Allow me to introduce you to one of the smartest financial planners I’ve ever met. Her name is Betty. She’s the one pictured on the left whose back is in the front. And while she can’t take a picture to save her life, Betty has a brilliant financial mind.


She governs her affairs by a highly heretical accounting principle that’s so counter-cultural that even the hippies wonder what she’s smoking.

Do you want me to let you in on her subversive secret?

It’s simple: don’t spend more than you earn. Let me say it again: if you don’t have it, don’t buy it.

That’s right.

Crazy, ain’t it?!

And yet she raised three relatively normal kids each of whom have jobs, houses and great marriages. I married the middle one. The girl. Judy.

Judy remembers her mom would literally count coins, and balance her cheque book every Saturday at the kitchen table (which was also the dining room table since they didn’t have a dining room…and they didn’t have a dining room because they couldn’t afford a dining room). She cut coupons and even cut corners; she did whatever it took to make ends meet.

Betty couldn’t afford to buy a house so she rented one. She couldn’t afford a car, so she walked or took transit. She couldn’t afford London, Paris and Stratford-on-Avon, so she visited London, Paris and Stratford…Ontario.

She lives well.

And she lives well within her means.

And although my photos of my mother-in-law may not be the most flattering, I’m sure she’d be flattered (if not a little surprised) to know that I’m proud of what she’s accomplished.

Given a little, she’s accomplished a lot.

Happy Mother’s (in-Law) Day, Betty!

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