5 Tasks in 5 minutes to improve 5 areas of your finances! (Part #5)

Before the kids go on summer vacation, I am examining 5 tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes each to improve 5 different areas of your finances!

Last week we talked about the importance of INVESTING. Every year you don’t have money in investments is another year you are losing out on the effects of compound interest. YES, I know right now the stock market is going bonkers and we are heading into a recession…. HOWEVER…. smart investing is thinking about the LONG-TERM. If you look at the performance of the stocks you are interested in over the last 5 years rather than just the last year… you’ll probably find that they were up, UP, UPPPP! That’s because when your investment strategy is to put money in while the market is low… and leave it there for the long term (at least 5 years) you are far more likely to see gains.

** (If you’ve never managed your own investments before, I recommend downloading my e-book Simple Talk About Stocks so that you can get started!)

This week we are going to talk about pushing your monthly cashflow further into the green!

How? Decreasing expenses and increasing revenue.

I know first-hand as a crazy busy mama that it is really EASY to start bleeding money. Life gets busy, I start paying for convenience more often, and I lose track of my budget. Add on the sticker shock of inflation and it’s understandable that many of us have been struggling and worried.

For this exercise, I want you to do THREE things:


  1. Nix those subscriptions: How many subscriptions do you have? Can you go without one? Can you call a friend or family member and share the cost of one? Go through your monthly subscriptions and decide.
  2. Review your cellphone / internet / cable bills. Many of you are paying too much for your cellphones, cable, and/or internet. Do you need that much data? Have you reviewed prices at different companies? Do you NEED cable television, or can you switch to a streaming service? You’d be amazed at how much you can reduce your monthly expenses by simply calling your service provider and telling them you’re thinking of switching. I’m on Vancouver Island and many of my local peeps have switched their internet service over to Lightspeed and their cellphones over to Public Mobile. Drastic changes.
  3. Plan your grocery budget. I guarantee you’re EATING YOUR MONEY. I do a whole back to school grocery challenge that will slash your food bill an incredible amount… so make sure you follow my social media accounts to get in on the action this September! But if you’re interested in cutting your food bill within this 5 minute challenge, download my free grocery shopping guide and use it to plan your next trip!
  4. Reduce your energy consumption: Some people swear by flipping the breaker switch on the baseboard heating during the summertime so the kids can’t crank it up when it really doesn’t need to be in use. You could change your lightbulbs over to LED, limit shower time, hang your laundry instead of using the dryer, unplug electronics that you’re not using, and limit the sprinkler use this summer.
  5. Reduce the interest rate on your credit card: If you are carrying a balance on your credit card, you can talk to your bank about getting a line of credit with a lower interest rate instead. If you are really struggling with debt, talk to a professional. It may be possible to negotiate lower interest rates, or even reduce your debt load.
  6. Borrow instead of buy: Want to go camping this summer? You probably have a friend that has a few of the things you’ll need. Buy them a case of beer and borrow their stuff instead of buying brand new.
  7. Think local: Instead of spending the gas money to travel this summer, stay local! Checkout groupon and your local deals. Is there a coupon book for your area? Remember, community centers offer fun stuff for families!
  8. Don’t drive. Can you reduce the amount you spend on driving, even once per week? Can you take the bus? Can you ride a bike? Can you carpool? Can you share driving the kids to summer camp with another parent?
  9. Plan your back to school shopping early. You know you’re gonna need school supplies… but you probably don’t need all brand new stuff. I bet you’ve got a ton of pencil crayons and markers in your house that you could collect and re-use! For clothing, check out Facebook Marketplace or your local thrift store instead of buying a brand new wardrobe for the kid that is just gonna tear the knees out on the first day of school.
  10. BIG CHANGES: You COULD make some major changes to decrease your expenses. Housing costs high?Re-locate or remortgage. High car payment? Sell it and get a cheaper one. OR, switch to an electric vehicle (the up front cost may be more, but you may save a ton on gas and maintenance.)


