Archive for the ‘03 “Associate Scoop”’ Category

Expert Advice from a Financial Planner

Posted on: December 28th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


This month Steve Bentley, CFP, of Northern River Financial shares his Smart Christmas Spending blog post.

What’s one thing that people do not want to experience during the Christmas season? Stress! The current commercial buildup to the festive season is so intense that some people get more stressed the closer it gets. The holiday should be about family, friends and thankfulness. Instead it is often one big sales pitch.

Maybe it is the season to start trimming your budget and not just your tree. Canadian Living magazine reported that the average adult plans to spend $766 on holiday gifts in 2016. That’s a huge chunk of change. About 27 percent will spend over $800, while 23 percent will spend $200 or less. This is indicative of the changing public mindset of spending. Consumers with big eyes are now wary of a volatile economy and consequently putting too much of the holiday season on plastic. This means more restricted budgets.

Click to read the rest of Steve’s Smart Christmas Spending post and learn several ways to keep your spending under control this December.

Northern River Financial is an integrated financial life planning firm with over 25 years of building long-term trusting relationships. We partner with some of the largest brokerages and financial services firms in Ontario and have the expertise to accommodate the needs and goals of both aspiring and seasoned clients. Our vision is inspired by our deep-rooted philosophy to enhance and enrich the lives of our clients and their families through diligent life planning, exploring new opportunities, and providing prudent advice and integrated well-managed solutions.

You can contact Steve Bentley by email at

Expert Advice from an Event Specialist!

Posted on: September 30th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


karima2 (100 x 100) (120 x 120).jpgWhat is Your Time Worth?

Allow me to introduce myself. I am a cat lover, musician and entrepreneur. I am the owner of Event Depot and Living Life SocialEvents in Cambridge, Ontario. For over a decade, I have been a professional event planner. I am delighted to be a part of Cathy’s newsletter. In many aspects, our businesses complement one another. Cathy helps you organize your space, and in return, this creates calm surroundings. I help you organize your special day, and in turn, this creates a pleasant and problem-free day.

Through my experience, I can tell you the more prepared you are for your special day, the less likely something will go wrong. I realize it may go without saying, but you’d be surprised at how many people are not prepared when their big day finally arrives.

One of my many tasks as an Event Specialist is to keep you organized and use your time wisely!

  1. Make sure to have your checklist: Our team can create one for you and work through the tasks and timelines together.
  2. Budget: Having a budget spreadsheet will not only help you stay within your financial means, it also helps provide an estimate as to how much things cost. At Event Depot, we have built close relationships with our vendors to make sure you are receiving what you desire for the cost you have set aside.
  3. Categorize and File: There are numerous aspects to planning an event: i.e., caterers, DJ, décor, venue, food, photographer, and the list goes on. Therefore, it’s helpful to have categorized files either as hard copies or file folders on your computer. Trust me; it will cut down on your time immensely and will allow you to place your focus on the fun stuff!
  4. Itinerary: It’s crucial that your event planner and vendors have a schedule of the day’s events. Your event planner will make sure everyone is on time and set up accordingly. After all, this is YOUR special day, and it should be problem-free for you and your guests.

These few simple ideas will help you to save time and allow you to have an enjoyable day with your family and friends!

Karima Kassam is an Event Specialist. Event Depot is located at 3 Grand Avenue South in Cambridge, ON. Karima and her team can work with you to keep you organized while staying within your budget. Contact us or call us at (519) 267-7033 for your free consultation. We are happy to provide advice with no obligation.

LAST CHANCE to Get 11 Banner Ads for $40!

Posted on: December 22nd, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments



  Would you like to see YOUR ad in our next newsletter? For the month of
..December, we’re offering our readers the option to place banner ads in our
..newsletter for all of our 2016 issues. That’s at least 11 issues for the low
..price of $40 for the entire year. We LOVE creating this newsletter for, and we’re proud of our high open rate.

Send us an email before the end of December, and we’ll send you the ad specifications and payment details.


Time to Get INTO The Monthly Organizer…Literally!

Posted on: November 19th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

a-new-leaf-120x240.We usually feature an article by an associate here.

.For the months of November and December, however, we’re offering .our readers the option to place banner ads in our newsletter for all of .our 2016 issues.

.That’s at least 11 issues for the low price of $40 for the entire .year. We LOVE creating this newsletter for you, and we’re proud of .our high open rate.

.Send us an email before the end of December, and we’ll .send you the ad specifications and payment details.

October “Scoop”…What About Debt?

Posted on: October 20th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

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We hear a lot about debt today: Personal debt is at all-time highs; government debt is out of control. What does it all mean? What’s the truth? Is all debt bad? Where do you stand?  

Understand Your Debt – It is most important to understand your debt. How did that debt occur? Was it a one-time event that was out of your control? For instance – were you out of work for a period of time? Is your debt increasing every month?  

Create a Cash Flow Statement – We could call this a budget; however, many people dislike the idea of a budget. Whatever we call it, it is imperative you know what is coming into your household on a monthly basis and what is going out. If your income does not equal your expenditure – it’s easy to see that your debt can increase every month. For instance, if you are $200 short every month – and that $200 ends up on your line of credit – you start one month with $200. The following month you add $200 and on and on – you get the idea. Not only is the debt increasing, but you have also added a bill payment that does not fit in the budget. Contrary to popular opinion – having a cash flow statement can be liberating because it creates knowledge and control. It means having a plan. Yes – plans create freedom.

Not all Debt is Created Equal – There is a big difference between debt that is creating an asset and consumer debt. When I speak about debt that is creating an asset, I’m talking about a mortgage on a home or a course you took that was needed for work or the vehicle you bought to drive to work. When I speak about consumer debt, I’m talking about the impulsive purchase of a big screen TV, a seventh pair of cute dress shoes or a new tool you think is really cool but that you might only use once. When your cash flow statement shows that you do not have enough flowing in each month to cover the expenses flowing out, there are two approaches you can take to fix this.

1. You may find there is a behaviour that needs to be addressed. I’m certainly not against big screen TV’s and shoes. What may need to be addressed is the impulse buying. Credit is readily available. This is a relatively recent phenomenon. Our grandparents had only one choice; save the money and then make the purchase. It’s so easy for us to see a great deal we can’t pass up and put it on a credit card. If there are a large number of impulse purchases in your history, you may have to look at these behaviours and put some limits in place. This is not to say that you can never do anything impulsive, but wouldn’t it be great if you had that worked into a budget, and you knew what discretionary funds you had?

2. You may find your purchases are all practical. You may find that you are actually doing great. You may also find out there is nothing in your cash flow you can give up. Perhaps there just is not enough money coming in to pay your bills. For instance, if you are always going to be $200 short every month, you have discovered you need to earn another $200 a month. This could be a second stream of income. This could be taking something you love to do and turning it into something to earn some extra money. Be creative.

Be Kind to Yourself – Be prepared to accept what you learn and take whatever steps are needed. Take control of your cash flow. Give yourself a pat on the back because you have examined the situation and are taking steps to correct it. Please do not berate yourself for your situation. It does no good to blame yourself. If you find your debt is unmanageable and you need help, there are organizations such as Consolidated Credit Counselling of Canada who offer counsellors that provide training to help you take control.

To test your knowledge regarding credit, follow this link.

If you need a financial plan to help you achieve your goals, send me an email. I’m here to help.


Lynn Whetham is a Certified Financial Planner and managing partner at Stepright Capital Planning Inc. in St. George, Ontario.


Our Next `Scoop` Could Be YOURS!

Posted on: September 22nd, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

..We publish articles written by our friends, clients and associates
..and YOURS could be next!
..If you have a great article to share from your newsletter, blog or
..ANYWHERE, send us an email with the article attached,
..and we’ll review it for publication in an upcoming newsletter.

We ALWAYS include your photo or logo AND a link back to your website or blog. AND we will feature your article in our blog and on our Facebook page as well.

We hope to see YOUR face in this section soon!

Submit your article here.

Associate Scoop: Eat Better, LIVE Better!

Posted on: February 19th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

amysonnenberg (175 x 207).jpgLet me introduce myself. I’m Amy Sonnenberg–a mom, nutritionist and small business owner. When Cathy asked
me to contribute to her newsletter, I was thrilled to be able
to chat with you. I love any occasion when I’m able to talk about nutrition, and this is no exception!

Cathy is all about inspiring and empowering you to live your ideal life. In many ways our vision for our clients is exactly the same. We want to see YOU live your best life yet. For Cathy, that may mean helping you find order and a sense of calm in your surroundings. For me, it often means helping people eat healthier in a way that is enjoyable, delicious and easy to do. Nutrition advice can be confusing and sometimes conflicting. I believe that we are all individuals, and our nutrition needs are as unique as we are. My mission is to help you figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle right now.

What are some of my top tips for healthier eating?

  • Keep it simple. We aren’t all intended to be culinary celebrities with our own TV shows. There is beauty and freedom in simplicity. What are your favourite foods? Learn to cook them well in a way that is supportive to your overall long term health.
  • Plan your meals. I plan for 5 supper meals per week, so that I can still be spontaneous. I don’t usually plan breakfasts because I tend to keep those types of foods in stock. Lunches are often leftovers of some sort.
  • Make a grocery list. Check the cupboards before you leave home to make sure you actually have what you think you have. How many times have you gone to the cupboard to get an onion only to realize you are all out or they have spoiled?
  • Most of your grocery dollars should be spent on fresh foods such as local produce, meats and cheeses.
  • Avoid impulse purchases while at the store. Just because there is caramel sauce beside the apples doesn’t mean that it is a good idea to buy it.
  • Drink water! For many of us, most of our day is spent in a dehydrated state. Caffeine is dehydrating. For every one cup of coffee or tea, drink 2 cups of water.

