Seven Ways to Green Your Money

How is your money impacting the world? How is it impacting you?

The way in which we manage and invest our money sends a message about what we believe in and has the potential and power to make a big difference in the world. Whether you have a little or a lot of money, each of us can make an impact on our lives and the world around us by leading a financially sustainable and conscious life.

By the way, this doesn’t mean not having fun.  It simply means aligning your money with what truly makes you happy.

Here are seven ways to “green your money” – to spend your money and live a financially conscious life. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching, Relationship to money

Money Makeover – How Thomas and Emily Funded Their Retirement Sooner Than They Thought Possible.

By Money Coaches Canada


Meet Emily and Thomas

Irish born Thomas and American Emily, have worked in three different countries throughout their careers. They currently live in Alberta, where Thomas, age 56, is

employed with a large non-profit organization and Emily, age 58, works as an administrative professional. The couple is debt and mortgage free. They travel at least once a year to the U.S. and Ireland to see family.

With retirement funds tied to three countries, and unclear about how much they would need to maintain their desired lifestyle, the couple felt uncertain about their retirement readiness. Frustrated by the generic nature of online tools, and unimpressed by the investment management focus and impersonal advice they received from traditional financial advisors, they were drawn to the idea of working with a Money Coach. The couple’s story is real, but we’ve changed their names to protect their identity. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching

How to Manage Your Inheritance

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Canada is on the verge of a colossal transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. Baby Boomers are expected to inherit roughly $750 billion by 2026; the largest shift of wealth in Canadian history according to a CIBC Capital Markets report. Maybe you are one of them.

There are currently more than 2.5 million Canadians over the age of 75—the largest cohort of that age group this country has ever seen. And the CIBC report estimates their total net worth at $900 billion plus. The reality is that many of these individuals will pass away over the next 10 years, either leaving that wealth to a spouse or to their children (most in their 50’s and 60’s).

But there is a problem that is going to make successfully managing an inheritance even more difficult.

Even though we are in the midst of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in Canadian history, the majority of heirs are being kept in the dark. A 2018 poll by IPC Private Wealth of Investment Planning Counsel revealed that 58% of affluent Canadians have not discussed instructions for their estate with their heirs

If you will be one of the beneficiaries of this huge wealth transfer, it’s important that you keep the following thoughts in mind. Continue reading

Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, Will & Estate Planning

Exchange Traded Funds: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Most Canadians are very familiar with mutual funds. In simple terms, a mutual fund is made up of a collection of individual stocks, bonds or other securities carefully chosen by a fund manager, with the goal of generating returns for the investors while balancing risk. Investors pay a management fee, referred to as the Management Expense Ratio (MER), to cover the cost of the management, marketing and administration of these funds. In Canada the average MER is around 2%.

With greater focus on the cost of investing and fee transparency in Canada, it’s not surprising that there is growing interest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which in most cases, have lower fees than mutual funds. But what else should you know about this up-trending investment option before deciding if ETFs are right for you? Continue reading

Posted in Financial Literacy, For your information, Investing

Retirement Game Plan for the Self-Employed

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

More Canadians than ever before are choosing self-employment. According to Statistics Canada, the current number is 2.8 million. Many more—maybe you—hope to start a business in the coming years.

It’s not surprising; being self-employed allows you a certain level of self-determination that is often lacking when you are an employee. But greater freedom also comes with greater responsibility, especially around money management.

Not only must you manage cash flow to sustain the business and yourself, you are also fully responsible for funding your retirement. In traditional employment, employees often have access to a pension, or retirement contribution matching program; not so for the self-employed.

But if you’re self-employed, you shouldn’t look at this as a drawback, like everything about self-employment; retirement planning is just another area where you can be empowered to succeed. In fact, in a world where defined benefit plans in the private sector are becoming rare, even traditionally employed individuals would do well to think like the self-employed in this area. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching

Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisor

By Noel D’Souza, CFP®

Questions to Ask Your Financial AdvisorGetting good financial advice in Canada is tricky – trickier than it should be in my opinion. The main challenges facing someone seeking unbiased financial advice can be summed up by the following three questions:

  • Can I find someone qualified to assist me with my needs?
  • Can I rely on this person to have my best interests at heart?
  • Are we a good fit to work together?

