3 TOXIC myths about money that you probably believe.

Today, we’ll cover the 3 toxic myths about money that all beginners MUST break away from in order to achieve PRETTY money. (If you’re new to me and not sure what I mean by pretty money… think about what ugly money is. Worrying, feeling crushed by debt, stressed… Now think the opposite.)

I’ve served hundreds of 1:1 coaching clients as an Accredited Financial Counselor… and hundreds more women in my group coaching through the Pretty Money Club. The most SUCCESSFUL women are the ones who are willing to address their own mindset and attitudes… and the ones who are willing to put forth effort into continuous learning. You, my friend, are on the right path… because by reading this, you’re learning!

It’s myth-busters time. Time to re-align your perspectives and make things right 🙂

Myth #1: Debt is the cause of your stress.

Nothing can cause you stress unless you allow it to, including debt. Debt is not alive. It doesn’t care if you’re awake at night worrying about it, just as it’s not going to congratulate you for getting rid of it. You and YOUR mind is what creates stress about debt. So you gotta shift your mindset if you find it stressful.

Why do you have debt? What did it get you? Did it buy you a home? Did it give you time off to care for someone? Was it invested into your health? You’ve bought things or experienced things. Practice gratitude toward what your debt has brought to you.

Then… realize that you are not going to be crushed underneath it, even if it feels like it’s a 1 tonne elephant. How do you eat an elephant? A bite at a time! 

If you make paying off debt THE number 1 priority, it’s like giving in to a screaming toddler. It’s easy to do, because it’s LOUD. But without addressing the underlying cause of debt, you’ll end up back in a cycle.

You CAN make a plan to pay off your debt. A manageable, sustainable DOable plan that fits into the REST of your budget. When you have a budget plan in place… a road map for how you’re going to manage your debt… you no longer feel diminished by it. You feel in control.

It’s pretty hard to stress about something when you feel grateful and in control. 

Myth #2: Following a budget is too restrictive. 

Uh, SO NOT TRUE. Budgeting is actually the OPPOSITE of restrictive. When you make a plan for where your money is going to go… you know that you are taking care of all your needs. You’re taking care of future you. AND you know how much money you have to spend with joy (what’s left over after all your needs and future expenses.) This means you can buy whatever the heck you want to without fighting with your spouse, without worrying that you’re forgetting a bill, and without feeling guilty. 

It’s the people that do NOT have a budget who feel restricted. They usually end up going in circles, overspending, fighting, living paycheque to paycheque wondering where their money went, and saying NO to things they like to do, because they’re really not sure if they can afford it. 

You’re not powerful with your head in the sand, or if you’re running away. You gotta have your feet planted, eyes open, and a clear head to face yourself.

 #3: You gotta be good with numbers to be good with money. 

Being good with money actually has very little to do with numbers. You do NOT have to be an analytical brainiac to being a superstar budgeter. You don’t have to love math (I sure as heck DON’T) and you can’t inherit the “bad with money gene.” 

Being good with money is about implementing a system that WORKS for you, creating good habits, and continuing to adjust. Life happens. You’ll fall off track. Things change. That’s okay! You can handle it, you can learn it,  get back up, and readjust. 

Being good with money does NOT have to be complicated either! The concepts that I teach are very simple. In fact, they are MADE for busy people who don’t have time or energy to pour into hours of studying. Simple, but incredibly effective, and manageable. We humans have a tendency to overcomplicate almost everything… and we’re still surprised when we manage to simplify. “Why didn’t I think of that before?”

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple, sweetheart.

One of the mottos in the Pretty Money Club

Why is believing in these 3 myths a HUGE PROBLEM? Because believing in these 3 myths will stop you from taking action the right action. Your confidence gets affected, you don’t seek guidance, and subsequently, you don’t transform your life as a result. As an accredited financial counselor, I have seen breakthrough after breakthrough and I know that is not difficult to get pretty money.

Women just don’t have the right guidance to succeed when it comes to money. Many people search for information online fruitlessly, and when that doesn’t work, they give up. I don’t want you to give up because I can help you can do this!

How do you think other people achieve their financial goals? Are they all super-geniuses? No… they did it by implementing successful strategies, seeking helpful guidance, and through dedication to their goals. So take heart. You can do this! Don’t for a second doubt yourself.

Did you find yourself nodding to any of this? Resonating? Are you feeling inspired? Enrolment to the Pretty Money Club is going to OPEN in a couple of weeks… and believe me, there’s a lot more of this kind of talk to get your butt in gear. Get your name on the list so you don’t miss this enrolment. 

The best piece of advice ever.

The best piece of advice I have ever received in my life was from a woman that I really admire… Marie Forleo. Yes… a lot of people admire Marie. If you don’t know who she is, I seriously recommend going to her website. She exudes optimism and encouragement. Her goal is to leave YOU feeling empowered. Marie does exactly what I strive every single day to do… help other women achieve success with less stress and tears than it took me. 

Yes, I’m an Accredited Financial Counselor… so I want to see women succeed in their finances… BUT I don’t just talk about money. No no. I broke free from the shackles of the corporate financial world years ago when my husband (who is a licensed financial planner) and I set up our own independent company. (MOOLA financial) We hate our own industry. It’s set up so that financial advisors make money off people who have lots of money… by selling them something. Spending time with a family to figure out a plan that works for their very unique lives or teaching budgeting skills is time that the advisor is not paid for. It’s the most UNprofitable to HELP the people who NEED the most help. Not to mention the giant companies or banks that make you sell the products THEY want to profit off of, regardless of whether it’s a good product for the client’s financial well-being.

