This Holiday Season, RELAX yourself… NOT your budget.

As we wrap up another year, I want to offer you a huge THANK YOU for being here, on my blog.

You’re here because you have a vested interest in your financial well-being. You’re seeking ways to have money for the things you want in life. You need simplicity… because you’re busy. You don’t have time for financial jargon and want quick, simple, DOABLE solutions to make sure you’re in control of your money. 

The Pretty Money Clubbers are a community of women who know that if they don’t stay on top of their money, they could end up crushed underneath the weight of their debt… or they’ll realize too late that they’ve overspent and have to wait another year to reach that goal they’ve been saving for.

They’re just like you, except they have me and their fellow club members to hold them accountable on a monthly group coaching call, and weekly live check-ins. They have a private place to ask those hard money questions. They’re provided with resources and continued training for all the different facets of their finances at different stages in life. 

I just finished up this month’s one-on-one coaching calls with my Pretty Money Club members, and I want to share with you a common theme that they’re struggling with this month:

“Budgeting is annoying.”


I find that most people are actually excited about creating a budget for the first time. Getting numbers on paper and a plan in place lights that fire of motivation…but the ongoing maintenance required to be well-organized with your finances causes that flame to flicker out. 

I get it! We have a zillion things on the go… it’s the end of another difficult pandemic year… and we are all tired. The last thing we want to do is spend our “spare” time inside our bank accounts… where we’ll have to fess up to our spending habits these last few weeks… (or months, depending on when the last time you actually looked at your numbers was.) 

I hope that you get a chance to relax this holiday season… BUT I do NOT want you to relax your budget!

In the Pretty Money Club, I teach a budgeting system that uses bank accounts to organize your spending categories. Basically, after you create and revise your budget plan, you then open a bank account that corresponds with each important category in your budget. Some of the most common budget accounts are:

  • Groceries & Gas
  • Household expenses (mortgage, utilities, internet etc) 
  • Future maintenance savings (home, car) 
  • Future sports savings (anyone have hockey kids here??)
  • Future goals savings (vacation, new car, down payment) 
  • Insurance (life, disability, car, house, medical/dental) 
  • Spending allowance (the money you let yourself spend on whatever the heck you want. Hair? Nails? Coffee? Lego sets? Whatever.) 
  • You also have an income account, where all your money coming in goes into. Then, you set up automatic transfers to your various accounts based on the amount that you budget for each month.  If you do it this way, you can see how much money you have set aside for each category at a glance… AND you are ensuring the money needed for your mortgage payment is sitting in that mortgage account. 

You do NOT have a debit card attached to any of these accounts, EXCEPT your spending allowance, making it impossible to “accidentally” spend the mortgage money. In order to use this money, you would actually have to log in and transfer it out of that account. 

This system minimizes the need for you to track your spending, because you have already told your money where you want to spend it… BUT, it still requires maintenance.

For one, every time you want to go to the grocery store, you have to transfer the money you’ll need out of your grocery account and into your spending account. Then, when you have finished at the grocery store, you will likely want to put any left over money back into the grocery account. 

If you use a credit card for your purchase, you will need to pay off the credit card using the correct account for that transaction. 

Occasionally, you may need to tweak your accounts. Maybe you forgot to plan for something and have to borrow money from one of your savings accounts to cover the cost, or maybe you’ve accumulated so much savings in your maintenance account that you’d rather take some money from there and upgrade your vacation. 

Doing these transfers is easy.

Doing these transfers will take up more time if you aren’t in a regular habit… and have to play catch up at the end of the month.

The key here is making your budget routine a habit. 

In the Pretty Money Club, I often host expert speakers to teach on topics that relate to money in some way. One of my FAVOURITE guests talked to us about how to implement positive changes in our lives through HABIT STACKING. 

Habit Stacking is a simple strategy where you stack the behavior you WANT to implement on top of another habit you’re ALREADY doing. 

For example…

  • If you want to drink more water… have a glass before you allow yourself to drink your morning coffee. 
  • If you want to stretch more often… do it while you’re watching Netflix.
  • If you want to floss your teeth more often… put the floss in the shower and do it before you scrub down. 

So! As we head into Christmas and New Years… relax. Enjoy yourselves. But please don’t relax your budget. I leave you with ONE question that I want you to answer for yourself before you start this new year… 

How are you going to habit stack your budget? 

Share your answers with me! I’d love to hear from you. post your answer on my page. 

7 ways to Cut Christmas Costs!

… Do you hear the jingle bells, yet?

I KNOW that many of you have probably already started your Christmas shopping. Many of you are still thinking about it. But before you jump into the shopping frenzy, let’s talk. 

Christmas is the time of year when IMPULSE buying gets out of hand. Sure, it can be a small impulsive purchase… like a couple of extra chocolate bars for the stockings… but if it wasn’t a planned purchase, or it wasn’t in your budget, it’s still an impulse buy. 

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According to a survey done by the Bank of Montreal, mood-lifting impulse purchases on average cost Canadians $3,720 annually. That’s $310 per month! 

Let’s pretend that you INVESTED $310 per month instead of spending it on that random $6 latte, or those SUPER cute throw pillows you saw at Wal-Mart while you were there for groceries (that were totally on sale…)

IF you invested $310 in the stock market with an average return rate of 9% per year (which is a very average number)… In 10 years, you will have $56,517.70. This is the magic of compound interest!

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So how are you going to make sure you’re not spending dollars that could otherwise be hard at work for you this holiday season?

I’ve got 7 hot tips for you:

1) Create a gift budget.

I want you to write down every single person that you intend to buy gifts for this year. Write down exactly how much money you are willing to spend. Brainstorm exactly what you would like to find for that person, and create your shopping list. (Need a holiday spend tracker? You can use mine for free HERE)

Now… I want you to carefully consider who you are planning for! Don’t write someone’s name on your gift giving list just because you feel obligated to. We need to GET OFF this crazy consumer train of buying material things. Which leads me to…

2) Stop buying for the sake of buying. 

One of my Pretty Money Club members writes Christmas cards for the adults in her life… and she includes a note on each card releasing them from the obligation of buying by telling them she does not participate in gift giving. How many times have you gotten a gift from someone that you really didn’t need in the first place… and then felt guilty because you weren’t planning on buying a gift for them? If this sounds like you, then read my blog post on gift giving to get even more tips on quashing unnecessary consumerism. 

3) Check in with your emotions. 

Most of the time when I ask my clients WHY they impulse by, there are emotions leading the choice. Retail therapy is definitely a thing… and marketing companies know this. They’ll play on your emotions with their ads, hoping it’ll hit a nerve that causes you to buy. You may also have some learned behaviour driving your purchases. Think about how your parents handled money. Has spending become habitual for you? Another play on emotions is the good ol “But it’s on sale!” or “But there’s free shipping if I buy it today!” Right. We feel good about these purchases because we think we are getting a deal. And we might be… but guess what’s BETTER than buying something we don’t actually need or didn’t actually plan for, even though it’s on sale? …. Not buying it at all and saving that money for when we… 

4) Give ourselves permission to spend.

 Wait, what? Didn’t I just harp on you about NOT spending money? Not exactly. I don’t want you making any UNPLANNED purchases. I DO want you to have money to spend with joy. The key here is that you are budgeting for it. In the Pretty Money Club, we call this our Lifestyle Budget. Every month, we give ourselves a decided upon amount of money to spend on WHATEVER THE HECK WE WANT. Maybe you have regular lifestyle things you would like to budget for, such as pedicures or massages. Maybe you’d rather use this money for your Starbucks cravings. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. It’s yours to do with as you wish. So next time you’re out shopping and you see that THING that you realllly reallly want… you’ll know exactly how much is in your Lifestyle Budget and if you CAN afford to buy it right then and there. Even if you DO have enough pre-planned money to buy the thing, I still recommend…

5) Waiting a day.  

That rush of endorphins you get when you reallllly want to buy something will fade if you give it time. Chances are… whatever it is that you want to impulse buy will still be there, waiting for you, in 24 hours. What MIGHT change is your desire to buy it. 

6) Create buying barriers. 

The more obstacles you need to overcome to make a purchase, the better, because then you force yourself to be more aware of your intent to buy. This can be as simple as NOT saving your credit card information to amazon. Then, you’ll have to get up from wherever you’re sitting to go get your wallet and type your card in. I actually know someone who put her credit card in a bowl of water and FREEZES it. If she wants to make a purchase, she has to let it sit on the counter for an hour to thaw. Talk about cooling off! 

7)  Start comparing in a positive way. 

Sure, I could tell you to get off social media and stop trying to keep up with the Jones’. We all know that comparing ourselves to others can lead us to feeling inadequate. And yet… we still do it! I find the best way to counteract this behavior is by surrounding ourselves with a good network of support. We need friends. We need healthy relationships in our lives. We also need good mentors and accountability. You WILL learn by osmosis – so surround yourself with the people that you want to learn from.

In the Pretty Money Club, we meet on a regular basis to talk about our budgets and money challenges. We regularly learn and discuss new financial concepts. Why? Because we know how busy our lives get and how important it is to MAKE time for our financial well-being. We are a tight-knit group of women who WANT to see each other succeed.

If you need people like this in your life, check out what the Pretty Money Club is all about.

P.S…

I don’t want to see you on Santa’s NAUGHTY list for blowing your budget this Christmas! So take action today… Pop into my facebook group Make Your Money Pretty and make a post to let us know which tip YOU are going to use this season to stay on track! Let’s get some accountability going!

Let’s Talk about Debt, baby!

I get it. That crushing feeling weighing on your shoulders… that underlying stress and anxiety you feel in your body every time you pull out your card to swipe a transaction. You’re thinking about your debt MULTIPLE times a day. It’s stressful… it’s overwhelming… it’s frustrating.

Society has conditioned us to think that debt is the ULTIMATE BAD and that our number one priority should be working to pay it off as fast as possible… but after founding Moola Financial with my husband (who is a Smith Manoeuvre Certified QAFP) and over a decade of working with families to overcome their financial challenges as an Accredited Financial Counselor, I can honestly say that MOST of the time… THIS IS BULLSH*T.

