Start Estate Planning

Where to Start with Estate Planning

Estate planning is a topic many of us avoid. For me it was because I don’t have kids, so I didn’t think it was important, but I realized that my estate plan is more than just distributing of my financial assets. It also includes my living will and power of attorney which provide instructions if I become unable to make decisions about my care and money. If you have kids, it will include guardianship if they are under 18. I contacted a law firm that specializes in wills and estate planning.

Your estate plan will include more then your will and financial assets. The estate plan can include power of attorney, living will or personal directives, trusts, and funeral plans. If you aren’t ready to contact a lawyer, you can do the first steps on your own. To not get overwhelmed by the process the first 2 things I recommend you do is figure out what financial and physical assets and debts you have and where are they. Do worry about if an item is valuable or not. If it is important to you or your family put it on the list. A good place to start is the list you may have done for your home insurance. This is a comprehensive list you’ll need to identify if you have a will or power of attorney or even a grave plot.

The second step is to list your important documents and information and again where are they. You’ll need to include your personal information like your birth date, and place of birth and social insurance number to more complex information about your bank accounts, investments, life insurance and pensions.  If you have kids, you’ll need to include their information as well.

This step can lead to more questions and can take time. Try your best to get as much information complied because it can help you make decisions about your will such as picking a guardian, executor or power of attorney.

Leave a comment or let me know if you have any questions. Next week I’ll talk about the terms used in estate planning.

Mindful Money Tips For the Holidays

These are strategies I have used to keep my costs under control during the holidays. They are simple, but I found they have made shopping less stressful especially when I have not had a lot of money. The most important thing is to make mindful money decisions this Christmas.

Here are my top three ways to make mindful money decisions. You can use them whether you are shopping in person or online. 

  1. Have an idea on what you are going to get people. Go window-shopping or look online to see what is available and where the best prices are. Resist the urge to buy right way. On your second trip make your purchase. This will help you know if you are getting a good price. If you only want to shop once than make a circle of the mall before you make your purchase.  
  2. Pay with cash. I found this is the best way to stick to my budget. It is easier to tap your card, but this can lead to mindless spending. If you don’t want to use cash, you your debt card rather than your credit card.
  3. Plan. Before you set out decided how much you are going to spend in total and for each person. This can keep you from overspending mindlessly. If you have a budget, you can make an informed decision about how you are spending your money.

I still follow these ideas because they keep me from getting overwhelmed and overspend during the holidays. Remember it is not about being perfect, it is about learning to use your money with intension.

Have a joyous holiday season.

If you have a question, send me a message.

Start Investing – 4 Questions

Four Questions to Answer Before Investing

You have been saving money and now you want to take the next step and start investing, but are not sure where to start. Investing helps you build your wealth faster then savings because you receive higher returns. The higher returns are the result of the increased risk that comes with investing. Meaning you could lose some of your investments. One of the first things you need to decide when you start investing is how comfortable are you with risk.  You also need to decide what your goals are, and what is your timeframe for each goal. Are your goals timeframe five years or twenty or more? The more time you have the more money you can earn and the less you have to event.

Answering the following questions will help you decide what type of investments you should purchase.

  1. What is your level of risk tolerance?
  2. What are your goals?
  3. What are your timeframes?
  4. What level of help do you want?

The reason you should start with determining your level of risk because it will help you narrow down the types of investments you should consider investing in. Investing is a long term activity and you may own different investments between five to 60 years. This means that the value of the investments go up and down. You need to be honest with yourself about how comfortable seeing your investments lose money.

Your goals help you determine how much money you need. It will also help you determine how much time you have before you need the money and how much you need to put into the investment. This in turn helps you figure out what return you need. The longer your timeframe the lower all these amounts will be. This is because the value of investments grows over time and the more time you have the more, they grow.

Finally, you need to decide on what type of help you need investing. If you want more guidance you can sign up with an investment advisor at a full-service brokerage, but if you want to do it on your own you can sign up with a direct investment service or with an online broker.  The fees for the brokerage will depend on the level of service they provide.

Click here to signup to receive the next Monthly Money Tip.

Simple Money Talk’s Future

I created Simple Money Talk because I wanted to help women gain confidence around making money decisions. This is still an important goal for Simple Money Talk, but after 10 years I have decided to shift the focus to providing information and online courses on helping women start investing. It is important that we get our money working for us. Especially in times of high inflation and interest rates.

The first course will be on the language of investing and focus on providing participants with a good understanding of what it means to invest, and the terms used. It will start by making sure we know what your money goals are. Then we will look at the several types of investing such as GICs, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, bonds, and stocks. What the risks are when you invest your money and the returns each type of investment can provided.

The second course will help you understand the basics of how you can start investing. We will look at how we invest through discount brokers, regular brokers, advisers, and robo-advisers. What are fees when you invest as well as tax beneficial products the government of Canada has. These include TFSAs and RRSPs.

I am looking forward to creating these courses for you. The Language of Investing launches on September 12, 2023, and the Basics of Investing on November 12, 2023.

If you are interested please send me a message and I will keep you updated with the launch. Follow me on social media. or

No Money Left at the End of the Month?

Unconscious spending could be the reason.

Unconscious spending are purchases that are made out of convince or habit rather than with an eye on budgets or long term planning. (FP Canada, 2022)


  • Adding items to get perks like free shipping
  • Using a credit card to make payments
  • Buying more than you planned because it was on sale

Money Tip – Following My Own Advice

The first step in creating a financial plan is to decide goals for you, your family, and your money. To create a plan, you also need to know how you are using your money and determine how much money you are going to need to achieve them.

During the month of October, I’m going to be following my own steps and tracking my spending. In the past, I have tried a few methods to keep track of my spending. I have been most successful entering my spending into a notebook or spreadsheet everyday, this is the accountant in me. I have tried other methods such as:

  • Keeping my receipt for the week and recording my spending at the end of the week
  • Allocating different amount for spending from my budget and reducing the amounts as they are spent.  This is known as the jar or envelope method
  • Using my bank and credit card statements by checking all transactions and assigning them to the budget categories

 This time I’m going to try the Mint app. I do not have an affiliation with Mint.

If you would like help and support to start tracking your spending, please let me know by leaving a comment below or emailing me at