When you’re helping a family make a plan for their FUTURES, for their DREAMS, for their GOALS… it’s so much more than just money. Things change in our lives constantly… and so the plan needs to change along with it. Ongoing support, accountability, training, reminders, encouragement, discussion, check-ins… all the things that the financial industry is not set up to provide… that’s what busy families NEED. And I find that Moms are doing most of the day-to-day spending.

I got laughed out of the room by colleagues when I shared my dream of creating a way to teach busy women. To work WITH them. To offer them the practical QUICK solutions that they need. To offer ongoing support, continuing conversation, emotional encouragement. I was told that there was NO way I would make it. I’d go broke. They said that my clients wouldn’t put in the effort. They wouldn’t want to learn. These comments definitely caused my own negative-nancy voice to start talking in my ear.

One of the things that I work really hard on is my perfectionism and self doubt. I tend to want things to be perfect… so I end up agonizing and procrastinating and then miss opportunities. I know I’m not alone in these feelings because I’ve worked with thousands of busy moms that have these very same struggles.

Moms are amazing at juggling all the things. We care so dang much about accomplishing it all. And sometimes our minds get worn down.

“What if I make a mistake?”

“What if it doesn’t work out and I feel awful?”

“What if I can’t?”

“What if I’m not enough???”

Yeah girl. I feel that way more than I care to admit… but I’m getting better and better at just GOING for it. At kicking that negative self talk in the gut. At reminding myself that I CAN. Knowing that my goals are worthy of attaining.  I shut the nay-sayers out and choose to sow the words of wisdom spoken by successful women… thought leaders… innovators… like Marie Forleo. Because I KNOW that I have something special to share with the world and I’ve gotta be brave and bold in order to reach the women that can use my help.

Well… this piece of advice KICKS PROCRASTINATION AND PERFECTIONISM IN THE GUT! 

I was listening to a podcast and Marie was talking about her now super-well known phrase:

START BEFORE YOU’RE READY.

Game Changer. 

I’m not sure why exactly it was this moment in time I decided that I had enough of worrying and micro-managing myself and my knowledge, but I’m grateful for it. In a nutshell, Marie says that we have to start before we feel ready… because if we wait for that perfect time we will MISS OUT on opportunity.

Moms need this bit of advice more than other people, because we are GO GO GOers. If we put things on the back burner… we know what happens to those things. They never get done. They get forgotten. And all too often… it’s US that gets put on the back burner. It’s OUR needs and OUR goals.

You CAN. 

You ARE enough. 

Your goals DO matter.

It’s okay to make mistakes.

You can learn new skills.

So let’s go! 

We just have to start. Get over that fear of beginning. Get over the fear of what if. Get over the fear of making a mistake. It’s okay. Started is better than ready. Because Moms can accomplish whatever we put our minds to. We just gotta take the plunge and begin.

This piece of advice can ring true in SO many different areas of our lives.

Tell me… how could you implement this advice in your own life? 

Do any of your goals require money?

Do you wanna GET STARTED on something NOW… ?

Do you wanna join a group of women that encourage and empower each other?

Do you like the sound of “pretty money”?

Try my 10 Day RENEWAL Challenge. It’s all about RENEWing your mindset, RECONNECTing with your financial  goals, RETHINKing your roadmap to success and REMINDing yourself of just how resilient and amazing you are. 

CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

2020: the year of RENEWAL – redefining our future

In the Pretty Money Club, I use a lot of THEMES to inspire learning and conversation. Every month, we have a new theme and I teach weekly lessons based off that theme. Last month was RESP’s. The month before was wills. During my grocery challenge I teach a system for shopping that uses meal-themes to help make dinner time easier (you know… Taco Tuesday, Meatless Monday…) I’m a fan of themes… because it helps us shift into a mindset.

I was thinking about the theme for 2020… and no. I’m not gonna say “Pandemic themed.” I think we gotta go deeper than that. I think 2020 is the year of re-definition. Of re-evaluating. Think about it… a LOT has changed. Our routines were upended. Our schedules thrown out the window. We’ve adapted and changed in MANY aspects of our lives.

Our relationships might look different now than they did back in March. Some people have exited unhealthy relationships. Some people have realized that they LOVE being around their partner and have achieved a new level of intimacy and security. We’ve had to think about who we are prioritizing in our “safe bubbles.” We’ve glimpsed a little bit about how our friends respond to change.

Our routines and social habits have changed. Maybe we couldn’t go to that class at the gym for awhile… and we feel the impact on our mental health as a result. Some introverted people are feeling more comfortable going to stores than they have before as a result of less crowding and more personal space becoming the norm.

Obviously, many of us have felt the impact on our finances. Some lost jobs. Some simply rearranged their budget to move vacation money into “make my home office work better” money.

Although different is going to look different for everyone (ha-ha) … I think we can all agree that our lives have been altered. So let’s think about the theme of renewal. What areas of our lives need to be redefined or re-evaluated? What are the choices we need to make about those areas?  Some areas that come to mind are:

  • Spiritual life
  • Emotional well-being
  • Family dynamics
  • Job or career priorities
  • Purpose and goals
  • Physical fitness
  • Friendships
  • Budget
  • Our futures

There are a million other ways to say redefine:

  • Reconsider
  • Revise
  • See in a new light
  • Review
  • Amend
  • Change your mind
  • Give new meaning to
  • Renew

I’ve always liked the concept of “renewal.” Even though humans by nature tend to fall into habit and routine, I think that we all NEED renewal every once in awhile. And this concept came up just the other week with a client that I’m coaching.

We were discussing her budget for probably the 10th time in 8 weeks. I encourage people to consider their budget plan as a living, growing, changing thing because any time we cross a major life event or realize a new dream we have to be sure our financial plan aligns with our new shifted reality. With this particular client, however, we revisited her budget A LOT in a short amount of time because her budget just wasn’t working. It still didn’t feel right. She is a very successful woman and yet still didn’t have enough money for the things she wanted to prioritize. And then it occurred to me that this particular client was holding on to long-term commitments she made YEARS ago. And they no longer fit her life.

