This & That

Do you guys know how FABULOUS y’all are? I’ve been reading through your blog comments and the comments on the Have Your Say and I think you’re all pretty neat. I love the way you’re talking about money, sharing your ideas and giving advice to each other. That’s exactly why I set up this site, and I’m so glad it’s working.      I’ll be in Niagara Falls at the Meridian Credit Union Annual Meeting on Tuesday evening at the Americana Conference Resort and Spa, 8444 Lundy’s Lane. So if you’re a member, come say “hi” and get a hug.   I’m working on a series of articles on Retirement for y’all. I’ve had so many requests from people who want help figuring out the retirement thang. I think I’ll have 7 articles in all, and I’ll blog when they’re ready. If there are things that you still need that aren’t covered in the articles — you will read the articles BEFORE you ask questions, right? — comment on the blog and I’ll see what I can do for you.   I’ve been enjoying the fine weather here at Wits End. Man, am I ever glad to see the back of winter.  I can’t wait to get my pots started.  Since a big part of the country was hit with a snowstorm, I’m holding off for a while yet. But I’m itching. So much so, I went to my local greenhouse and bought a bunch of succulent, then repotted them into lovely containers for my sunroom and kitchen. I love succulents. I think it’s because they’re wonky-looking. Anyhoo, a morning’s worth of entertainment, and opportunity to get dirt under my nails and a lovely set of arrangements that are going to multiply and require division — more puttering around — in a year or so.   One of the questions I had running through my mind as I played in the dirt is this: How can I spread the word about getting money smart in ways that will draw more people in and will help people see that this isn’t as hard as some think it is?   Remember that old commercial for shampoo where the screen splits and the pretty girl says, “And I told two friends”, and then it splits again, “and we told two friends,” and it splits again, “and so on, and so on, and so on.”  That image has always stayed with me. Malcolm Gladwell calls it “buzz.” I want to find a way to use buzz to get to more people than I’m currently reaching. What do you think?  Do you have any ideas about what we could do, as a money-smart community, to attract more people to financial enlightenment (hey, how’s that for inspirational), and help them recognize that their money can’t be ignored forever?  What do you think it would take to get people focused on fixing their messed-up money?    Well, I’m off to listen to my son, Malcolm, practice guitar. Then I have to get ready for my interview. Hope y’all have a wonderful week.   TTFN    

11 Responses to “This & That”

  1. avatar Sharlene Burke Says:
    April 20, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    One way I’ve used to get the word out is to forward blog articles that are pertinent to people around me. My company’s website posted information about paying off mortgages faster. I’m a total fan and because I can and do use advice/suggestions from this forum and BELIEVE in it, I am excited to tell anyone who will listen. Currently my peer group comprises young families with mortgages who are starting out in their professional career (engineers and accountants) and need to have some focus/direction over career path and look into their future. We’ve even set up a television in the boardroom for our 4:30 ‘hit’ of the show and then invariably we dissect and discuss the episode. Its so liberating to bring talk of money out of the closet.

  2. avatar Kay Stewart Says:
    April 21, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Hi Gail, I have a girlfriend coming round in the morning & we are setting up her Interactive budget sheet & money jars, she is very excited to start as she has seen how well it is working for my husband & myself.We will also be setting up a seperate account for her husband (a plumber) who to date has kept all finances (business & home) together, so obviously they have been geting into difficulty, at times. She has already got an “Office in a box” for him to keep in his ute (Aussie for truck).

  3. Hi Gail,

    Your blog has blessed me beyond measure. My husband and I are two totally different spender/saver types and we’ve accrued debt due to many issues (he moved to Canada, couldn’t work for 18 months, Calgary is stupid expensive, oh and I spend too much!) and we recently started taking control of our spending and debt. I’ve handed over the money reins to my hubby who has been one part ‘head in sand’ and one part ‘can’t comment because he’s not working’ and finally we are climbing OUT of debt.

    I come here every day to find inspiration about finances and you never let me down!