I’m not saying DON’T pay off your debt. I’m saying that most of the time putting all your cash toward your debt payment is a bad financial decision. You have to consider your overall financial plan FIRST.

Your debt repayment strategy will change depending on HOW you accumulated that debt in the first place.

Let’s say your debt was a result of a kitchen renovation… or maybe you put a suite in your house. Firstly, you increased the overall value of your home (woo equity) but MORE IMPORTANTLY, you did not accumulate this debt because of poor planning or poor purchasing decisions. This debt is not a habit-based problem. Sometimes the best way to manage this debt is to roll it into your mortgage or a HELOC. Other times simply making the payments over time is best. Either way, it’s not a looming terrible PROBLEM debt.

IF you accumulated debt over time and it seems to have just creeped up and up, without you really knowing how… or if you decided to go on a vacation but had to put it on the credit card because you didn’t have the cash to pay for it… or if you find yourself having to take out a small loan because the car broke down and you weren’t expecting it… this is all habit-based debt.

In other words… you paid for something without having the cash to back it up.

Therefore, in order to fix this debt and stay OUT of debt in the long term, you MUST have cash for your next purchases.

You can’t pay off your debt without having cash for future-you. 

You can’t get out of debt without having savings. 

Your savings and your future-you accounts CANNOT become your last priority.

They need to be your FIRST priority. BEFORE DEBT. 

Let me say this again: If you got into debt because you didn’t have the cash for the things you bought… the answer is that you need to save cash for the things that you want in the future. 

TO GET OUT OF DEBT, YOU MUST SAVE CASH FOR THE FUTURE.

In the Pretty Money Club, we use my simple system called “Bank Account Budgeting.” We create a budget plan (if you have never created a budget with me before, you need to take my 5 day budget makeover so that you make a budget that will actually work this time) where you open a bank account for each category of your budget. A handful of these accounts are going to be for FUTURE YOU.

Future you = home and car maintenance, kids sports registrations and summer camps, dental appointment balances, birthdays, weddings, vacations, retirement savings, major future purchases… etc.

Then… you set up AUTOMATIC transactions so that on pay day whatever amount of money you have decided you need for those accounts will transfer in.

You won’t have a debit card for these accounts… so in order to spend the money in them, you’ll actually have to transfer it out to your spending account.

VOILA. You will have cash on hand for your future needs. Meaning you’re not going to be putting ANY of those purchases on credit.

Another thing to consider before putting ALL your money onto debt repayment is INVESTING.

Every single person needs to be investing their money to make their money work for them. There are NOT enough hours in the day for us to constantly be trading our time for money.

If you aren’t reaching your goals or living the lifestyle you want to be with the income that you currently have… you have to increase your income. And for most of us… we don’t have a ton of extra time on our hands. Sure, you could pick up a side hustle and work a few extra hours to boost your income… but creating PASSIVE INCOME is a much better alternative. One of the ways that you can do this is by INVESTING.

If you are someone who thinks that investing in the stock market is akin to gambling… it’s probably because you don’t feel confident in making the right investment choices. You need more information before you’ll make a decision. No problem. You can learn. In fact… I’m going to be talking A LOT about investing with my in-crowd. Wanna be in the loop? Get on my weekly e-mail list by downloading my free budget template. I send out bite-sized, actionable content that will help you become the BOSS of your money. OR follow me on social media. (Instagram = prettymoneyclub) (Facebook = Lindsay Plumb Money Coach) OR you can read my e-book on investing. It’s a GREAT way to learn to pick your very own first stock.

Now… let’s talk about when you have no choice but to make debt your first priority.

If you have accumulated so much debt that you have lost security in your ability to keep food on the table or a roof over your head… then yes, your debt needs to be your first priority; however, you likely will not be able to tackle this problem with a simple debt repayment strategy. If debt has taken control of your life and it feels hopeless, you need to speak with a professional insolvency expert and talk about bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.

I have members in the Pretty Money Club that have navigated this process with huge success. They come out the other side with a solid financial plan in place… and their lives are changed for the better.

If debt is causing stress in your life, reach out and get help. The first step is a simple conversation. We will chat about where you’re at and come up with solutions together.

It’s easy to get in touch with me. Send me a DM on Facebook or Instagram, or e-mail me: lindsay@yourmoola.ca

3 Back-To-School SAVINGS tips that you probably FORGOT.

Here we are… the last long weekend before the kids go back to school! Can you believe it??

By now you’ve probably already done most of your back-to-school prep, such as: 

🎒 Buying school supplies (and hopefully you went through your house to use what you ALREADY have… I know you’ve got 1000 pencil crayons kicking around… and that backpack from last year? Just get the tear sewn up.) 

👚 New clothes & shoes (have you tried buying bundles of clothes from marketplace or varagesale? I dunno about you, but my kids BURN through their clothes and I sure as heck don’t go buy a bunch of brand new stuff when gently used items are often JUST as good.) 

📱 Electronics (more than ever before, parents are footing the bill for things like Chrome books, cellphones, and headphones.) 


📢BUT I’m going to share THREE major back-to-school budgeting tips that you probably DIDN’T think of. (and if you did… GOLD star to you, my friend!)

​​✅🔮 FUTURE YOU NEEDS MONEY TOO.

✅🤩 ADJUST FOR OPPORTUNITY.

✅ 🛍️ SIMPLIFY YOUR GROCERY SHOP.

🔮When we think about back-to-school shopping, we often think about the things that the kids will need immediately. Yeah, we can use what we have in the house, shop for the sales, and opt for the plain glue sticks instead of the pokemon-themed super coloured goo sticks. But we forget our FUTURE NEEDS! Always budget ahead, so that you don’t get thrown off by those “expected unexpected expenses.” Things like:

  • Bus & transportation costs
  • Sports registrations & uniforms 
  • Extra curricular activities or elective class fees
  • Before / After school care 
  • Hot lunch programs 
  • The “oops, I lost it” fund (water bottles, thermoses, library books)
  • Pro-D day camps 
  • Sick days (ESPECIALLY during this pandemic… how are you going to cover the days you will inevitably have to take off work?) 
  • Field trips, birthday parties, school events

🤩 Plans and budgets can be adjusted as life happens! Look for opportunities to simplify your life (and budget) as you move through the school year. Maybe you connect with another awesome mom because your kids hit it off… and an opportunity for a weekly play-date at their house becomes available… cutting that day off your before/after school care need.Instead of paying for the bus, you could find out that Bobby’s family lives right down the road and they’d be willing to carpool in the mornings. Do you love meal-prep? Offer to make school lunches for a couple of classmates for a fee. There are DEFINITELY Moms out there that are willing to pay to have that load taken off their plates. We all know that it takes a whole community to raise a child… so tap into yours and see what you can make of it. 



🛍️ GROCERIES is actually one of the BIGGEST back-to-school expenses that can be cut DRASTICALLY.

I know that you’re eating money you don’t need to.

I know that you’re spending hours in the grocery store that you could be spending in the tub with a book… or at Jenny’s house with a glass of wine.

I know that the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question is draining you already. 

What if I told you that you can save yourself TIME, MONEY, and ENERGY by simply changing HOW you shop?

🔔Enter my Back to School GROCERY SHOPPING GUIDE!🔔

This free guide is the BEST way for you to learn how to cut down on your monthly grocery bill, which is usually through the roof at this time of year. (You KNOW you have been opting for convenience and overspending on food.👋) 

Saving money on groceries does NOT mean that you have to change your diet or become a Pinterest-worthy-coupon-STAR. It’s all about the process. Follow my guide and you’ll save more than just money… because we busy moms know our time and energy matter A LOT. 

Click here to download it free today!~

How to CUT your grocery bill in time for back to school!

Have you noticed that your grocery budget is higher? Nope, you’re not going crazy. The amount of money we’re spending on groceries is actually increasing each year (thanks, inflation.)

Plus, many busy families find that they spend a lot more on food during the summertime. It makes sense! You’re busy… you’re shopping on the fly a little more often… you’re opting for convenience over savings.

When you cut costs, you have more cash to use towards other goals like paying off debt or saving for your first home! I spend around $800 per month for my family of four on groceries. This works out to be about $50 per person, per week. (I’m on Vancouver Island in Canada, for reference!)

It is TOTALLY possible to reduce the amount that you spend on groceries WITHOUT changing your diet or eating ramen noodles every dang day. Here are some ways that I do it.

Plan your meals… and have some regular family favs to fall back on.

I always recommend having a list of tried and true family favs, so that when you’re feeling uninspired, you know you can fall back on ingredients you’ve used many times before. Creating a theme for the week helps inspire meal-planning, too! (Think Meatless Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, Fish Fridays… you know.)

If you don’t have a plan before you hit the store, you’re gonna throw a bunch of random stuff in your cart and end up having to come back again. #Fail!

Shop in your OWN house FIRST.

Before deciding on your meal plan for the week, do an inventory check in your freezer, pantry, and fridge. You already spent money on the food that’s in your house. USE IT FIRST.

For example, let’s say you have a random pack of chicken, a bag of rice, and a can of cream of chicken soup. Using these items you decide to make a chicken broccoli casserole so you buy a head of broccoli and a pack of shredded cheese.

Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

Order your groceries online.

I swear by ordering your groceries online! Not only does it save you from dragging your kids through each aisle, but you’re not going to be as tempted to throw those random impulses into the cart.

Many major grocery stores now offer grocery pick-up services or even delivery!

It’s super easy to compare pricing online, which will allow you to choose food options that are in season and lower cost. Plus… you can run over to the fridge while you’re meal planning to see if you have an ingredient, (if you haven’t already done your inventory check.)

As you add items to your online cart you can see the total, which saves you from having to manually add up the items yourself. Then, when you’re all done you know how much your total is before you check out.

This gives you the opportunity to remove items as needed to stay on budget. Gone are the days of being super embarrassed at the check-out line because you spent wayyyy too much.

Stay OUT of the store!

I recommend shopping online once per week. (I do it every Sunday.) Guess what happens if I forgot to order something, or I run out of something… or I get a sudden craving for something?

Nothing.

I don’t rush out to buy that one thing. I wait until my next order.

We’re not going to die without bananas.

If I didn’t order that ice cream when I was doing the shop… I don’t really need it that bad.