Delving into the realm of cancelling commitments can be a daunting task for many women. Many of us are givers by nature… and we give so much! Our time, our energy, our money, our love, our tears. But if we are giving too much of ourselves away then we are not showing up in the areas that we actually want to at 100%.

For this client… it was a revelation! She realized that she needed to create new boundaries for a healthier work life balance, free up time on the weekends for herself, cancel some memberships and subscriptions, say no to an annual (costly) commitment that she didn’t enjoy anyway (even though it may temporarily ruffle some feathers), and work on feeling comfortable NOT buying elaborate expensive gifts (she felt as though she set a precedent for expensive gift buying and assumed that now those recipients would expect it… a lot of assumptions.)

All of these revelations will redefine how she shows up in her life – with more energy, more positivity, and more confidence.

What in your life needs to be redefined? What do you need to start or restart?  What needs deleting?  What needs to be tried again? Who do you want to see MORE in your life? Less? What do you want to do in your spare time? Do you want more spare time, or do you want to fill it with a hobby? Do you want to be more physically fit? Do you want to read more? What do you want your house to look and feel like? Do you want to go to the spa? Do you want a new job? Do you want to meet new people? Do you want to be calmer? What do you want to buy? What do you want to sell? Do you want to make more money?

Okay. How are you going to achieve that? What’s the plan? Who’s going to help you get there? Where are you going to learn? How are you going to experience renewal?

If you’re a busy mom and any of your commitments have to do with money… I’m here for ya. I’d LOVE to help. I WANT you to achieve your goals. Get in touch!

3 things you can do TODAY to get better with money.

I’m all about action. I’m a busy mom of two active boys and an accredited financial counselor that coaches busy moms on all things money. I GET how busy life is. And in my life, I always want practical solutions that I can take ACTION on right away. ‘Cause let’s face it… If I don’t start DOING right away… it’s probably not gonna get done. SO… here are three things you can DO TODAY to start making your money prettier.

{What is pretty money??? Check it out here.}

1.) Figure out what you believe about money.

What you believe about money is really important on your journey to financial success. I talk to busy moms every day that have mindset blocks holding them back from achieving their goals.

When I hear someone say that they are too busy, that they can’t afford it, that they are just “bad with money” or “investing is too risky” I know that there are mindset issues we need to work on. If you find yourself saying these things, you are probably also familiar with phrases like “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” or “The rich get richer while the poor get poorer.” Examine your thoughts on these phrases. Do you find any truth in them? Many people believe the only way to financial success is to work really hard. Put in overtime. Penny pinch. Save, save, save. Don’t spend. Limit your lifestyle.

These mindset blocks come from a scarcity mindset and often they’re put in place during childhood. Think about how you were raised. Did money seem like something scarce… something to hold on tightly to?

Sometimes I meet people who are on the other side of things. They have their needs met and have good cashflow, so they don’t think that they need to budget. They feel like it’s too restrictive. It’s too time consuming. It limits their lifestyle or makes them feel guilty about spending. YOLO, right? Live in the moment. You’ll worry about later when later comes.

Whatever your beliefs about money… they are either going to push you towards your goals or holding you back. My job as an accredited financial counselor is to make sure your mindset shifts to a place where you are PROPELLING yourself TOWARDS your dreams!

DO THIS:

So. Get a pen and paper. WRITE DOWN the things that come to mind when you think about money. Don’t think, just write. When you’re done, examine these beliefs and figure out what’s underneath them. Where did these thoughts come from? Are they negative or positive? Are they helping you toward your goals, or are they blocking your path? Which leads me to my next point…

Want to take a quiz to see your “money mindset” score? Check it out here!

2.) Figure out your goals.

We need goals and dreams to keep us going. A reason to wake up every day. Something to look forward to. Something to work towards and aspire for. Without a goal, we often fall into complacency, boredom, or even depression. I have worked with hundreds (maybe even thousands) of busy moms by this point in my career and I can tell you that every woman’s goals are different. There are some common themes, obviously, but each person’s life goals are as unique as a leaf is on a tree.

One of my client’s deepest desires include buying a multi-family rental property within 5 years, scaling her business and hiring a full time helper within 2 years, and getting a black belt in her marital art. Another wants to get a part-time job after her youngest goes to kindergarten so that she can use the extra income to pay for a horse, which she will train and sell for a profit. She plans on buying the horse within a couple of years and sell it by year 5. After that, a new goal will be established.

If you want to achieve financial success, you have to figure out what financial success looks like for you. It’s going to look different for everyone.

When I am setting goals with my clients I like to have one or two goals that can be accomplished within the year. It can be really draining to have goals that are always long term. If you don’t have any short-term goals, sometimes you can turn your bigger goals into bite-sized pieces. For instance if your dream is to buy a house and it’s gonna take 10 years to save for the down payment, make your goal to have a certain amount set aside by the end of the year. I would also suggest coming up with a “fun” goal that will keep you motivated and inspired as you save for your house.

DO THIS:

It’s important for us to see that our efforts are working. So what I want you to do is set some goals. Set 1 that you can accomplish within a year. Set 2-3 more for the next 5 years. Write these goals down. THEN I want you to make a vision board for your goals. Cut out clips from magazines… make a Pinterest board and then print a screenshot of it… draw… whatever you like. Just make it a physical board that you can put in a place that you’re going to see every day. Another really great thing to do is to find a motivational phrase and put it on your desktop background or phone background.

Want to make sure your budget lines up with your goals? Take my free 5 day budget makeover here!

3.) Don’t forget about future you.

Future you needs money too! This is one of the BIGGEST mistakes that busy moms make with their money. We forget about our future selves! Moms are BUSY. Sometimes we’re runnin’ on empty and are just trying to get through the day. Which is why it’s super common to focus on money for the day. What do we need to buy for dinner tonight? What bill is coming out? Who do I have to e-transfer today? Then we take some time to look at where our money WENT. What debt do we have to pay off? How did we spend so much last month? But what about you next week? What about you at your kid’s graduation? What about you in retirement? What about when the brakes go on the car next month?

You can’t seem to get ahead because you’re on the hamster wheel. You reach for the credit card when “unexpected expenses” throw you off. Car maintenance is not an unexpected expense. If you drive a car, you know that it needs maintenance. You know that you have to get the oil changed and that parts are going to break. If you have kids, then new soccer cleats are not an unexpected expense. Just because you didn’t plan for them doesn’t mean they are unexpected. You know that these costs are going to come… what you don’t know is when. Planning for future you is absolutely key to gaining control over your money. Even if you CAN afford expenses as they come up you want to be sure that you’re not robbing one of your future dreams and desires from happening as soon as possible. So here’s what I want you to do

DO THIS:

Grab a pen and paper and list your irregular and future expenses. Here are some examples:

  • Gifts (birthday parties, christmas, weddings, baby showers)
  • Sports registrations and equipment (new cleats, game fees, travel costs)
  • back to school shopping
  • property tax
  • vacations
  • kids education
  • retirement
  • utilities
  • house maintenance (roof, water tank, new appliances or appliance repair, gutter cleaning, garden and lawn, house cleaner, septic tank removal, fireplace replacement)
  • renovations
  • car maintenance
  • dental care
  • medical care
  • veterinary bills
  • emergency fund
http://www.prettymoneyclub.com/budgetmakeover

These are all things that future you is going to need to spend. Figure out how much you need to set aside every month so that you can pay for these things when they come up.

Want to make a budget that works? Use my free budgeting templates here!

Alright! Three things down. I’m gonna give you 3 more things to do next week. Keep an eye on my social, blog, or youtube!

3 MAJOR Money BLOCKS for Busy Moms.

Have you ever tried to catch a ball, only to get blocked by someone?
14357334_1604613325c8qblocked_2.gif

You can’t help but feel disappointed because you nearly reached your goal to catch the ball, but you didn’t. People face blocks all the time. It’s a part of life. Busy Moms face a LOT of blocks. (and overcome a lot, too. We rock.)

Most women want to manage money to the best of their ability. They want to be efficient with their income. They want to stick to a budget and achieve their goals. They want to lay their head down at night without the weight of debt causing sleepless anxiety. They want to feel in charge of their money. This is what I call “pretty money.”

Today, I wanted to talk about the THREE biggest blocks you will face when it comes to getting to pretty money. 

1. [Goal Blocker #1] TIME.


The first block you’ll face in the future is not having enough time. Time is probably a busy mom’s MOST valuable commodity, because we never seem to have enough of it. We’re carting kids around. We’re working. We’re doing laundry. We’re cooking. We’re separating squabbling siblings while on the phone with our sister and trying to get a tick out of the dog at the same time. Youuuuu know what I mean, girl. 
We can’t just MAKE more time. We are all given the exact same number of seconds in a day. We have to prioritize them. We moms have to be vigilant about carving time out for the things we want… because it’s in our nature to give our time away to everyone and everything else. 

My suggestion is to keep your goals TOP OF MIND by putting them in your face every day. Sticky notes on the mirror… changing your phone background with a message that reminds you about your goals… a vision board… a bracelet with a reminder charm. Whatever it takes, do it all. And remember to SCHEDULE time in your week…  EVERY week… to work towards these goals. 

In the Pretty Money Club, we keep on track with our financial goals by meeting weekly. I also release new content to the member’s site every month that these busy moms take time out of their weeks to learn. They MAKE time to ensure their money is lining up with their goals. Because let’s face it… many of our goals require some financial backing. 

2. [Goal Blocker #2] MINDSET.


The second block you will face in the future is your money mindset. I talk to clients every day that have limiting beliefs about money. Sometimes they don’t even know it. I focus a lot on mindset in both my one on one coaching programs and in the pretty money club, because it can mean the difference between feeling crushed, stuck, or anxious and feeling grateful, free, and excited. Getting your money mindset right includes:

– Forgiving yourself for mistakes you previously made with money

– Having a dream or goal to look forward to

 – Changing negative self talk

– Believing that you are deserving of money and that you are not limited as to how much you can earn

– Switching your mindset about debt. Don’t let it be a weight constantly pushing down on you. Be grateful for what your debt has given you and remind yourself that you can put together a sustainable plan to be rid of it while still living life fully. 

Wanna see what your money mindset score is with my short quiz??? Click here!

3. [Goal Blocker #3] FINDING SUPPORT.

We can all be good at something, but we can’t be good at everything. Money included! Learning to manage money well is a skill that can be learned… but you gotta find the right people to teach you. When I talk to moms these days I always hear “I wish I learned this when I was younger.” But we often don’t. It’s not taught well in school (though I am trying to change that! I’ve been teaching money skills at local high schools!!!) and many of our parents weren’t very successful with money. When it comes to personal finance… there are a LOT of different pieces to a really great overall financial plan. Budgeting, savings, RESPs, RRSPs, insurance, investments. The best chance you can give yourself to learn is by finding someone to teach you. 

Want to get started with FREE resources?? Start my FREE 10 day challenge to pretty money!

I hope that you have found this helpful. Be mindful of these common “potholes” that you may fall into as you try to reach pretty money. Jump over these blocks. Let’s go!

Why you should teach your kids about the stock market

At the beginning of the pandemic I did a few webinars… the most popular was about investing. Which makes perfect sense! My inbox was blowing up with questions from clients about whether they should pull out their investments or stay the course. About if they should put their savings into the market while stock prices were at an all-time low. I had so many Moms telling me that they wished they learned more about this stuff when they were younger.

Now, I’m not about to give you investment advice over a blog post. I believe investing is a VERY important piece of your overall financial plan… but it’s just a piece! To give you advice with only one piece of the puzzle would be incredibly ignorant of me. But what I WILL tell you is that you need to know more about it.

WHY?

The investment industry is designed to tell us that it’s just too hard, too risky, and too stressful to figure it out on your own. When I ask women why they don’t invest, I hear things like…
“I don’t know where to start”
“I don’t know enough”
“I’m afraid to lose all my money”

I get why busy moms often would rather just stick their head in the sand and not learn about the stock market. It’s a HUGE topic often riddled with boring old white men talking in condescending finance jargon. And we busy moms have enough on our plates. We don’t have time to waste being discouraged by hours spent trying to figure it out online. But ignoring the stock market means we are losing out returns that could potentially make us hundreds of thousands of dollars over our lifetime. The BEST time to invest was actually yesterday. I mean that the longer you wait to learn this stuff, the more you will miss out on.

But Lindsay, what if I lose all my money?!

When people tell stories about the friend of a friend that they know who LOST ALL their family’s savings in the stock market, what they SHOULD be saying is “I know someone who didn’t do their research and made the mistake of putting all their money into one single company that ended up going bankrupt!”

The truth is that the stock market is made up of thousands of companies and has survived depressions, elections, crashes, natural disasters, wars, and yes… even pandemics. It’s not going to zero. If you tuck your money away into a high interest savings account, you’ll be LUCKY if you get a 2% return. The average return of the Canadian Stock Market, over it’s ENTIRE HISTORY (even through all those disasters) is almost 10% per year… over time, it always goes up.

Yes, it IS possible to hit a GOLD MINE with your investments. For example, one year after ZOOM went public, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and everyone had to learn to go digital. You bet your sweet bottom that stock skyrocketed from $62 to $166… all within 3 months. That’s a 168% return!

Duh. Don’t go in blind and throw your money around. The stock market is not gambling. You can make informed, smart decisions. Investing to make money for your future is WORTH the time to learn. IN FACT… women are often better investors because we do just that. We are careful. We look into our options. And if we want to DIY it rather than pay a fancy mutual fund manager an exorbitant amount of money to do it for us, we can. In fact, I wanted to prove that even my kids could DIY it.

So here’s what I did. During the pandemic I took the opportunity to teach my kids about investing.

I bought them a stock. I’m not gonna tell you which company, because I want you to go through the experience for yourself. My boys asked questions and grasped the understanding many adults lack! They got excited about choosing a company. They feel proud that they own a piece of it and they continue to ask all the time whether or not their investments are going up or down. It’s a learning experience that they won’t forget.

I want you to have this experience with your kids, too. So I wrote an e-book on the basics of investing and how to do your research before buying a stock. You can check out a preview of the book here!

To help your kids choose a stock, think about the following questions:

Is it a publicly traded company?
Are the products or services NEEDED or HIGHLY VALUED?
Has the company been around for at least 10 years?
Is the company unique? (or does it have BIG competitors)
Does the company operate in line with your values?
Is the equity consistently growing?
Is there positive working captial? (2:1 assets to liabilities)!
Are revenue and profits BOTH growing over time?
Is the operating cash flow HIGHER than net income?
Can the company pay off all their debt within 3 years with their cashflow?
Is the ROE higher than 10%, consistently over time?
Is the stock on SALE?
Do you have an advisor to help if you have questions?

If you’re not sure how to answer these questions, I’d love to help you figure out the process. Check out my e-book.

5 ways to SAVE MONEY on groceries

I just ran a 5 Day Grocery Challenge for the back-to-school season… because lemme tell you… my good budgeting habits went right out the window this summer. The pandemic didn’t help for a number of reasons… 1) Money that I would have spent on kids sports… vacation… memberships etc all went towards other things… including ordering in, food, and alcohol. Soooo it was easy to stop meal planning. Why bother? I was dealing with the chaos of working with home alongside the kids… it took forever to get through the line ups at the grocery store… and I just didn’t have the energy. But after the kids went back to school I had a good hard look at how much money we’ve been EATING. Yikes.

I wasn’t alone on this challenge… 100 other women joined in… and the engagement was explosive!!! Every day for 5 days I got on the camera live to teach a lesson and give a task to this incredible group of hard working women…. and they delivered. Ohhhhh yes.

By the end of the challenge the group was flooding with messages about how much money these women were going to save with their new found skills… and better yet… what they were going to DO with these savings. Because it’s really not about how much money you are spending on food. It’s about your goals. If you COULD save $7,800 per year like the lovely lady above… what would you DO with it? Would it let you go on that vacation your family hasn’t had in 4 years? Would it let you trade in your clunker of a car for something safer (and let’s be honest… a little more stylish?) Is your goal worth doing a bit of work to change the way that you do grocery shopping? That’s up to you.

Here are the BIG 5 WAYS that you can SAVE money in the grocery store.

#1 – Shop in your OWN pantry first.

This is HUGE, ladies. You may not even realize how much food you already have sitting in your house. Be just came out of a pandemic… so some of you may have an apocolyptic amount of food. You gotta stop any food waste… because those are your hard earned dollars. If you’re putting that money into your freezer and then it gets freezer burned and chucked out… that’s YOUR MONEY you’re throwing away. Some of the challenge members took DAYS to finish their inventory sheets, because they had food buried so far in the deep freeze they needed winter gloves to handle it all. Write down EVEYRTHING that you have in your pantry, freezer, cupboards, and fridge. USE the ingredients that you have ALREADY PAID FOR!!!!

