A Money Coach in Canada

Follow & Subscribe

And I quote:

How things have changed. The city [vancouver] in the rain forest is the very definition of luxury, the sort of casual elegance and graceful quality of life Vancouverites have come to take for granted.

Now the rest of the world is taking note.

Vancouver’s skyline is bristling with cranes as more and more high-end hotels and condo complexes are built. Famous faces mingle with the crowds shopping at international luxury retailers. New restaurants open almost every week.

(Nat’l Post, March 29 2008, FW5)

In the immortal words of Shania Twain: That don’t impress me much. And I hope to god that’s not becoming Vancouver’s brand positioning.

Don’t get me wrong. I love genuine quality as much as the next guy. My mac. My piano. My gorgeous daschunds.

So quality, yes.

Luxury? Meh. Boring.

For one thing, it smells bad. Like exclusivity smells bad to me. What the frack does anyone gain by using luxury as a demarcation from the next person?

For another thing, it’s dumb. Most of the us – I hope? or am I kidding myself? – kinda get the fact that we’ve overconsumed, overspent, and screwed the planet and exploited about a billion people in the process. Conspicious consumption is pretty much yesterday, don’t you think? So I repeat: I hope this isn’t Vancouver’s brand, or we’ll be pretty embarrassed sooner than later.

Last. It really is boring. Compare “luxury” to “intelligent”. To “innovative”. To “creative”. Which piques your interest? Which has a breath-of-fresh-air quality to it? I’m betting luxury sounds tired in comparison.

So, marketers — if I’m reading Vancouver right, lose the “luxury” angle, already. We can do better than that. Much better. Can’t we?

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. I couldn’t agree more, Nancy – people misinterpret quality with luxury. 🙂


    May 05, 2008
  2. I agree. I was visiting an outlet mall this weekend (recommended by colleagues). The sight of people grabbing at Coach bags like there’s no tomorrow just turn me off it. Yes if it’s cute and you like it, go for it girl. But putting $200 down on a purchase that clearly doesn’t match with the rest of your wardrobe of jeans and t-shirts, clearly tells me you are sheep.

    Don’t be sheep. Buy what you want, not what people tell you you should have.


    May 05, 2008
  3. [Krupo snickers at sight of “genuine quality” and “Mac” in same paragraph]

    Sorry, geek-rant, had to be done. 🙂

    I’m a partisan of the “DIY” camp when it comes to computers.

    That, and gaming.

    But yeah, if you ever see the Time Magazine “luxury” reports, it’s a one-way ticket to gagging with revulsion at… everything they write. Ugh.


    May 05, 2008
  4. @Raul Maybe you could do a guest post for me (hint, hint) on water and water bottles as perceived luxury. My understanding (I could be wrong?) is that usually tap water is in fact just as good as bottled and meantime we have piles and piles of plastic bottles for our perceived luxury.
    @Esme You know, if we could all really take your last sentence to heart and live into it, I bet half our money problems would be solved on the spot.
    @Krupo You’re not only an accountant who can talk in plain english, you’re a geek too? We’ll have to take the “quality” and “mac” comment outside, but I’m impressed – how ‘geek’ are you? Ubuntu geek? I want to try gaming, but am too scared I’ll never ever live in the non-virtual world again (I have dogs? what dogs?)


    May 05, 2008
  5. Yeppers, I agree. I really like the word “Hip” — but that might be giving away my age. 😉


    May 05, 2008
  6. I’ll do the guest post, of course 🙂

    Lovely to see you tonight. I’m sorry I didn’t go for the walk, but we can definitely meet some other night for a walk! I’m also planning a blogger’s brunch (or meetup)


    May 06, 2008
  7. Angela

    My husband visited Vancouver recently (on a work trip) – he did get some time at the end of his trip to go out and do some whale watching but he said his overall impression of Vancouver was of poverty – seeing so many homeless and ill people on the streets was incredibly distressing.


    May 11, 2008
  8. E

    But how about the truly irony “socially conscious luxury” … I submit that it started with The Body Shop, and now includes such brands as Lush, Lululemon, American Apparel and other boutique designers. It’s all the mentality of showing off that you can afford expensive things, but with the extra “I’m more socially/environmentally/politically aware than you” edge. There’s no ‘brand’ that goes with Value Village and your local consignment store.


    May 19, 2008

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge