April Stroink

In 2016 I walked the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage from France to Spain. I took the journey because I knew I had to work on my happiness. I had to get away from my life to change it. I needed to get outside, I needed to walk, a lot.

I had become a cliché, the woman who on the outside had it all while behind closed doors my business, my relationships and my financial health were suffering. On a back road somewhere in the South of Spain it dawned on me. I had to change my money story.

Even though I had over 17 years of financial services experience at the time I had allowed my money mindset to shift into scarcity and it was ruining my life. I came home from Spain inspired to get my financial health back. I sold my businesses and was determined to use my experiences to help others take back their money power.

But how? Funny things happen when you ask the universe big questions like that, it delivers. For me the answer came to me at my daughter, Zofia’s 9th birthday party. Zofia is a board game fanatic, her favourite being the game of LIFE. For her birthday we recreated a gigantic game of LIFE that weaved its ways through our home, her guests drove cars made out of cardboard boxes that hopped from space to space.

Before they started the game, Zofia gave her friends a pep talk. She said, “the object of the game is to hold onto your money, pay off your debt quickly and only invest in things that will make you money, like a college education, upgrading your skills and investment cards” she went on to share her Spin to Win strategy. “only put in the full $50,000 if you have a 4:1 Share the Wealth card.”

I had a good chuckle over this at the time but later that night I thought about how pragmatic Zofa had been in coaching her friends. How by taking emotion out of money she was setting herself up to win. I had forgotten this.

I had let emotion creep into my spending, especially when it came to my business. I didn’t understand how this had happened. I was still running all my house hold budgets. I had never stopped entering and updating my spreadsheets. I was constantly checking my bank account. I was still driving my husband crazy by quizzing him on all his transactions. Why did I always end up having more month than money?

That’s when I discovered that budgeting did not work for me. It was a predictor of what I would spend my money on but it did not address the why. That is when I did a deep dive into my spending. Identifying my needs versus my wants and my financial goals for the future. I came up with spending plan for my family and we switched to cash.

That was two years ago and we haven’t look back since. Changing my money mindest has been a game changer for me and my entire family. Even after major financial upheaval in the family we have stuck to our spending plan. We have a common language to speak about money and we are on track to meeting our money goals.