Being an informed consumer will serve you well – particularly when it comes to financial services. But you will probably be challenged by the inherent imbalance in knowledge whenever seeking advice of a technical or specialized nature.

If you’re like me, think of the last time you visited a mechanic and were told “Your right rear differential thing-a-ma-jig is leaking fluid and needs to be replaced. It will take 2 hours and cost $2,500. Should I go ahead with the repair?”


After all, you’re seeking advice from an expert because you don’t have the knowledge and experience in that area, right? But there are a few basic principles to remember, and questions to ask, that will serve you well. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Money Coaching

Income Tax Challenges for the Self-Employed

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

iStock_000018832279SmallWhen people choose self-employment, they are often attracted to the challenge and excitement of creating a business they are passionate about. They may look forward to a more flexible work schedule, or the possibility of earning more than they did as an employee. The one thing most people don’t get excited about is keeping track of all their expenses and planning for their income taxes.

If you are self-employed, you need to be aware of a looming tax deadline. Sole proprietors have until June 15th to file (as do their spouses), but their balance owing is due as of April 30th. If you aren’t paid up by then, interest will be charged until you are.

When your numbers are in order, then reach out to the CRA with a proposed plan to pay off your balance owing. Keep in mind that you’ll also need to save the money for the taxes you are incurring on your new income.

Procrastination in handling the financial side of your business can result in frustration, or even panic, as the tax deadline looms. To help, I’ve outlined a few suggestions on what to do if you find yourself unprepared to file this year’s return, and what you can do differently going forward.

But first, let’s look at some of the challenges and pitfalls you may encounter as a small business owner. Continue reading

Posted in For your information, Money Coaching, Small Business

Money Makeover – Lack of Communication Jeopardizes Couple’s Marriage and Home-ownership Dream

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada


Meet Marisa and Anthony

Marisa was a 35 year-old, self-employed, physiotherapist when we met. She and her husband, Anthony, a high school teacher, have two children, who were ages four and six at the time. The couple wanted to buy a house, but instead, they were living with Marisa’s parents, arguing about money— largely due to a bankruptcy that Marisa was going through. At times they wondered if their marriage would survive. Their story is real, but we’ve changed their names to protect their identity.

Money Challenge

Until her bankruptcy, Marisa believed that her financial life was hers alone to manage.

“I was raised to be a very independent woman,” she says. “I never even considered having a joint bank account with my husband.”

But without open communication, her husband was in the dark about her business struggles. When Marisa went bankrupt, Anthony lost trust in her, which just increased the stress and tension in their life.  She knew that if she didn’t gain control of her money, her marriage would fail.

She needed to get clear about where her money was going. Her personal and business expenses were mixed-up together instead of in separate accounts. What she was clear on, was that she needed help. Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching, Money Makeover, Relationship to money, Success Stories

Sleep Better at Night with the Investment Report Card

You know that a sound investment strategy is crucial to financial success, and you’re willing to pay an advisor for their advice and expertise. But how much should you pay? And how do you know if they are doing a good job or if your portfolio is performing as well as it should be? Investing is complicated, leaving most Canadians unsure of what questions to ask and equally unsure whether they would understand the answers.

That’s why we’re eliminating the guesswork.

At Money Coaches Canada, we’re proud to introduce the On Your Side Investment Report Card™. This unique report gives you an unbiased second opinion about the health of your portfolio and whether it aligns with your unique personal goals. If you’re in good shape, we’ll let you know so you can move forward with confidence and sleep better at night. If there’s room for improvement, we’ll explain where, why, and how to go about making the necessary changes.

Here are five important reasons you need the On Your Side Investment Report Card. Continue reading

Posted in Investing

Celebrating International Women’s Day & Female Entrepreneurship

By Karin Mizgala, Co-Founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

This year is different. No, really! International Women’s Day 2019 marks a major paradigm shift in both politics and business. The world order is rapidly changing as women assume ever more powerful leadership roles and demand changes to the way both governments and businesses are run.

Need proof? Just take a look at the new political realities in both Ottawa and Washington as women are challenging the status quo and demanding new ethical standards and accountability as well as new ways of solving the problems facing the world.  Sorry gentlemen, no more business as usual.   Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching