A Money Coach in Canada

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Hi, my name is Karen and I’ve been working with Nancy for several weeks now and am just starting Module 4. So far my biggest learnings have been 1) realizing that I am not far off in the estimates of my expenses and 2) looking at my finances isn’t quite as scary as it seemed when I started this process. Huge thanks to Nancy for making this process feel safe!

Karen in BC Sept. 2011

I don’t think Karen’s head was in the sand. But a lot of folks’ heads are, that’s for sure! Plenty of people can get away with it because their incomes, fortunately, exceed their intuitive lifestyle. But if anyone want to be strategic and intentional with their money, that’s not the way to go!

What often happens though is that just under the surface, things actually are NOT ok. Then a little (or big), unanticipated financial crisis occurs where the happy equilibrium to date gets busted. At that point, folks have a choice — hurriedly rectify the situation (if possible) and carry on as before, as step back, and start taking control of their money.

Is your own head in the sand about your finances? Are you blithely unaware and secretly scared of what you’ll find out? As the saying goes, There’s nothing to fear, but fear itself! Seriously: Again, again and again once my clients pull their heads out of the sand and start getting clear about their money they feel an enormous sense of relief. They know what they have to work with and can start building realistic plans. Would you want to have any other kind of plan? Or do you prefer no plan at all….?

If you’re ready to pull your head out of the sand and gain clarity, my online program will help. You will feel safe. Take the Tour to get started!

“We are currently on Module 9 of It’s Your Money. The biggest way this program has been helpful to us is that it has given us hope. We have been trying to get out of debt and into control for years now and it finally feels like it’s possible. Barry and Jeanette, BC Sept. 2011”

So many clients have a quiet hopelessness about their debt. They’ve been nearly submerged in it for so long they cannot conceive of it ever going away. Or perhaps they roll it into their mortgage only to wrack up the credit cards again.

In my experience, here is the underpinning reason folks don’t get out of debt once and for all: They focus solely on their debt – it becomes the central drama of their financial lives – instead of looking at their overall financial picture and seeing how debt-reduction can realistically fit in.

Here’s a practical example. Say Joe and Sue (fictional!) have a credit card of $7K plus a LOC of $11K. Then one day they bump up their LOC by $3K AND THEY PANIC.

Determined to GET RID OF THEIR DEBT they vow to cut back on eating out. To stop going to live theatre. Maybe even to sell the car and use public transit (but they don’t).

See what’s happening? They are not factoring in things like — some nights they work til 8pm and making themselves a meal is just.not.gonna.happen at that point. things like — going out for lattes is a stress-break, a vital little perk in the day, without which they feel pretty despondent (can’t even afford a freakin’ latte??). things like — next month is their anniversary and they are going to want to celebrate it.

When clients work with my program, they develop a holistic plan. One that accounts for their lifestyle and their idiosyncrasies that have unique money components. Only by grounding itself in LIFE AS IT REALLY IS, can any eliminate-debt plan hope to succeed.

There are the Krystal’s of the world, for sure, who are able to make it a priority and have it over and done with in a year. But for the majority of folks, a measured, one step after another approach is what works in the long haul.

Three different people taking my online money coaching program have contacted me recently about creditors who were hounding them, including two who were receiving calls at work.

Here’s one of the emails I received:

Credit cards and debt collection – is there a law stating how many times they can call you in a day? [credit card collections] has been calling me 4-8 times a day for 2 weeks starting at 7:30am! Last week I wasn’t able to answer my phone (mechanical failiure) but this week I can and I just asked to speak to a supervisor, who was of course out of his office.
Any suggestions? I’ve complained to them about this before.

I recognize that I am in arrears with my account, but does that give them the right to basically harass me? Any links / tips would be helpful. thx.

The answer is “NO!  Creditors cannot hound you like that”.  Most Canadian jurisdictions have laws regarding how creditors must operate.

Before proceeding with the resources below, it must be said:   If you are in a situation financially where creditors are hounding you, you need the help of my business.  Listen to this (my story) and take it from there.

In 2003, the Ministers Responsible for Consumer Affairs all across Canada agreed together to work towards legislating limitations on Collection Agencies in their respective jurisdictions.

BC.  According to the Canadian Bar Association of BC creditors can only attempt to call your employer to verify your employment.  They can call you at work once, only if they cannot reach you at home.  In addition, if you request in writing that they contact you only in writing, they must do so.

Alberta:  This legislation (scroll down on the page) applies to collections agencies (as opposed to businesses collecting money you owe)

Saskatchewan:  Collections agencies cannot call you earlier than 8am, after 6pm, or on Sundays or holidays.  There is further protection from harassment

Manitoba: Scroll down to Section 98 for the limits on collections calls.

Ontario:  They can only contact you three times (including leaving voicemail) within a seven day period.  Further information is here.

Quebec:  The legislation isn’t as specific but it provides some parameters

Newfoundland/Labrador:  Scroll down to Section 12

PEI: doesn’t allow them to contact your place of employment at all (see Section 5)

New Brunswick:  has robust regulations.  Scroll down to Section 14.

Nova Scotia:  see Section 20

Territories – sorry – it wasn’t easy to find legislation!  Worst case scenario, contact your MLA.

Canadian money
Are you ready to change your habits with money?

Habit change over the long term is achievable! But it takes some know-how.
During the month of January my Wednesday and Weekend posts will provide advice and approaches which will increase the odds of your success. So pop by regularly!

Between now and this weekend, ask yourself What do you want to change about the way you handle your money?

  • curb impulse spending?
  • stick to a budget?
  • get out of debt?
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