    So here are my ideas for generating buzz:

    I’ve already linked to a couple of your posts on my own blog. Perhaps you could consider a virtual blog tour for your upcoming book. A virtual blog tool is one where you write a few post about finance and you ‘guest post’ them on blogs related to your topic. You might consider a contest in which people can enter by posting their own blog post about money/finance and linking back to your blog. (They put their ‘entry’) in the comment section. You draw a winner for your book…

    You already have a reality-type show that uses real people, but what if you had three or four ‘sub-blogs’ (basically just linked in your right hand side bar) that are written by people like me who are in the trenches RIGHT NOW digging themselves out. You could have a monthly ‘check in’ (or ‘cheque in’ if you will) where people post their ACTUAL dollars… complete with fancy-shmancy graphs showing progress. This is the type of thing that inspires me, seeing people actually doing it… I LOVE your show, but I love seeing the nuts and bolts of how people are getting out of debt each day.

    (FYI, I’d totally volunteer for this reality blogging…. feel free to contact me 403-569-1500 or hlcook @

    What about a Canada-wide challenge for couples … whoever can get the most debt down in a year (based on percentage of income/debt rather than just straight dollars) gets… um… something. A phone call from you, a copy of your book, money (ha, see, now I’m spending YOUR money), or a consultation or even a trip somewhere from a lovely sponsor!

    I have some other ideas… a little long for a blog comment though!

  4. Oooh, another one… try signing up for Twitter… I can’t check if you’re on Facebook here at work, but even if you don’t have time for Facebook you can likely have someone manage your profile for you.

  5. Ok, now my brain is turned on…

    Reader/viewer submitted “top ten money saving ideas” or “top ten debt reducers”…. get people thinking outside the box.

    Use Youtube, have readers/viewers submit ‘commercials’. Like those ads I see these days that are SUPER smart and catchy… Youtube is a great tool to get a message to go “viral”…

    Do you have a regular eNewsletter? I’ve used and it’s been really easy to use. Have a “sign up and get this budget ebook” link… then just compile your articles and budget worksheet into a quick 30 pg ebook….

    What about something that teaches parents how to teach their kids, could you consider a “kids” version of your site/blog or even a section of an eNewsletter that is targeted to kids/parents.

    Now off to earn money….


  6. It would be lovely if you could target teens, Gail. I wish you could actually hook up with a school board and do some shows that would attract young people. Don’t know how you would do that though. I don’t know if you have done this as yet Gail but I think you could probably do something with a cd. In fact, Gail, I think every rice krispie box should have one of your cd’s! Or Chatelaine! A CD with an interactive budget….a sort of get started way to budget.

  7. You know, I think it’s funny that you’re trying to think of reaching more and more people… and that image you had of that shampoo commercial? it’s absolutely true! You know that every single person who reads your blog and who has used the tools you provide on your show and on your website has told everyone THEY know and in turn they’ve told everyone THEY know… I started by telling one of my sisters, who’s ecstatic about it. Now, this Saturday, I’ll be telling my other sister. I’ll be showing her the Interactive Budget Worksheet, the jars and the budget binder!! I’ll be GAIL FOR A DAY!!

    You may not see it here, but you’re reaching more and more people every day.

  8. not that the rest of us aren’t worth saving, but possibly hitting it pro actively instead of reactively might work long term. you and/or people trained and ‘enlightened’ (good term) in similar ways could do motivational and informative speaking to high schools and universities, back when debt was a fetus. you know, catch it before it’s born?
    instead we try to catch it when it’s rearing it’s ugly head into adolescence and adulthood, when it’s too stubborn to change and admit failure. much harder of a challenge.

  9. I’d love to second kristin’s comment — I don’t want to do the blame game here but a LOT of my money problems as an adult stem from what I was and was not taught as a kid. Many of my generation were raised by hippy dippy types who taught us “la la la la la la live for today”, money is evil, real jobs are a sell out, all you need is love blah blah. I’m a big believer in love (and I love the Beatles), but all this stuff sure didn’t help when it came to money in real life. I had this dysfunctional attitute of “I hate the government and they owe me and how dare they expect me to pay for a degree; I’m just gonna get one and declare bankruptcy, so there (big surprise when I found out it didn’t work that way). I have several family members who did the same thing, so we are a sorry ass, debt laden bunch.
    I used to think we were the only ones, but watching your show has shown that ther is more of that

  10. Ha ha! My baby just hit the send key on me! I gotta go change butt now — I guess she saved me from too long a rant. Anyway, yep, let’s help the young folk! Nuff said.

  11. avatar Peaches0143 Says:
    April 25, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Gail, are you prepared to buy a million frying pans? cause you might need them all to go into their houses and hit them upside the head!

    Love ya!

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