I’ve got some pretty inventory sheets in my free shopping guide that you can print to write it all down on. Click here to get it!

#2 – List out your family FAVOURITES

List out your favourite recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I want you to actually sit down with your kids and spouse and talk about your favourite things to eat, so that you create a list of go-to’s that won’t fail you. This is because we just get busy. And when we get busy and are juggling more balls than we can handle… and are HUNGRY on top of that… we end up ordering in instead of winning a battle against the every-day question “What’s for dinner??!?” Plus, if these meals are your favourite… chances are the ingredients are things that you use regularly. You need a go-to list of things that are easy. And don’t just write down a few. Rack your brain and really think, so that you have a HUGE list of stuff to pull from. Busy mom’s do NOT have the bandwidth to come up with pinterest-level gourmet meals every single day. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. Get that list done so that you can look at it and make something without having to think much about it.

*BONUS: List out some meals that freeze really well, so that you can make a bunch of them to stick in the freezer for days that you just need a quick meal.

#3 – Come up with THEMES

Themes are an AWESOME way to simplify your meal planning! We have all heard of TACO TUESDAY. But it’s more than just making tacos on Tuesday. You could make the SAME tacos and eat them 4 weeks in a row by putting the ingredients into the freezer for the next week. You could have a different kind of taco every Tuesday. You might just make Taco Tuesday your Mexican Food Day. The point is to keep it simple by coming up with a theme for the day to save you precious time and energy. Other great themes are FISH FRIDAY… MEATLESS MONDAY… PASTA DAY… SOUP DAY… You get it. Come up with at least 7 themes that you can commit to. Make enough for lunches the next day… or make enough that you can put some in the freezer for FREEZER FRIDAY. Make a little extra so that you can put it into an omelette for the morning. Think of ways that you can make MORE on one night so that you can save time and use it again for another meal.

Are you afraid of commitment? Okay. Do 3 or 4 themes for the week and then use your family favourites list to make up the rest of the week.

#4 – Meal Plan ONLINE, and use your guide!

Okay, so you have a list of everything in your house. You have a roster of your favourite recipes. And you have some theme ideas for the week. Keep your meal planning as simple as possible. Write down the days of the week and what your family will be eating each day. Choose recipes that use up the ingredients that you already have as much as possible.

Next… you’re gonna go online to shop for the ingredients that you’re lacking. Go on your local grocery store and order it from there. If it’s not on the meal plan list… it doesn’t go in your cart. STAY FOCUSED. Shopping online will stop you from throwing impulse buys into the cart and will help you compare pricing for ingredients. Also… it’s a lot easier to take items back out of your cart online than it is in real life if you decide you don’t want it anymore. Use your shopping guide! I’ve got 28 small tips and tricks that will add up to big savings. For example… buy smaller fruits. They go by weight and if you give your kid an apple bigger than their head they’re just gonna eat half anyway. Buy a jug of popcorn kernals instead of microwave bags. Stay under $1.99/lb for produce.

Don’t forget to download my free shopping guide that tells you the average price you should be aiming for key things like meat, produce, cheese etc.

#5 – Shop only once a week.

Ran out? OH WELL. This is something that I say to my boys maybe 1000 times a day. If you have kids, you will probably relate to this. If you run out of something… oh well. Find something else. You won’t die without bananas. (Side note… if there IS something that you would actually die without, please go buy it.) Improvise your recipes if you are out of an ingredient. The more you go into the store, the more chance for extra items to jump into your cart. Resist the urge to drop in for that one thing. Chances are… you can do without.

I run my Grocery Shopping Challenges four times a year… and they’re always a FUN time. (plus, I give out prizes. Last time it was an air fryer.) If you wanna be told when the next one opens up, follow me on social media or download my shopping guide!

Eat Healthy, Save Money.

No, I’m not pulling your leg. Yes, it is possible! Some of you may already practice healthy eating and find that you save money while doing it. Others may be skeptical that healthy eating actually ends up costing less in the long run. Regardless of your situation, I was inspired to write this article to motivate and encourage you to think about ways to curb the spending and make tasty, healthy meals for your loved ones. I am in no way suggesting your current eating habits are unhealthy; I’m simply trying to challenge some myths about healthy eating and saving money, and hopefully show you that it is entirely possible to save money in a world where food prices are on the rise and packaged foods are constantly pushed on us. So, without further ado, here are three things I find useful when applying healthy living to cost-friendly eating habits. 

1.     Buy the good stuff 

A lot of misconception around the belief that healthy eating costs less is because the products that go into a healthy dish cost more up front. For example, a bottle of pure maple syrup costs a lot more than a bottle of corn syrup. If you purchase the pure maple syrup, at the surface it looks like you are getting less bang for your buck when in reality you are saving. The reason why you are saving is because you need less of the pure stuff, since it is a lot more concentrated and flavourful than processed corn syrup. Also, you are investing in your family’s health in the long-term. Pure maple syrup is chalk full of nutrients, including calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, and even copper. Of course, it does still contain sugar. On the bright side, since it contains sugar you can even use maple syrup in place of white or brown sugar in baking recipes. Enough about maple syrup. My point is that if you buy the good products up-front, it may seem like you are spending more when in the long run you are saving big bucks because you can use that ingredient in many dishes and use less of it as well. A good product goes a long way. Buy the good stuff, ladies! 

