By Melanie Buffel, BA Psych, MBA Candidate
November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other’s experience, sharing our knowledge and feelings about money.
There are so many financial concepts, products and services that one of our goals as Money Coaches is to increase each client’s financial knowledge and skills. We intend that after our work together is complete, clients have a financial direction and plan, are confident making financial decisions and know what questions to ask when buying products and services. Financial literacy is power.
When people are in what I call the “Money Fog,” where they feel overwhelmed by the details and choices in front of them, the numbers on a spreadsheet or in a bank statement feel disconnected from their life and behaviours. Together we take action to clear that fog and make sense of the numbers, with decisions driven by goals and a clear path to achieve them. Financial literacy is about more than the difference between an RRSP and a TFSA, (although that’s important to understand too). Financial literacy is about clarity around your goals and a feeling of connection to your money.
I asked three clients (names have been changed) if they would share how Money Coaching changed their relationship to money, and improved their knowledge and understanding of how to make it work for them :
“I have been actively avoiding my money for years. I paid my bills, if somewhat inconsistently, and never had a plan to save for anything. I made a good income but lived paycheque to paycheque. I couldn’t deal with any expenses out of the ordinary, like a car repair or a chance to go away for the weekend with friends. I felt out of control and swamped by financial concerns, just thinking about it left a big pit in my stomach. The biggest lesson I have learned with my Money Coach is that the attention and focus I give my money will pay me back with something much more priceless – peace of mind. I feel in control now, I have a plan and clear steps to achieve it. I know what to do when the unexpected arises. I don’t yet have financial freedom, but I am feeling confident and secure that I’ll get there!”
“Small and seemingly inconsequential steps, when taken consistently, can lead to tremendous results over time!!!”
Michael – Calgary
“The one thing I have learned through this process that has made the biggest impact on my finances is that with self-discipline, a solid plan and ongoing support from my coach I can turn my financial situation around. I came in a mess, tons of debt, making less than I was spending and with no hope in sight. After a couple of meetings with my coach I saw the light, I had a plan, and I followed it and still follow it like the gospel. As I’ve joked with my Money Coach, I live and die by my monthly Spending Plan.”
Kate – Nanaimo
Financial literacy increases through conversation. I encourage you to start personal and practical conversations about money with your family and friends. Try asking “What’s been your biggest money lesson?” or “What have you learned about money that you wish you knew when you were younger?” Talk to your kids about money. Share your life lessons, you may have paid a high price for them, but I guarantee you their rate of return will multiply if you give them away.
Share the wealth of your experience with us on our Facebook page . Join the conversation and share your money tips using #FLM2017!