A Money Coach in Canada

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MY! What a quarter I’ve had! 2 months without a tenant followed by Christmas and travel, plus purchasing a new fridge and a new macbook plus a $700 vet bill plus $600 in semi-annual property taxes due plus helping out someone who needed a serious chunk of change plus the deposit on some renos LEAVES A GIRL BROKE for a bit, even if she is a money coach who sets aside funds for these sorts of things.
So my desperately-needed winter holiday was doomed.

Or so I thought.

A colleague is moving from Yellowknife back to Halifax and because her car didn’t sell is making the drive down to Edmonton. “Anyone care to accompany me? I’ll pay for the gas!” she said. “Pick me! Pick me!” I cried.

And then despair: no good deals to fly home to be found! I mourned piteously to a brilliant and fabulous friend who brilliantly and fabulously pointed out, “don’t you have any airmiles?” I leapt up immediately to check and SQUEEE by buying a few more for $25 I had enough, just enough, to fly home from Calgary!

Joy and Rapture!

It gets better. I have some wonderful friends (ever heard of Netchick? Oh yes, I bet you have!) in Calgary to visit and who have also kindly agreed to host me!

Mostly, it’s a working holiday to work on this blog (hoping to jazz up its look) but man oh man, I’m looking forward to seeing good friends from my Vancouver days plus being in a city. A city! I love Yellowknife but there’s nothin’ wrong with a few sirens in the background. And six-lane traffic (or at least four). And Starbucks wherever your eye can see (don’t sneer til you’ve gone without one for weeks on end). And London Drugs. AND AN APPLE STORE.

I do plan to splurge a bit — a spa treatment, a dinner out, a brunch out, maybe a 3-D movie? (any recos?)

But still, this fell together in a glorious and frugal manner and to all those who made it possible (you know who you are) a big thank-you.

Readers, how ’bout you? Have you ever had an unexpected holiday or getaway that was amazingly inexpensive? (in a good way, I mean! Not like, say, losing your wallet so sleeping in your car instead.)

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. Matt

    Good for you! Glad it’s all working out.

    Must admit it has been awhile since I’ve seen a London Drug. Please post regular trip updates. With pics if possible.

    Enjoy the sirens.


    Feb 25, 2011
  2. Liz Reed

    August 2008 and my husband wanted to show me Quebec city- he’d been there earlier for a business trip. But that was axsummer of low commission so not much money. We managed to use airmiles for the flight, car rental and 3 days at a Best Western- including breakfast- and for renting a car. We celebrating Quebec city’s 400 th anniversarybfor 3 days then used B and B’s and headed east along the St. Lawrence river as far as tadoussac before retracing our steps. Met great people, saw some out of the way tourist spots and had a wonderful week we will never forget- all on $ 1000.00 total.


    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    @Liz I knew you’d had a great holiday; i hadn’t realized how spectacularly inexpensive it was. Glad to be visiting Calgary, but next time I’ll set my eyes further east!


    Liz Reed Reply:

    B and B’s are always great on breakfast so you only need to purchase a snack for lunch time or later. Dinner is the only meal of the day you have to purchase. We were very careful about what activities we did and frugal with the souveneirs ( maple syrup, stone ground buckwheat flour from the stone mill we visited plus other food stuff) lots of walking especially in Old Quebec . Costs were mostly from transportation east along the River and the ferry to Ile aux Coudres for a B and B. And it was spectacular!! We want to try seeing Atlantic Canada as well very soon.
    Even cheaper has been the times we took the trailer camping – but that doesn’t count. I love the “real” holidays when I get waited on too.
    Enjoy Calgary – Vancouver is too wet, snowy and cold right now. At least Calgary is just cold.


    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    Liz – you’re brilliant. I never thought before that purchasing food items as souvenirs has a frugal element in that you’d have to buy items like that anyway! So you’re getting sexy food, getting your souvenirs and not shelling out (much) more than you would at home anyways! Note.To.Self.

    Feb 25, 2011

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