2.     Think ahead and carve out the time 

True, it takes time to prep and cook a recipe from scratch rather than buying it pre-cooked and pre-packaged. But if you think ahead and carve out the time necessary to prepare meal ideas and cook, you will find it really is not as bad as it seems. Think of a weekly meal plan, and at the beginning of the week purchase the stuff needed to make every meal. Make more than one meal at the same time, refrigerate them for later use, and heat the dish up when you are ready to eat it. Most dishes can be refrigerated for 3-5 days, sometimes up to a whole week. Prep a giant bowl of salad in advance and put everything in except for the meat and dressing. It will keep for easily 3-5 days. Sip on a nice glass of white, red, or Rosé while cooking and put on some relaxing tunes. Even enlist your little ones to help you. Get creative with your meal-prep and you will find it to be quite an enjoyable experience. I typically do my weekly shopping and meal-preps on Sundays, but you know what works best for you. The hardest part is getting into the habit of doing it. As soon as you create a routine, you will likely find that you look forward to the evening of rationing, organizing, and cooking in advance. Keep snacks on-hand, because looking at and smelling a weeks-worth of tasty meals might give you and your loved ones the munchies! Think ahead and carve out the time necessary to create healthy, tasty, and cost-efficient meals in advance. You may be pleasantly surprised at how satisfying and easy this is to do. 

3.     Buy in bulk 

Rather than buying a box of pasta, head to the Bulk Barn and purchase a large bag of it for roughly the same price. Rather than buying a jar of pre-made pasta sauce, buy a big can of tomatoes, a few spices and herbs, and make your own. Rather than buying a tub of pre-packaged lettuce, buy a romaine heart and wash/cut it up yourself. You get my point. Grocery stores are so good at selling us ‘convenience’ items at a huge mark-up. Sure, it is convenient. But it is also extremely costly and produces more waste than we know what to do with. There are so many benefits to buying in bulk, and it’s extremely easy to manage. Wash and chop your lettuce yourself and save $2 or more, just like that. Take the time to cut up your vegetables and store them in a leftover container in the fridge. It really doesn’t take as long as they’re leading you to believe and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much money you will save in the long run. Purchase a large tray of chicken breasts rather than two at a time, prepare all of them at once and freeze the ones you do not plan on eating right away in one or several freezer-safe Ziploc® bags. Or, buy a whole bird and roast it; you can use all the meat in different recipes throughout the week, and even boil the leftovers to make a chicken stock. Not only are you saving money buying in bulk, you are also saving the environment by purchasing less plastics. Buy in bulk! 

So, there you have it. Three simple ways to curb the food budget and feed your loved ones healthy meals so that they have the nutrients and energy to succeed. Don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative with your routine. And don’t be discouraged if you miss a week. Trust the process. You’re already here reading this, which tells me you are curious to try something new and change your habits. Try these three habits above, pay attention to your budget for the month, and let the numbers speak for themselves. Enjoy saving money and eating healthy!   

and if you want some yummy recipes ASAP… here’s a sneak preview to my recipe book!

How much money does cooking it yourself REALLY save you?

Before you get into this blog post, know that I am a busy mom, wife, and entrepreneur. Even though my passion is to help women make their money pretty… I am NOT gonna tell you that going out for dinner or ordering meals in is a no-no. I GET what it’s like to come home at the end of the day (or emerge from your bedroom-turned-home-office-because-covid) and NOT want to cook. I personally don’t consider myself much of a homemaker and find myself in woe if I have to come up with dinner on the spot. BUT I have also noticed that food delivery services and ordering in has increased (in my home and in my Pretty Money Club members.) I read comments on Facebook threads where women were wondering aloud how much more it reallllly costs to just get that take-out instead of going to all the trouble making it at home. So I got curious. I did a lot of math. The short answer is YES; making food at home DEFINITELY saves you money. But you might be shocked to know just how much.

Get the whole family involved in burger making tonight! In this blog post I compare the cost of a burger meal from three different restaurants, and then show you my own burger recipe in an effort to show you how easy it is to make a meal that everyone will enjoy while saving money and eating healthier. Good for your wallet, good for your body!

Fast food versus home cooking… how much do you save?

McDonald’s: Quarter Pounder with Cheese combo

(source: https://www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca.html)

Cost per person: $10.89 + tax
Total Cost for family of 4: $48.79 incl. tax

Burger:

  • 100% Canadian beef
  • Pepper & salt for seasoning
  • Processed Cheese Slice
  • Pickles
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Onions
  • Toasted sesame seed bun

Fries (medium size):

  • Potatoes, Cooked in vegetable oil blend (canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil)
  • Salt

Beverage:

  • Coca cola (med) with ice

Although a night out at McDonald’s is the cheapest option out of all three restaurants, it does not mean you are getting your money’s worth. It’s also not the most glamourous night out, as I’m sure you can imagine. Not only does the caloric intake of this meal total half of an average adult’s daily recommended intake, but the calories in this meal are not healthy ones. The reason for this is primarily because there many more additives in McDonald’s food that gives it a distinct flavour, but that also makes the food less natural and therefore a lot unhealthier to consume. You can easily make this meal at home using cleaner food choices.

[For instance, make French fries from scratch with Canadian russet potatoes simply by peeling, rinsing, slicing, and baking for 40 minutes.] [Another way to cut the calories and is to opt out Coca cola with a cleaner beverage, such as soda water with a squirt of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. ]

Moxie’s: Cheeseburger

(source: https://moxies.com/restaurant-locations/bc/victoria-yates-street/touchless-menu)

Cost per person: $16.00 (not incl. drink) + tax and gratuity
Total Cost for family of 4: $71.68 incl. tax, before gratuity

Burger:

  • Beef patty
  • Aged white cheddar
  • Red relish
  • Pickled mustard seed mayo
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Pickles
  • Toasted sesame brioche bun

Served with fries

Moxie’s does a good job of packing their burgers full of goodies. I especially like the fact that they include lettuce and red onions (although there’s currently a recall on red onions in North America, so you’ll have to settle for white or yellow). I also appreciate that they use real cheese. Yum! While this is a better option than fast food, in terms of both dining experience and health consciousness, the cost is much higher. You’re looking at more than $70 for a family of 4, before drinks and gratuity. The burger meal does not include a drink, so you can expect to add at least an additional $3.50 each for a soda, or more if you and/or the hubby wants a glass of beer. The costs add up quickly if you include the whole family.