This mentality has really helped me because it encourages me to use the ingredients that I already have on hand… AND I won’t be tempted by impulse buys (which will happen if you find yourself in the grocery store multiple times per week.)

BULK buy ONLY if it makes $ense

Some of my clients have a butcher prepare half a cow for them and then they deep freeze the portions. This allows them to have multiple cuts of meat (including the fancier ones) for an averaged price.

Even if you’re bulk-buying your meat at Costco, you have to keep in mind the cost per portion. Many people are tempted to use way more ground beef in one meal because they bulk bought it and just have SO much. I always recommend splitting up the portions into SMALL amounts, so that you can get more meals out of one bulk purchase.

Figure out how many meals your bulk purchase will make you and if you’re actually saving by having that ingredient for the next 2 months of meal prep, or if it works out to be the same if you bought a smaller portion for the next week.

Prep freezer meals.

Freezer meals are perfect for those days you just don’t feel like slaving over a hot stove. Instead of ordering take-out, you just pop a frozen burrito out and stick on the frying pan for 5 mins… or load up your crock pot and go about your day.

Then when it’s time to eat, dinner will be ready.

Also, never underestimate the power of having breakfast for dinner… or simply eating sandwiches.

Mama ain’t got time for gourmet every day… and that’s OKAY.

Plan for left-overs and repeats.

This tip alone has helped to stretch my grocery budget! When you’re planning your meals,  choose dishes that will allow you to have leftovers. You can bring them to work to eat for lunch or warm them up for dinner on the nights you don’t feel like cooking!

Also, you don’t have to plan for a completely different meal every single meal of the week. I recommend doubling up on meal plans… so you might have the same meal Monday for dinner as you do Thursday for lunch.

The kids are going back to school soon…

So now is the time to start thinking about getting back to routine. Download my free grocery shopping guide to help you organize your next shop! You might even save enough money to pay for those school supplies.

Action creates motivation… not the other way around.

I don’t know about you… but I am almost NEVER motivated to go to a workout class. There are days when I am literally dragging my feet. But I have learned that if I just take it one step at a time…

  • Have coffee. (MUST)
  • Put my workout clothes on (even if I haven’t convinced myself that I’m going yet)
  • Fill the water bottle
  • Get in the car and go (maybe I’ll just half-ass it today. Even if I just show up, that’ll be fine.)
  • Start the class (feeling a little groggy maybe)
  • KICK ASS

Okay, so maybe I don’t kick ass alllll the time. But the point is… once I am there… once I have ACTIONED myself to GET there… and I start doing it… I realize that I have more energy than I thought I would. I start waking up. I start to move my body and push that preconceived notion of half-assing it. I find motivation to finish strong!

This is like MANY things in life. Have you ever needed to finish a project and just dreeeeaded starting it? Did you get through it?

And you know what? Sometimes we fail. We don’t do the thing that we needed to do. Or we do it, but not the way we expected. It’s hard to see the possibility of success if you’ve only experienced failure. Yet it’s often only after a number of failures that we have a chance at success. Don’t let failures move you into inaction. Instead, view it as a learning experience and try again (action!) The motivation often follows when you start to see small successes.

This is just like learning to manage your finances. So many women that I meet are just not motivated to learn until they’ve reached the point that their debt is crushing them and they’re fighting with their spouse every day.

But learning to make your money pretty rather than an ugly problem doesn’t have to be boring, take a lot of time, be stressful, or take a finance degree. No matter where you are in your financial literacy, you can take it to the next level.

One of my clients joined the Pretty Money Club because she wanted to buy a vacation home and just couldn’t figure out why her dream wasn’t coming to fruition. She has a really high income, but because of the security in knowing her income easily took care of her needs… she was spending carelessly. She actually had no idea how much until we got it on paper. After several budget revisions, her priority list really changed. She bought that vacation home after two years of practicing more mindful spending.

Most of my clients do not think about vacation homes when they think about prioritizing their money, but I wanted to give you that example to show you that even if you have more money… without the knowledge of how to manage it… it may not make a difference.

Many of my clients are just “stuck.” They have enough money to pay the bills and they have some disposable income as well, but they’re restrained by their fixed income, 40 hour work week, and family life. They forget to reassess their goals and end up in “inaction” simply because they’re going through the motions… every single day.

You are going to live through good times and bad times. You are going to live in periods of excess opportunity and times when it looks like there is zero opportunity.

The strategy? Focus on doing the best work you can today.

Overwhelmed? Take action. You immediately shift your focus from staring at the impossible path in front of you to taking the first step.

“But Lindsay… I’m so drained from everything else that I have to do.”

Sure. I get it. Busy Moms have a LOT on their plates… and in the Pretty Money Club, guess who you will find there? BUSY MOMS!

Refocus your energies. Cut out the 5 most energy-sucking activities in your day (watching TV, drinking alcohol, engaging with energy-sucking-people, scrolling Instagram.)

Then select ONE thing that you can do today that will help you move toward your goals.

If there’s one thing that I want you to take from this e-mail, it’s that I want you to be LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE.

