A Money Coach in Canada

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Saturday Case Studies are just that: case studies, dilemmas, issues that I have encountered with my clients (Your Money by Design)past and present. For obvious reasons, the individuals are thoroughly disguised, but the issue remains the same. Your suggestions on the issue are very welcome. The following Saturday I will describe what I suggested to the client.Case Study #1:Jack and Maria come from different backgrounds. Jack immigrated here to create a better life for himself, and he has generally succeeded at this. He enjoys a solid middle-class background. He also supports his family back in his former country. Maria is a stay-at-home-mom for now, looking after their young kids. Eventually she intends to resume her career.The issue is this.In Jack’s culture, looking out for your extended family is a high priority. He has family members who are hovering around a serious poverty line. Every time a member loses a job, or has a medical issue come up, Jack fills in the financial void. It’s just what you do, in his mind.Maria, however, is increasingly concerned that this is jeopardizing their own finances. They haven’t had a holiday with the kids since they were born. Their RRSPs are minimal. They still rent, and she wants them to own a home. While initially supportive of the extended-family needs, she is increasingly resentful, yet feels uncomfortable raising the concerns since she is not the bread-earner at the moment. Plus, she doesn’t want to be selfish.I offered one solution that worked for them (to be posted next week) but if you have ideas, please click on the “comment” link below, and write your idea!_____________________________________________________________Money Coach’s Suggestion:The advantage they both had going for them is that each ‘bought into’ the their respective values.  Maria had sincere compassion for Jack’s family.  Jack ‘got’ that their family also needed and deserved things like holidays, savings etc.Here’s what they did.  The decided upon a certain amount which would be the yearly slush-fund for Jack’s family.  Each month, Jack would set aside an amount to build up the slush fund.  Once the agreed-upon amount was reached, that was all that would be available for helping out his family for that year.  If it got depleted, it would get replenished, but not used, until the following year.In this way, Maria’s anxiety about the ongoing nature of the need was alleviated:  they would not be, at all time and in every case, diverting money aware from their own nest.  Jack also was able to feel like he was still looking out for his family, and fairly generously, but in this plan, would also be able to have funds available to build cushion for his new family. 

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

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