  1. Sell some stuff: Have a garage sale, go through your clothes and sell them in bundles on Facebook Marketplace, find the things lurking in the deep dark cupboards of your kitchen that you haven’t used… like, ever…. (hello Instant-Pot!?)
  2. Carpool: See if you can make some extra cash by ride-sharing! Maybe you’d help another parent out by offering to drive their kids home from school. Perhaps your co-worker would be stoked to pay half the gas for a ride to work. OR consider ride-sharing so someone can borrow your vehicle!
  3. Side Hustle: You don’t have to create a whole company to start a side hustle. And you don’t have to commit to a part-time job. But maybe you could offer up 3 hours a month to clean someone’s house? Or detail a car? Or walk a dog? Or babysit? I know several Mama’s who have decided to commit to a biweekly job like this… and they find it’s actually relaxing! They pop in their ear buds and enjoy some kid-free peace and quiet while getting paid to listen to their fav podcast.
  4. Make money doing things you already do: I’ve got a whooooole article on this, baby.
  5. Rent your space: Got an extra room? Get a roommate or an international student. Got workshop space? Rent out storage! Got garden space? Offer it up in exchange for some of the veggie yield. Have a camper? Rent it out!
  6. Ask for a raise, or find a new job: Advocate for yourself! If your boss absolutely cannot afford to give you raise, maybe they can provide you a benefit in another way, such as a monthly grocery gift card (which would be a tax write off for them) or a change to your benefits.

As always, share your questions with Make Your Money Pretty crew, because you can help each other figure out ways to make your dreams attainable!

PSSST: if you don’t have an advisor, we are licensed all across Canada and would be happy to help you! Just e-mail me: lindsay@prettymoneyclub.com

5 Tasks in 5 minutes to improve 5 areas of your finances! (Part #4)

Before the kids go on summer vacation, I am examining 5 tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes each to improve 5 different areas of your finances!

Last week you wrote down your dreams!! If your dreams don’t scare you a little, then you’re dreaming too small. And now that you’ve written those goals down, I’m gonna tell you a fun fact, according to a Harvard Business study: 

  • 83% of the population have NO goals
  • 14% have a plan, but NO written goals
  • ONLY 3% have written goals
  • The study went on to find that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals.
  • The 3% with written goals are 3 times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals.

So… WELCOME to the top 3%, beautiful!


Investing is an important check box for financial adulting… and there are countless ways to leverage your money. For the sake of this e-mail, I’m talking about investing in the stock market. 

Why should you invest? Because putting your money in a high interest savings account isn’t good enough. Smart investing may allow your money to outpace inflation and increase in value. BASIC investing will in all likelihood earn you at least a 9% return, whereas with a savings account you’d be LUCKY to get 1.5%.

Now, I’m not talkin’ about emptying your whole bank account into the stock market. Smart investing is like putting monthly contributions into a time capsule. It is NOT trying to time the market and invest in the next pre-pandemic Shopify (which, by the way, went up 2373% over 5 years…)

The magic of compounding interest can only work with a healthy dose of time, so get your dollars working for you ASAP.


That’s how much money you could lose by waiting to start saving for retirement for a single year. According to David Blanchett, head of retirement research at the institutional asset manager QMA, a person who starts putting $5,000 annually into a retirement account at age 25 will have $475,128 saved by the time they turn 65. If that same person held off for just one year—and started contributing $5,000 a year at 26—they’ll retire with $452,046. That’s more than $23,000 lost by simply delaying ONE YEAR.

Researchers in Britain who pitted the investment strategies of monkeys against the market in an experiment concluded that the monkeys, over time, were better at picking stocks. So… don’t bother paying that mutual fund manager. You could literally hire a monkey. Or better yet… just do it yourself! 

Now obviously we aren’t gonna tackle the giant topic of investing in 5 minutes… and you’ve already spent that long reading this post.. but here is your simple task for this week:

If you HAVE investments, make an appointment with your financial planner to discuss how they are doing. Are you on track to achieve the goal you set for the investment? Do you need to adjust your contributions?  

If you DON’T have investments, find a financial advisor that can get you set up. (Compare fees, services, and products!) 


(P.S. if you’re really interested in learning to DIY your own stocks, I’ve got a real simple step-by-step guide for ya HERE)


  • The biggest investment mistake you can make is to NOT invest.
  • The average mutual fund fee in Canada is 2.35%  The average ETF (exchange traded fund) is 0.2%. (so… do this one.)
  • Every year you don’t invest, you lose out on compound interest… so get on that task! MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY.

    PSSST: if you don’t have an advisor, we are licensed all across Canada and would be happy to help you! Just e-mail me: lindsay@prettymoneyclub.com

As always, share your questions with Make Your Money Pretty crew, because you can help each other figure out ways to make your dreams attainable!

5 Tasks in 5 minutes to improve 5 areas of your finances! (Part #3)

Hey there!

In this blog series, I am examining 5 tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes each to improve 5 different areas of your finances!

I know that many of you need help with reining in your spending and figuring out what to prioritize financially… but you struggle because you just don’t feel like you have the TIME.

I totally get it. Life is BUSY. Life costs MONEY.

BUT EVEN with small bits of continuous dedication, you can still move FORWARD. Even if you only have FIVE minutes every week… Those 5 minutes have a compounding effect.


let that sink in.

Goal getter, girl.

This is the fun part. This is where you get to dream BIG. I don’t even want you to think about HOW you are going to achieve the things that you want… I just want you to figure out WHAT you want. There is NO point in stringently saving money if you don’t have anything that you want to spend it on. What are you LIVING for? What do you want to DO with your time on earth? Where do you want to GO? How do you want to GROW as a person? What do you want to LEARN?

We tend to get locked up in a cookie-cutter way of living. I don’t want you to compare your life or your goals to anyone else. If your dreams are unconventional… that’s GREAT. The key here is to be incredibly true to yourself. If you’re a Mom, like me, I know that you probably prioritize your family. I know that you work incredibly hard. I know that “you-time” is a rare commodity. But for this exercise, we need to step outside of our role as a Mother. We need to remember who we are as individuals. Adding to the richness of our lives as individuals will absolutely overflow positivity into our life long journey as a parent and as a partner.

So… tell me what you want. What you REALLY REALLY want.

I want you to write down the following goals:
1) Personal goal to achieve by the end of ONE YEAR
2) Personal goal to achieve in the next FIVE YEARS
3) Personal goal that is ONGOING for LIFE

Now, for the relationships closest to you… (could be your family, close friends…)
1) Common goal to achieve by the end of ONE YEAR
2) Common goal to achieve by the end of FIVE YEARS
3) Common ONGOING goal for LIFE

For each goal, I want you to think of a creative way that you can VISUALIZE it. You could make vision boards, where you cut photos out of magazines that relate to the goal. You could create a desktop background with your goal written on it. You could make a bracelet that you’ll wear to symbolize your goal. Whatever your creative outlet it, I want you to place those goals somewhere that you’ll be reminded of them EVERY SINGLE DAY. For the common goals with the important people in your life, you’ll do this activity together.


  • Without goals, you don’t know what you’re working for… or where your money should be prioritized.
  • After you complete the above activity, try turning each of those goals into S.M.A.R.T. goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.)
  • These don’t need to be huge, meaningful, epic goals (although they absolutely can be!) Your personal goal could be as simple as earning enough money to get your nails done each month!

This is usually a FUN one to share with the Make Your Money Pretty crew, because you can help each other figure out ways to make your dreams attainable! And sometimes members in the group can even help you on your quest! Collaborating with other crazy-busy-like-minded women is a huge benefit. Come join the group and tell us what fills your dream cup.

5 tasks in 5 minutes to improve 5 areas of your finances! (Part #2)

Hey there!

In this blog series, I am examining 5 tasks that you can complete in 5 minutes each to improve 5 different areas of your finances!

I know that many of you need help with reining in your spending and figuring out what to prioritize financially… but you struggle because you just don’t feel like you have the TIME.

I totally get it. Life is BUSY. Life costs MONEY.

BUT EVEN with small bits of continuous dedication, you can still move FORWARD. Even if you only have FIVE minutes every week… Those 5 minutes have a compounding effect.


let that sink in.

It’s time to find the facts.

If you want to be the boss of your budget, you can’t do it by using numbers you THINK are probably correct. They won’t be. Any time I ask someone who has never budgeted how much they THINK they spend on, say, groceries… they are usually way off the mark. You gotta look at the cold hard facts. Ideally, you would go through one year of financial statements (to catch any of those irregular costs), including any card that you spend money from… but for this 5 minute exercise, one month will do.

If you use cash to spend, this will be difficult to track if you don’t keep receipts. In my experience, it’s usually best to use a debit card for all your transactions, so that you have a record.

You can use an app for this, if you like. Some people find great success using Mint or YNAB. If you’d rather use paper, you can print off your statements and use a different coloured highlighter for each category.

I want you to categorize your spending into the following:

  • Housing costs (mortgage or rent, property taxes, municipal fees, garbage/recycling, hydro, heat, water, electricity, home insurance, content insurance. Anything directly related to your housing. You may choose to put internet and phone under here if you deem those necessary.)
  • Groceries (do not include anything you deem as above and beyond normal groceries, like luxury beauty products or additional items you buy that don’t fall into the groceries category. In fact, when I go to Costco, I separate my actual groceries from the things that would fall into other categories.)
  • Transportation (gas for the car, car payments, auto insurance, parking fees. Do not include maintenance.)
  • Insurance (Life, CI, DI insurance) You may choose to categorize home and auto insurance under this category instead. Whatever works for you!
  • House Maintenance & Car Maintenance
  • RRSP/RESP contributions
  • Debt Repayment installations
  • Registrations / Tuition / Childcare (kids sports activities, private school, before and after school care, daycare)
  • Lifestyle (anything that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories)

You can’t make a budget out of unicorns and rainbows… don’t pull your numbers out of fantasy land. Look at your financial statements.

