Golden Girl Finance
Trish Petersen
Posts (3)

Ask the Expert

Q&A: Is investing in your summer vacation a good investment?

September 21st, 2012 by

We lease a spot at a provincial park for the summer and they are now selling them for around $40K for a lease of 99 years. People seem to be buying at a fast rate. We would hate to lose our spot; is this a good investment? Also, if we had to borrow, would it be better to borrow from a bank or finance the lease through the company? They are willing to finance the lease with $10K down and $5K every year until paid in full, at 8% interest. Alternatively, is it better to buy farming land and rent it out to a farmer?

Asked by Lou, Porcupine Plain, SK


Your question about whether or not this is a good investment is subjective - it really is up to you.

The points to consider in answering this question are...

  1. What does this purchase represent for me and my family?

  2. What value do I place on this?

  3. Am I willing and able to pay for it?

People buying at a fast rate could be more of an indication that they see the value in it for themselves, rather than it being a good deal that they want to snap up. An investment in your sustained happiness and enjoyment in life is always a valid one, as long as you are aware of the financial implications and know that you can manage it. Eyes wide open, as the saying goes.

Regarding borrowing avenues, you would be prudent to explore opportunities with your bank and compare the cost of borrowing with what the company is offering. An interest rate of 8% on a lease may be considerably higher than what your bank may be able to offer on an equity line of credit, for example. Explore your options and give it due diligence before making any decisions.

Your alternative consideration of buying farm land and renting it out could also be a valid investment opportunity. However don't underestimate the value of investing in an opportunity that brings a lifetime of enjoyment for your family by offering a place to gather in the summer, spend time together and create long-lasting memories for generations to come.

Ask the Expert

Q&A: How to move on from divorce with financial confidence

January 14th, 2012 by

I have recently gone through a divorce from my husband of 25 years. Through the division of our assets, I have received a significant lump sum settlement. My husband was the one who always took care of the financial side of our relationship because I've never been good with money. I am scared, anxious and confused about what to do next - it's like I'm frozen and unable to move forward confidently like I am with the rest of my life. How do I get past this overwhelm?

Asked by Anonymous


Congratulations on moving forward with your life after your 25-year relationship with your husband. It's now time to move forward with your 25-year (and likely lifetime) relationship with money. Your belief that you've "never been good with money" needs to be left behind with the divorce papers. It is not serving you in this next phase of your life.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What evidence do you have that proves you have "never been good with money"?

  • Is it still true?

  • Are you ready to prove it wrong?

Often we carry assumptions about ourselves and money that come from an experience earlier in our lives, even during our childhood. Because we so rarely talk about money (in our culture, it's more taboo than talking about sex!), these assumptions continue to operate unconsciously and impact our financial behaviours.

You have the confidence to be moving forward in other areas of your life and you need to apply the same confidence to your financial life.

In my work as a money coach, I work with eight different money types. It would serve you to become more familiar with the energy of the Warrior in this situation. The Warrior takes charge, getting things done in a focused, decisive way. A Warrior money type is discerning, powerful and driven to succeed. You probably recognize this energy in other areas of your life - use this wisdom in your financial life. And where you feel you don't know, don't have the skills or the confidence, ask for help.

I believe that everyone has the capacity to be good with their money, as long as they are given the tools and most importantly, the confidence, to use them. Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are many skilled financial professionals who are able to advise you on the practical issues of moving forward financially; first, however, you must get past the emotion of overwhelm you've associated with money.

Ask the Expert

Q&A: I am disciplined with finance at work, but not in my personal financial situation - why?

January 14th, 2012 by

In my work life, I have managed multi-million dollar budgets, negotiated contracts, and have done this very successfully. I understand budgeting and finance, however I have not been able to apply the same discipline to my personal finances, and recently, for the second time now, I have had to re-mortgage my home to cover expenses. I should know better. Why does this keep happening?

Asked by Anonymous


It sounds like you've got some great money management skills that you've developed in your work life. However, these skills don't always easily transfer into our more complex personal lives. There's an inherent accountability that your work life provides that isn't necessarily present in your personal life. That accountability is up to you.

Many of our financial behaviours are rooted in our relationship with money and our "money story" - i.e., the messages we heard around money growing up, our earliest experiences with money, and the emotions we associate with money. Basically, your relationship with money and the beliefs that you hold around money are limiting your success with it and contributing to the out-of-control expenses. Often these beliefs are not even conscious until you have a chance to articulate them and take notice of how these beliefs are impacting your financial behaviours. So really, we don't know any better; we simply don't know what we don't know.

As such, this is the time to be really curious about your own beliefs and emotions around money that are making you less accountable to yourself and to your budget. Some questions to help you in your discovery:

  • Write out your own history with money. This is the time to be really honest with yourself about your money story. Be on the look-out for repeat patterns and messages about money that go back as far as your childhood.

  • Look at the money management skills you've developed in your work life. See which ones can be applied to your personal situation.

  • Ask for help. Ask your partner or friend to hold you accountable to money management practices that will keep you in check so that your expenses don't once again get out of hand. Engage the services of a professional planner or advisor who can help you devise a financial plan that you can live by.

There is a wealth of knowledge and expertise out there to help us all with the practical (and necessary) side of money management. However, until we address the emotional side of the coin, we run the risk of repeating the same patterns of behaviour that will sabotage our success. Good luck with your exploration.