What can you do right NOW to make it happen? Write down a goal. I don’t care how big or small it is. Just write down ONE. And then write down the FIRST step to getting there. Don’t even think about the whole big picture. The pathway doesn’t need to be clear. You just need one step.

If your goal requires MONEY to make it happen (as many do) – perhaps your first step is to set up a bank account with the goal name and amount you’ll need… then set up automatic transfers to that account.

For example… if your goal is to stay at the Jashita Hotel in Tulum Mexico for 10 days next summer (remember, be SPECIFIC with your goals) you will research the destination and activities, budget for time off, figure out how much you need to go… and then you’ll create a bank account that says “MEXICO – JULY 2022 – $4500” Then set up an automatic transfer for $375 per month, or $173 biweekly, or whatever.

(In the Pretty Money Club, we actually use bank account budgeting to automatically transfer our money to the places we want it to go. We’ve got mortgage accounts, grocery accounts, childcare expense accounts… and lifestyle accounts. So we know exactly how much spending money we have at any given time. And if we run out, we actually have to go transfer the money out of another account to spend it. Most people aren’t going to take money out of their “mortgage” account to get their hair done. But if they don’t have a system in place, they might get their hair done and then realise they don’t have enough in the account for when their mortgage comes out.)

If making your money pretty is a goal for you, then your action today is to sign up for the Pretty Money Course. All you gotta do is CLICK HERE for more info.

Why Cooking with your Spouse is just like BUDGETING

Do you cook with your spouse? I do… sometimes. Not often. 

(truth be told, Graham is the better cook. He enjoys cooking more… and it shows when the food is on the table…) 

Even if you don’t prepare meals together, just imagine that you do for the next couple of minutes. 

So how do you make dinner? You’ve gotta decide what you’re going to make, first! Imagine if both of you started getting out ingredients without even knowing what recipe you’re working on. It’d be an interesting mish-mash, but the result miiiiiight not taste so good. 

Next, you get to work! You figure out who is going to do what:

X —- You’re not both chopping the onions at the same time. (That’d be an easy way for someone to lose a finger.)

X —- You’re not nit-picking whether the tasks are divided exactly 50/50. (“You only diced 34 pieces of carrot?? I diced 58 pieces of red pepper! Slacker!” – Can you imagine?) 

✓ —- You DO both have a common goal: Make _________ (Spaghetti? Shepherd’s pie? Peppercorn steak and potatoes? Fillet mignon?) 

✓ —- You DO decide who is going to do what (one of you chops up veggies while the other seasons the meat and puts it on the grill!) 

Creating a budget, a.k.a. spending plan, a.k.a. path to your goals, is exactly the same! 

You both need to decide *and agree* upon your objective.

Then you both need to contribute to accomplish the plan. You don’t need to worry about who’s doing what, more, or whether or not it’s “even.” You each pitch in, in some way. 

If I do all the cooking, maybe my partner does the dishes. If I vacuum the house, maybe my partner mows the lawn. They may not be contributing the same amount of work to the recipe at hand, but they are contributing somewhere else. 

If one of you thinks it’s too salty or too spicy, you communicate that, so that you can find a way to make sure both of you enjoy the meal. It’s OK to stick your finger in the pot, taste the sauce, and suggest more salt! Just like it’s okay to make a suggestion about your common goals. 

In MANY households there is a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) that handles 90% of managing the finances. If this is the case, that’s fine — as long as there is open communication and the other partner is on board with how the plan is going. It can’t be in the brain of one partner. It needs to be on PAPER, so that BOTH people can see it… and know whether or not they are on track. How are you going to change the plan if it’s not written down?? How are you going to follow a recipe if you don’t have one to read from? 

http://www.prettymoneyclub.com/budgetsignup

Trying to manage finances with a partner can be really tricky. Often I hear from my clients that they talk and talk about their goals and objectives… they start out on the same page… annnnd then one of the partners throws in some extra ingredients, throwing the recipe off. 

So how can you possibly come up with a tasty meal if your partner keeps derailing it? You talk about what ingredient threw off the recipe. You talk about why that partner decided to throw it in. Did they decide after you started that they actually really didn’t want cake… and instead wanted pie? Did they commit to the recipe because they knew it was what YOU wanted, but their heart really wasn’t in it, so they weren’t really paying attention to what they were throwing in?

Sometimes the recipe just doesn’t work out. But you usually don’t throw it all away. You find a way to use what you’ve got to make something new.

I’m an Accredited Financial Counselor married to an Qualified Associate Financial Planner… many of our clients hire us because they want a 3rd party in their money conversations. They need support in talking about money in a different way. They need help seeing things from a different perspective. They want to make sure their common goals are not “his or her” ideas. Because often “money problems” are not actually money problems. They are communication problems. 

If you feel like you are on a hamster wheel with your partner in regards to your finances and you think that it’s time to get some support to finally get on the same page as your spouse, I’d love to chat. Send me an e-mail. Shoot me a message on Facebook. Or, even better, click here to  fill out my intake form (you’ll be prompted to book your free intake call at the end). We can set up a time to chat so that I can tell you about what financial coaching is, and if it’s something that will benefit you. 

Is the stock market like gambling?

