A Money Coach in Canada

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In Debt? How Canadian of you!

In this segment of CBC North’s The Trailbreaker, which aired Feb, 2013, you’ll find out from me:

  • how you stack up to other Canadians
  • why the headlines are often misleading imo
  • the most important thing you should do about handling your debt
  • what NOT to do in handling your debt
  • and some personal experience of my own re: debt!

If debt has got you down, you should also check out my simple $25 online program. It helped me, and has helped hundreds of people by now and it can help you.

But first – listen to the interview:

CBC Debt-1

Photo Credit: Images of Money

James, we’ll call him, is a new client. A thirty-something professional with a good income, he wants his use of money to have integrity, that is to say, align with who he is as a person. And that, readers, is the heart and soul of what my biz, Your Money by Design is all about.

I’m giving James coaching support to supplement his work on my It’s Your Money program. In exchange, he will guest post reflections on the modules as he works through them.

Here’s why he wants to take the program:

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Hi Nancy,

I guess part of the story of my life is delaying taking action in matters that are important to me, or that I have every indication that they will be important to me. And facing my “money issues” is one of those matters.

I have read or heard from different sources that how you deal with money is a reflection of how you deal with yourself, how much you love yourself. And all throughout my life, I have been dealing with low self esteem issues, with false beliefs about who I am, about others and about life in general. Even though I grew up in a middle to to high class environment, somehow I was always in a space of lack, I viewed life as this unfair structure that just “had it out” for some people, while favouring others. I felt I was one of those people life had it out for. It was this set of beliefs that drove many of my actions in life; the women and friends I chose to be with, career decisions and being clueless in matters of money.

The struggles I felt around my sense of self, others and life have led me to ask questions, that in due time have been answered. I have discovered that I am way more powerful than I originally thought. I have learned that by challenging false beliefs, finding my deeper truth (who I really am), setting clear intentions and acting in alignment with these intentions, I can basically have the life that I want and so much deserve, like everyone. I have also being introduced the concept of integrity, which basically is the way you measure how much in alignment with your intentions, and how to restore it when you all out of alignment or out of integrity. I have learned that shame, feeling bad, beating myself up about having falling out of integrity, is not going to get me back in integrity. I can admit to myself my mistakes while still loving myself, by viewing mistakes as part of being human and a vehicle that drives us to grow.

All these concepts have worked well for me in, slowly but surely, claiming back my life, my personal power. It feels as though waking up from a state of trance and looking around me and seeing the mess around me but instead of ignoring it, just slowly putting things in order. Well, the time has come for me to put my financials in order, to take steps to restore my financial integrity, so to speak. Part of the mess I have woken up to is finding myself in debt. Not too big but big enough to be noticeable and to send me warning flags that if I don’t do something soon, I may find myself in trouble. I see debt as the financial world’s way of measuring how much in integrity we are. If this is the case, I am out of integrity, and I want to restore it. Why did I take so long to take charge? Well, I felt ashamed, inadequate, a bad provider. But these feelings are no way to get to where I want to be, there is no power in feeling ashamed. So I have decided to face that shame and start taking my steps towards financial freedom.

I feel blessed that I have you as a source of guidance, and I can’t wait to get started in learning my way back to financial integrity. This is my intention for working with you Nancy, to learn how to clear all the false beliefs I have about money and my ability to be in a state of abundance. I look forward to this work with you.

To abundance,

James

Photo Credit: Blue Bubble

Work with me here.

Here’s the situation. Based on a true story.

You run a well established bank – let’s say, a Canadian bank called CanadaBank.

You borrow $Millions from Canadians by issuing Citizens Savings Bonds and offer them decent interest.

You take that money you’ve raised and lend it out at higher rate to another country, ’cause that’s what bankers do, and you’re a banker.  Let’s call it the country of Perezo.

Perezo.  Oh, Perezo.  Perezo is run by a Military General (MG) who keeps law and order, true, but at dear cost to the citizens.

Western Democracy it’s not.

You hear rumours that MG, who promised he’d use the money to build infrastructure for water and transportation, instead siphons off most of it to his relatives and friends and also uses a lot of it to bribe judges. But it’s not really any of your business and  you are getting the loan payments back on time, with interest, which you then give back to your Cdn. citizen Bond holders, keeping the profit.

But then the citizens of Perezo revolt successfully.

Overnight, MG is gone. In his place is a revolutionary, beloved by the people, named Juan. He pledges to end corruption, fire the bribed judges, and free the people MG had imprisoned. He is also contemplating kicking out all foreign businesses.

Your phone rings.  It’s Juan. He wants a meeting with you.  In Perezo. You fly down to meet him, keenly aware that Juan could give a rats ass about you or your bank.

The meeting goes worse than you anticipated. Juan notes how your bank’s money had enabled MG to purchase the guns that had mowed down citizens in the streets. How it paid off judges who imprisoned some of the country’s best thinkers who had dared speak out against MG and his henchmen. And he shrugs off your rebuttals that you had lent it to be used to build infrastructure, asking you, “where is it? Do you see water towers? Do you see good streets?”.

You develop a cold sweat because you realize you may well not see a penny of that money back. And your bank owes it to the people of Canada.

Readers – over to you. Dig deep into that inner armchair economist in you. What would you say to Juan to convince him to honour MG’s commitment to repay the loan?

ps – This is a real situation faced by a top banker. I have a book he recently wrote about his banking adventures, called “Banker to the World“. Chapter One describes how he handled it.  You get the book (maybe) if you take a shot at responding in the comments!  (one book to give away.  if more than one brave soul answers, it will be by random draw)

Photo Credit: UberZombie

Sept 2011’s Money 101 post roundup:

What were you taught about money?

How to bust a poverty mindset

Quick chat with John Chow on culturally-shaped attitudes towards money

Cover it Live twitter chat w/ Krystal on how she got out of student debt so fast, and Marcy on common money messes she sees.

Get New Parents (if yours didn’t give you a healthy approach to money)

Saving. Should you save if you’re in debt? and other such questions.

Debt Elimination: Part 1 Part 2

Disappointment Recovery Plan

And of course all the goodness that was my Online Launch Party!

PART TWO (see Part One here)

Rack debt up again – frack!
Whittle debt back down.
Slowly rack debt up again.
Hack furiously at debt.
Outta debt!!! < happy dance >
OOOOOPS – forgot about the car repair payment due but no money ’cause it paid off the debt.
Back in debt.
Discouraged. Pissed off. Get outta town for the weekend on the credit card since it’s racked up anyways.
In more debt than ever.
HACK FURIOUSLY AT DEBT.
Forgetaboutit. Just forgetaboutit.

You cannot get permanent results with temporary changes. (Liz said this first)

If pulling out your credit card because you don’t have the money for your purchase is a lifestyle, your lifestyle is out of whack with your income. It’s time to make some permanent adjustments. Will it be painful? Possibly, but not as painful as living with screwed up finances for the rest of your life. And probably not nearly as painful as you might think.

1. Start by getting a real handle on what you’re doing with your money.

2. Have a sober look at your lifestyle. I don’t mean the lattes.
I mean medium/big ticket things like:

  • your choice of transport
  • your choice of home
  • the extent to which you socialize and how you socialize
  • your choice of job (not enough income/location)
  • your bright-shiny-objects (lookin’ at you, fellow geeks).

Are there systemic aspects of your lifestyle that are slowly taking you under? Wednesday’s post asked you to identify some small changes you could make to your lifestyle. Today I ask you to think carefully about the bigger picture. Are there some fundamental changes you need to make, permanently? This is not a quick-fix thing; this is a long, hard look thing that will require serious discussion with other people in your life, identifying multiple options for yourself, selecting the one that is most workable, and the resolve to make a permanent shift.

Wbat’s peace of mind worth to you?  What’s that inner assurance that you are getting ahead worth to you?  The lifestyle changes above are the pricetag.   Over to you.

3. Find ways to increase your income. This is a whole topic in itself. It doesn’t have to mean a second job (but it could). You could start a small home-based business. You could ask for a raise. You could see if your investments could do better. You could actively seek higher-paying work. You could get your teen-age+ kids to contribute a bit to the family coffers.

update: for a recap of all Sept Money 101 posts, click here

Photo credit: Bill Luken

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