OLO Restaurant, Victoria BC: Cheeseburger

(source: https://www.olorestaurant.com/menus)

Cost per person: $23.00 (not incl. drink) + tax and gratuity
Total Cost for family of 4: $103.04+ incl. tax before gratuity

Burger:

  • Beef patty
  • Mushroom ketchup
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles

Served with fries

I appreciate that this burger includes a unique mushroom ketchup. Still, this is a pretty penny for a cheeseburger meal, especially for a family on a budget. Again, drinks are not included in the meal cost. OLO does not list the cost of a soda on their website, but one can assume a class of Coca cola or the like would be in the range of $3.00 or more.

Make it from home:

Cost per person: $5.58 (not incl. drink)
Total Cost for family of 4: $22.32 (not incl. drink)

I was pretty generous in OVER estimating the cost of portions of things that you could buy in bulk… so this example would be if you went into a grocery store, had to buy ALL the ingredients, and didn’t bother to look for sales. Normally the recipes that I recommend come in at $12.00 for a family of four. Yep. TWELVE DOLLARS. If you need to know these recipes, join my facebook group exclusively for women who want to make their money pretty. I’m gonna be running a grocery challenge soon and I’ll definitely be sharing some winning eats.

BURGER:Price per burger (prices are approximate)Price per family of 4Bulk price before tax
6 oz. ground beef $1.68$6.73$4.49 /lb, buy 1.5lbs = $6.73
Salt & pepper for seasoning$.10*$.40*$5.64 for S&P shakers, 155g ea.
Slice of cheddar cheese (20g)$.49$1.96$7.35 for 300g
Vegetable oil$.02$.08$4.59 for 1.42L
Sesame hamburger bun$.37$1.49$2.99 for 8 pack
Pickles$.15$.60$4.79 for 500ml jar
Ketchup$.03$.12$2.99 for 750ml container
Lettuce$.37$1.49$2.99 for 1 bunch
Onion$.09$.37$.74 each
TOTAL PRICE to make burgers:$3.30$13.20$39.08




FRIES:Price per portionPrice per family of 4Bulk price before tax
2lbs Potatoes $1.98$7.92$0.99 /lb
Vegetable oil$.80$.80Already purchased above
Salt$.10$.40Already purchased above
TOTAL PRICE to make fries:$2.88$9.12$10.01




TOTAL COST to make dinner @ home:$5.58$22.32$49.09

Ingredients:

Burger (yield: 1 burger):

  • 6 oz. ground beef (for the best burgers, use ground beef with 80/20 meat to fat ratio)
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning
  • Slice of cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • Sesame hamburger bun
  • 1 pickle, sliced
  • Ketchup
  • Lettuce
  • 2-3 slices of onion

Directions:

  1. Heat vegetable oil on a pan using high heat (preferably cast iron).
  2. Form beef patties and season with salt & pepper. Poke a thumbprint in the middle of each patty and place cheese on top of patty.
  3. Place each patty on the pan and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Ensure the cheese is melted.
  4. Place sliced pickles, lettuce, onion and ketchup on toasted bun.
  5. Place cooked burger patty on bun & close. You’re done!

French fries (yield: 4 servings):

  • 2 lbs (6) potatoes, sliced into strips
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Peel & rinse potatoes. Cut them into sticks by cutting potato into 4-5 vertical pieces, then cutting each piece into sticks.
  2. Place in large bowl with cold water. Allow them to soak for 2-3 hours (or overnight if it’s easier).
  3. When you’re ready to make fries, drain water & lay potatoes on a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Blot the potatoes with paper towel to dry them.
  4. Heat a few inches of oil in a large pot. Cook potatoes in 2 batches until soft, 4-5 minutes per batch. This starts the cooking process; do not cook fully. Remove each batch and drain onto new/dry paper towels.
  5. Turn up heat, and when oil is hot, fry potatoes in batches again until fries are golden crisp. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and voila!

In this recipe I’ve drawn from each of the three restaurant orders in an effort to show how you can make a dish similar to theirs for much cheaper at home. For vegan/vegetarian option, substitute beef for Beyond Meat™ burger patties. They are a bit pricier, however, and will run you about $9.99 for two. Also you can substitute cheese slice for Daiya cheese (20g per burger), which is approximately $4-5 per 200g bag. The prices were extracted from the Save-on-Foods online shopping portal (www.shop.saveonfoods.com). If you already have ingredients on-hand, like salt, pepper, vegetable oil, and ketchup, this whole meal will cost you even less than what is listed above.

So, you can feed a family of 4 at home for cheaper than what you’d pay even at McDonald’s, with better ingredients. Even if you have to go to the grocery store and pick up ingredients in bulk, you’ll still pay less than what you would pay at McDonald’s for one dinner… and you’ll have ingredients left over for future meals. And with a little elbow grease, you’ll feel better knowing you made it all from scratch. Amazing, right?!

If you wanna get on board with me and learn some grocery hacks that will save you hundreds of dollars every month… join my free facebook group. I’m gonna be going live to share my secrets with you… and I’ll be hosting an awesome challenge in September with a yummy prize. I’d love for you to join in!

OR if you want some FREE recipes, I’ve got a few up my sleeve. How does $4 dinners, $3 lunches, and $2 breakfasts sound??? Yummy. That’s how. Click here for some recipe inspo!

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