. Your Brain, Your Guts, Your money: create a powerful set of beliefs about money to prime yourself for financial success.
  4. Goals and Dreams: clarifying and creating action plans for your real world.
  5. Make your money work while you sleep: understanding the 101’s of investing. Passive revenue streams. Find out exactly what’s happening with your RRSPs and mutual funds
  6. Lasting Change: how to keep moving forward, financially, for a lifetime.

Join us – take a 6 month period to really grab hold of your personal finances, set structures in place to get ahead, and increase your savvy… resulting in confidence, competence, control.

Visit the YMbD website for full info on Smart with Money.


2girls.jpgOne of my favourite Canadian personal finance bloggers has agreed to guest post today on … the September costs of putting your kids in school, even if it’s a public school! I’m betting some of you parents can relate…

I was running low on ideas and asked my wife for a topic for today’s blog and she came up with the cost of our “free” education system. She had been out shopping for back to school supplies (a HUGE industry in itself) and was telling me about all the “bargains” she was going to have to find to pay for all of the unwritten educational expenses.

Not Optional

These are expenses you can’t escape from and you MUST pay:

  • $45.00 yearbook & agenda/year fee which is not optional (per child). My kids in High School can’t even get their schedule before they pay this fee.
  • $10.00 for the agenda at my elementary daughter’s school
  • Class fees for individual classes:
    • Art fee $25.00
    • Music Fee $25.00 not to do with the instrument rental
    • Musical instrument rental or purchase which can be anywhere from $100 to $800
    • Physics Fee $10
    • Tech Fee $30
    • Music Fee $35.00

Not that much I guess around $100 – 200.00 per child all due in September.

Optional Expenses

These are the added expenses that you can try to not pay or find ways around them, but some are more optional than others. An example would be I can’t really not buy bus passes for my daughters who go to a school a 20 minute drive away, but I will include them here for the sake of fairness in the model.

  • Yearbook fee of $15.00 for elementary/middle school
  • $200.00 since one of my daughters plays on the school basketball team
  • Food
    • Pizza $45/child/3 months
    • Juice $38/child/3 months
    • Pita Bread $40/child/3 months
  • Class photos $40
  • Team fees for athletics $20.00
  • Team fees for football $32.00
  • Team fees Curling $50.00
  • Tournament fees for basketball $115.00
  • Skiing $60.00 for club
  • End of year camp $187.50
  • Gym Fees $24.00 for self defense
  • Team fee softball $45
  • Monthly Bus Passes $58.00 per month Per Child
  • Band shirt $25.00

The bus passes are tax deductible luckily, but a lot of the school athletics aren’t really covered under the new “active child” tax credit, and you can see these expenses can be anywhere from $100-$800.00 for a child over the year. Now this does not really include things like:

  • Pencils, pencil cases, crayons and such
  • Paper, binders and the like
  • Computer, and computer paper
  • Clothing for the start of the year

Anybody else know why I don’t have any money in September? Just take a guess.

His related articles:

Wake me up when September ends

Cost of school transit

The disappearing middle class in Canada

1.  Not the usual ‘freebie Wednesday’ stuff I do, but this is worth viewing (I went to one of their comedy festivals last spring.  It was extremely funny, moving, inspiring.)

Cracking Up is a l ife-affirming documentary about people with mental illness who embark on a quirky quest to become stand up comics. The film follows 11 courageous people who suffer from mental illness as they pursue a year of stand up comedy. Part fun and part therapy, the course, entit l ed Stand Up For Menta l Hea l th is the brainchild of Vancouver counsel or, stand-up comic, and author of The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead To Happiness and Success David Granirer. “It’s like ‘The Full Monty’ except people want us to keep our clothes on”, he says.