The financial planning industry will tell you it’s just too hard, too risky, and too stressful to learn about the stock market on your own. When I ask women why they don’t invest, I hear things like…

“I don’t know where to start”
or 
“I’m afraid to lose my money”

But… 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 stock market, over it’s ENTIRE HISTORY (even through all those disasters) is almost 10%.

So really, one of the FIRST investment mistakes you can make is to NOT invest. 

(BY THE WAY… Many recent studies prove that women are better investors than men. Go on, Google it.)

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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!”

Experts often recommend BALANCE when talking about money. Yes, pay off debt, but make sure that you have an emergency fund and some fun money at the same time. Want to be a home owner? Great. Invest in your home, but have some liquid assets too. Don’t keep all your money in that one spot under your mattress. If there’s a fire, it’s all gone. The same goes for investments. If you put all your money on stocks in one company, it’s riskier.

So, HOW do you make sure your money is balanced out when investing in the stock market? One way is ETF’s. (Exchange Traded Funds)

An ETF is an investment fund that lets you buy a large basket of individual stocks or government and corporate bonds in one purchase. Think of ETF’s as the gift basket, and all the contents are stocks or bonds from different companies that have the same objective.

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Many ETF’s offer investments in groups of companies that operate under certain values, like being environmentally friendly, or offer to exclude companies that sell things like tobacco and firearms, if you wish. You can invest in ETF’s that are primarily made up of international equity, so that if the Canadian economy isn’t doing well, you’ve got your eggs in another basket. 
If you’ve talked to a banker about investments, chances are you have heard of mutual funds… (or you may even own some yourself!) 

Mutual funds are another way to buy many stocks/bonds at one time, except they’re taken care of by mutual fund managers who actively move your money around based on their predictions of which stocks will go up or down. 

The average mutual fund fee in Canada is 2.35% annually. The average ETF is 0.2%.

The funny thing is…

96% of mutual fund managers FAIL to outperform the market… and most of them don’t even offer financial PLANNING or teaching. (which means if you invest in an ETF all by yourself, stats prove you’re likely get the SAME results WITHOUT the middle-man taking his fees off your return.) 

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying mutual funds are BAD. I’m just saying that you should figure out what you’re paying versus what you’re getting. Just because you’re paying more doesn’t mean you’re getting a better return on your investment. 

I FIRMLY believe that every person should be able to evaluate the performance of their investments themselves… and have a basic understanding of how to invest wisely. That’s why this month in the Pretty Money Club we are dissecting our members investment accounts and comparing each type.
One size really doesn’t fit all… especially when it comes to your money. 

If you want to dive into a basic understanding of your investment options, check out my e-book called “Simple Talk About Stocks.”  In fact, I’ll give ya a coupon code just for reading this blog post!

INVEST20

Click here to see what the book is all about – and remember to use coupon code “INVEST20” 

How to budget when your cost of living is too high

Step 1: Create a budget plan. 

Most people who tell me that their cost of living is getting in the way of them accomplishing their goals don’t have a written budget… that’s actually working. 

You can’t control the cost of gas or groceries… but you can control your road map to success.

You can get anything you want. The challenge is knowing what you want. 

You MUST have clearly defined goals. Or else.. what are you making your budget for? 

If you don’t know how much money you have to support your goals… does it matter how expensive the things you buy are? No. Because if you don’t have a budget.. you don’t know if you can afford the shoes. The gas. The trip. The… fill in the blank.

You don’t know how much you’re willing to sacrifice from your Starbucks budget to move to that weekend getaway budget… because there’s no budget in place for either! 


You’re probably robbing Peter to pay Paul! 

(P.S Guess what? I don’t track my spending. I don’t have time for that! My system does NOT require you to save your receipts or go through your statements every month. Yes, you have to do this as part of your fact-finding… but after you’ve done it, you’re going to start putting your money where you want it to go… rather than investigating where it’s already gone… get my drift? Get started on a budget that works here.

Step 2: Make Changes.

This is the part that not many people like to hear. If your cost of living is too high, you have some choices to make. You can increase your income, decrease your expenses, or erase your goals.  

To make changes that are within your control, you first have to determine what you CAN control.

There is no magic wand you can wave to reduce the cost of gas…. You might be able to change how you transport yourself though. Maybe you can take the bus. Park in a cheaper place. Bike once a week.

You can’t change the cost of groceries. You can meal plan, though. You can choose to buy produce that is in season (and cheaper) rather than your favourite all the time. 

Surround yourself with people that are going to HELP you reduce your costs. Don’t hang out with people who are constantly wanting the next shiny thing… who only want to sit and chat on a fancy patio while buying drinks. You gotta get some accountability partners that are aligned with your goals! 

If your spending is not the problem, then perhaps you need to increase your income. Can you get a different job? Ask for a raise? Get benefits? |

Can you start a side hustle? Can you make money doing things that you’re already doing? (If you want some ideas for how to do this, check out my blog post here!

Can you erase something? 

Get rid of that subscription? Decide to stop that financial commitment? Say no to that 2nd cousin’s wedding? Make the powerful choice to stop putting pressure on yourself to save for that goal, just for a certain amount of time? 

We might need to get creative. Sometimes the amount of money that we have just doesn’t cover all the things we need and want. So have a real hard look at what you CAN change. At what you are willing to change. 