Lindsay Plumb

Add up the total of all those categories. Are you surprised by anything?


  • If you don’t have a plan for your money, you are definitely going to OVERSPEND.
  • Every dollar you overspend is a dollar you are ROBBING from your future self and your goals.
  • The more accurate your spending analysis, the better you will be able to set up your future budgeting plan.

You can afford ANYTHING. But not EVERYTHING.

Lindsay Plumb

I would love for your to hop in to my free facebook group “Make Your Money Pretty” to share your results with other crazy-busy-moms like yourself! Why? Because then you’ll see that you are NOT alone and that other people have similar struggles. You will also get to learn solutions from other people in your shoes! Y’kno… solutions that actually might work for your crazy family lifestyle, rather than the complicated time-consuming strategies that many financial gurus expect you to learn.

Come join us!!!

5 tasks in 5 minutes to improve 5 aspects of your finances! (Part 1)

The inspiration for this blog post came from one of my gorgeous Pretty Money Club members (as my blog posts so often do…) Check this screenshot out:


Interesting, right?

This is one of my Pretty Money Club members in our private Facebook Group… and I immediately started writing because there’s such a valuable teaching moment present right there!

You see, this member took the Pretty Money Course 2.5 years ago, and has been a member of the club ever since. She continued to keep her budget top of mind, even if it wasn’t perfect.

She committed her time whenever she could (yep… sometimes she’d disappear for a month or two… but that’s how us busy moms have to operate sometimes!) 

She. Didn’t. Give. Up.

If it wasn’t pretty… she tried a different way. 

I know that many of you need help with reining in your spending and figuring out what to prioritize financially… but you struggle because you just don’t feel like you have the TIME. 

I totally get it. Life is BUSY. Life costs MONEY.

This Facebook post shows something – that EVEN with small bits of continuous dedication, you can still move FORWARD. Even if you only have FIVE minutes every week… Those 5 minutes have a compounding effect. 

5 minutes per week adds up to FOUR HOURS at the end of a year…

5 minutes per day adds up to THIRTY HOURS at the end of a year…

let that sink in.

It reminded me that we make things so difficult for ourselves when things can actually be so easy!

Like how this Pretty Money Club member chose not to give up, even when her finances may have been more ugly duckling than she would have liked. Even when it felt like very little progress was being made. 

So! With that being said… I give to you:

5 things you can do in 5 minutes to improve 5 areas of your finances!

Thing #1 – Uncover your subconscious thoughts about money.

When I sit down with a client to talk about their money problems, I usually hear a lot of stories told with real emotion (usually frustration, despair, anxiety, or hopelessness.) What I DON’T often hear are objective facts. And this makes perfect sense! As we experience life, we internalize stories through the lens of how the experience left us feeling. Since money is a critical tool in our every day life, it makes sense that any emotions we experience related to money are intertwined into the rest of our life story.

In order to tackle the root cause of our money obstacles, we need to dig them out of the emotional sand pit.

Lindsay Plumb

For this 5 minute task, I want you to use 2 full minutes to journal about money. Don’t try to write anything cohesive or beautiful, just let it out and don’t stop. Set a timer and write (or type) anything that comes to mind for a full two minutes. Think about how you grew up. Think about your opinion of bad / good money management. Write down any particularly emotional words that come to mind.

Done? Now I want you to grab a highlighter and highlight common words, or themes, or anything that you find particularly powerful. Spend about 1 minute doing this.

Now, use the last two minutes to really analyze those highlighted areas. Where do these thoughts/feelings come from? Are they tied to a significant event in your life? What is the actual underlying problem? Do you have enough information to move forward, or do you need to do more investigating? Are the things that you wrote down actually TRUE? What aspect of your finances do these areas relate to? Are the things you wrote down mostly negative, or positive?

Money Area: MINDSET.

  • Our beliefs are powerful enough to make or break our lives.
  • Almost 95% of what we think is subconscious… what hidden thoughts are tinting your lenses of what your future could hold?
  • You have the power to change your limiting beliefs and align your mindset with your future goals

You can afford ANYTHING. But not EVERYTHING.

Lindsay Plumb

Once you have completed this task, I would LOVE for you to come and share with me and my pretty money tribe! Why? Because collaboration, broadening perspective, and learning new hacks from other crazy-busy-women is what we are all about. Join me inside the facebook group and watch your money become prettier, too!

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. 


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!


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.


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. 


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!)




🔮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?


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.

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