Most of us aren't getting the sleep we need each night and it's impacting our physical and mental health. Lack of sleep also greatly diminishes our ability to practice patience (and we know we need that as a parent). We've declared February, sleep month, and we'll be sharing our best tips from the experts on how to sleep better plus exploring the bedrooms and sleep routines of other moms!
Our February guest expert is Shannon Lee Simmons. She is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Investment Manager, entrepreneur, and founder of the New School of Finance. With courses like Budget With Your Boo or Don't Get Effed At Tax Time, her fun and real approach to finances makes us sweat less and smile more. Money and sleep? Lots of us are unable to fall asleep because we're worried about our finances but don't know where to turn to get them under control. Shannon is here to share her expertise, wait 'til you see the credit card trick she shares in this interview, it will keep you on point for your savings goals!
Coffee, Tea, Water, or Green Smoothie? How do you start your day?
Tea first. Always. Then green smoothie 🙂
Tell us what makes you weird/awesome.
I put a dollop of red nail polish on the top right corner of every calculator I've had since high school.
Tell us about yourself, and your work/blog/something you want to share.
I am the founder of the New School of Finance, Canada's first online personal finance school and I run a fee-only financial planning firm in Toronto! I'm an all around money and tax nerd.
How can women be more mindful about their finances?
I put small stickers on my credit card. When I choose the sticker, I try to find one that represents something I'm saving for. So, for a trip, I will put a small palm tree sticker. Then, every time I pull out my credit card I see the palm tree and it reminds me that I'm saving for a trip. Our finances really do come down to the daily transactions. It forces me to stop and think, “is this purchase something I really need or is it something I just want in this moment” and “is this purchase more important than my larger goals” Sometimes the answer is YES. Sometimes (often) it's not. So, it helps create mindfulness to keep my spending in check. Right now I've got a gold star sticker on it because I ran out of goal-based stickers. But, the impact is the same!
Share your best financial hack. What makes your life easier?
I separate my money into two accounts. Money I can spend and money I can't spend (bills, savings) each month. This allows me to spend money GUILT FREE. It's a game changer.
Do you have a favourite eco-product?
At home: I make my own cleaners and avoid non-toxic cleaners. Life changing.
At work: Oddly enough, Dropbox. I know that sounds strange but When I worked on Bay street, the amount of paper that was needlessly printed was insane! In the financial industry, documentation is still pretty old school. So much is still printed out. To me, this is such a waste of paper. Dropbox allows me to run my business in the cloud and share docs with clients securely so that none of us have to waste paper!
What’s one area in your life that you’d like to make more eco-friendly?
I want to become more eco-friendly with the beauty products that I use. I have become more educated on the chemicals that are in so many beauty products, ick! My new years resolution is to go green with my beauty products. I'm doing an overhaul.
What advice would you give to a mother who's family finances are keeping her awake at night?
You are not alone. We all have so many demands on us. Be a good mom, friend, partner, career woman but do all of this while maintaining a budget and savings plan. No pressure!! My biggest tip is to prioritize your goals. We only have so much money and we can't do everything so we need to make sure we get the biggest bang for our buck. Often, paying down debts first is the biggest bang for your buck, even though it doesn't feel as fun as some other savings targets.
Is there a quote you live by?
How do you practice mindful living?
I do yoga and I cycle. These are must haves in my life for balance. Things fall off the rails when I stop doing yoga or when I can't bike to work!
What’s currently on your nightstand?
My glasses, a book called “The Feast of Stephen” (it's great btw), a mug from a cup of chai tea.
What is the one thing you always do to take care of yourself?
Make sure I book time to go up north to the cottage. My family cottage is my happy place and I try to ensure we get up north as often as possible so I can be with family, in nature and not near any wifi!!
Why are you excited to a be a guest contributor to Green Moms Collective?
Because it's awesome! It's so important to have places where women can go to learn realistic and approachable ways to live healthier lives. Green Moms Collective is all about mindfulness and mindfulness is so important with our money as well. Just like eco-friendly living isn't an instant change, financial freedom isn't instant either. But, as a team, we can all share and learn from each other to move ourselves towards a happier life.