(P.S. – Change is hard. I get it! But you know what else is hard? Being broke. Feeling like you’re not in control of your life. Change is mandatory to life.
Can you imagine if our kids didn’t make changes? They have to learn to go to the potty. They have to learn to get themselves dressed. They have to learn how to do math. 

Don’t let your inner toddler come out and dictate your budget. Make the changes that you need to.)

That’s it.

Wait, what? 

Yes, that’s it! Were you expecting more steps? 
If you were expecting a 10 step system to resolve your high cost of living challenges, you are over-complicating things. 

It’s not complicated.


If your money is not working for you… you have to get a game plan down on paper and make some changes. 

You are the boss of your dollars.

YOU create a goal for them.
YOU create a system for them. 
YOU train them to do what you want. 
YOU monitor them and keep them on track. 

If you want to make a difference in your finances… stop giving up control and blaming the cost of living. Implement new strategies and figure out where you can make changes. 

If you need help to do that, get your name on the waitlist for the Pretty Money Club so that you can join the next intake of women who will go through the 8 week Pretty Money Course together in the summertime. 

Make Money… doing things that you’re already doing.

Imagine what you would do if you had a couple extra hundred bucks coming in every month. 

And before you scoff and say “I don’t have time to do anything MORE just to make a couple hundred dollars…” hear me out. 


MOST of the members in the Pretty Money Club are busy Moms. We are a tight group and have spent A LOT of time together creating and revising our budgets. We have already figured out where our money goes, learned where we can save, set up automatic transfers to save money for our future needs, and given ourselves a “spend with joy” budget to buy whatever WE want on a regular basis. 

Now we’re getting ambitious. We are on fire for our goals. We know that reprioritizing just a few hours a month of our time can expedite that family vacation, or earn us that gardener so we can spend that sunday afternoon at the lake with our kids rather than in the dirt pulling weeds. 

And making extra money is NOT hard. There is SO MUCH MONEY in the world… you just have to be willing to stick yourself out there and say “HEY! I WANT YOUR MONEY.” 

Well, okay, you will have to work a little for it. But probably not as hard as you might think. 

We talked about four different ways to generate extra income this month:

1) Doing things we are ALREADY doing. For example:

– Jennifer LOVES to garden and has a bunch of indoor plants, too. Instead of just giving away the ones she propagates or pruning the excess and throwing it away, she started potting and selling them. She picked up free nursery pots off marketplace, spent $15 bucks on potting soil, and has already made $180 selling plants at $10 a pop. 

– Heidi is big into meal prep. Since she is ALREADY doing it on a regular basis, she decided to check out her local mom group and found another busy mom that is willing to pay for pre-made meals a couple times per week. Time bonus for the other mom, cash bonus for Heidi.

2) Doing MORE of what we are already good at. For example:

– Marina is a grade 5 teacher. She decided that she would start a small math club to tutor kids who need the extra support after school for one hour every Thursday. There are three kids in the group and she charges $15 per week per kid. That’s $180 per month… and well worth it to the parents. 

– Erica does high level consulting for the government. Her skills are transferrable to coaching small business owners privately. We are currently brainstorming her side hustle. 

3) Reaching for the low-hanging fruit. For example:

It doesn’t require a large skillset or a university degree to clean a house, detail a car, walk a dog, or babysit. But don’t think of taking on a job like this as doing extra chores. Think about it as filling a gap in your budget and making more room for the things that you love. Money certainly can buy happiness if it means that you have extra money to spend on experiences with your family, or if it means you can indulge in some YOU time.

You might even be surprised to find that it does not feel like a huge chore. One of the Pretty Money Club members took on one client for bi-weekly house cleaning. She goes for three hours every other saturday morning from 8-11. She pops in her ear buds and listens to podcasts as she mops and scrubs. By the time she gets home, her partner has fed the kids and they’re ready to go do family stuff. She feels refreshed, having had quiet time to herself listening to something she enjoys annnnd she even got in a bit of a cardio workout. 

4) Creating a business. For example: 
One of the Pretty Money Club members is really good at building resumes… and figured out that she has a passion for helping people articulate what they’re good at! She’s actually an awesome coach! Not only can she help them put together a stunning resume, she can build their interviewing skills and leave them with more confidence in themselves than they had before they met her. This sparks a lot of joy in her life and fuels her with purpose… even more so than her regular job. 

This is something that she can definitely make a profit doing… but she has been practically GIVING these skills away.  week I am going to have the ladies put on their business hats… and really dive into what it means to build a business, how to make sure they’re profitable, and how to avoid the burn-out.

So… why am I giving you all this juicy incite into what the Pretty Money Club members do? 

Because I want you to see what’s possible, {first_name}. 


I want you to see what you can accomplish when you are in a group of like-minded women to encourage you and collaborate with. 

We busy moms have a LOT going on… but I guarantee you, we can take on MORE. We can gain more for our families and for ourselves! 

If you want to know when the Pretty Money Club is accepting new members, just put your name on the waitlist here and I will definitely let you know. 

Wishing ABUNDANCE to you,
Love Lindsay.

http://www.prettymoneyclub.com

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