With these tips in mind, you will be well on your way to eating better and making the most of your time in 2015!

Amy Sonnenberg is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist located in the Clock Tower Wellness Centre in Elmira, ON. Life can be complicated. Healthy eating shouldn’t be! Some of the services she provides are personalized nutrition assessments, grocery store tours, wellness seminars and home cooking lessons. You can contact Amy at DesignedForYouNutrition, or call 519-503-7926519-503-7926 for more information.


Yearly Self-Evaluation from Neworld

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

compass_slantedOur associates at Neworld Coaching recommend a



Reflect on the past 12 months. It is NOT always enjoyable to look back and evaluate… But it is a necessary step towards growth and accountability.

Taking into account the five areas in the “Wheel of Life”… answer all of the following questions on a piece of paper.

  • Business
  • Financial
  • Personal Relationships
  • Health/Fitness
  • Self Mastery

What were your 3 biggest successes of the past year?

Did you  measure your successes in some manner (celebrations or other rewards)? If so… how?

What was your biggest failure?

What lessons did you learn from it?

What goals did you meet? (List up to the 5 biggest.)

What goals did you NOT work on?

Why did you choose not to work towards these goals?

Did you receive feedback from others (clients, associates, family) 
throughout the year? If so… what did you learn from it?

Did you save money toward Passive Income this year? If so… how did you invest it?

What progress have you made towards your Personal Relationships this year?

Are you more or less Healthy than you were a year ago? Explain why.

List 5 ways in which you improved your Self Mastery this year. (Self awareness… Self responsibility… )

What did you do to make YOU a better YOU?

List the 5 things that you are the most grateful for at this moment.


“Dream” about what life could BE like 3 years from today… After dreams are actually written down, they can be considered goals!

Using 5 pieces of paper… Title each with 1 of the areas of life.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Visualize and write your intentions in the present tense — as if you already have achieved what you want. “I earn x dollars” rather than “I will earn x dollars.”
  • Write down the first thing that comes into your mind without judging it. Follow your heart.
  • Use short, bullet points rather than narrative.
  • Start with blank pages and write all over them rather than using a linear format.
  • Use a variety of colors.
  • Write BIG and small.
  • Write on an angle, in an arc or even upside down.
  • Use plenty of drawings and graphics.
  • Do everything possible to engage your creative right brain in this process.
  • Be as clear and specific as possible.
  • The more specific your intentions, the easier it is for your unconscious mind to work towards creating them.
  • Rather than setting an intention to be “fit and trim”, set specific and measurable weight, cardio and fitness targets.
  • Intentions are like magnets… the bigger they are, the more they pull you forward.
  • Don’t worry if you are not clear… capture the thoughts you have even if they are vague.
  • These are intentions, not commitments.
  • You can go back and make changes anytime.

STEP # 3

Set a course for the New Year! Using your notes in the previous pages, begin to formulate a plan for the coming year.

We break it down into Quarters and plan 13 weeks of Goals for each.

Begin by choosing goals that you will accomplish in the first Quarter of the New Year.


P.S. If you need help formulating YOUR plan for the next year… actually DO the above exercise… I KNOW it will help you!

Busy, busy, BUSY!

Posted on: December 2nd, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Omid_SafiDo you find yourself saying “I’m so busy”?

Many people can likely plead guilty to this question–including me.

My friend, Anne Day, shares her perspective on Treading water in this sea of busyness

Omad Safi shares his thoughts too in The Disease of Being Busy.

Think about what you can do differently in the next few months.

Summer Reading for Kids

Posted on: August 19th, 2014 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

GET READING  deborah-plouffe (125 x 142).jpg

Have you heard about the Summer Slide? How about the Summer Brain Drain?

For the majority of students heading into the month of August, school is a distant memory and learning has taken a backseat to fun. Students deserve a break, of course, but two months (or more!) can be a long time to go without the academic stimulation that educational activities bring–even for the best of students.

Apart from planned group activities available and summer vacations geared to learning, most educators recommend that the best way to keep them academically engaged is to encourage our kids to read, read, READ!

Here’s an extensive Summer 2014 Reading List from that covers all age groups from toddlers to teens. Even you parents might find a few good reads on this list!

Happy summer and happy reading from the rewriter!

Deborah Plouffe is the founder and CEO of, a business dedicated to helping YOU find the words YOU need to say!