A Week in the Life of Kathryn
Monday, May 7th
I wake up without an alarm (I have been an alarm rebel for 6 years since leaving the investment industry when I had to wake up at 4:45am every day) and today was an hour earlier than usual. Thank goodness, as I have numerous emails to respond to that came in over the weekend. I know nothing is urgent since my clients all know to call me over the weekend rather than email if there is a cash flow emergency (there rarely is). My weekly success planner is also up to date and ready for our morning team call.
I have finished all plan updates from the emails I received just as Ollie (my 8 year old) walks in my office telling me about a cool dream he’s had. We have breakfast together and then I get his lunch ready in record time.
My husband Elliot takes Ollie to school and I start my week with my amazing team at Spring by checking in with what worked last week and what didn’t and identifying crucial goals for the week ahead. I’ve got some free spots in my calendar, which is nice to see, but I know they will fill up with planning work.
I have a call with a fee for service planner in Ontario. We were both on our Financial Planning Forum call last week where I shared a cash flow solution I was working on and she wanted to learn more about my cash flow approach.
Mondays are typically reserved for planning work and calls with colleagues and other industry professionals but today I have the pleasure of doing a cash flow plan for a colleague so I booked her in.
I review my cash flow meeting notes, update the plan and work on the client’s Take Action. This is their homework list of items to complete before our next scheduled meeting. I give them one week to complete it as they are keen to get to the next step.
I update a couple of plans with some emails that have come in from clients today. They are small changes that won’t have a big impact on their plans and no transfers need to be changed.
I work on writing an article for the Spring blog. I am not much of a writer, but I have a very supportive team that assures me that if I can get down the message in my own voice, it will resonate with the people it needs to.
I usually go for a bike ride or do some exercise on Monday afternoons, but there is so much to do today that I have put it off.
Elliot made dinner tonight (thank goodness since time has disappeared and he is blissfully unaware that I have spent the past 45 minute sorting out his business expense payments. I feel like it’s a fair deal).
The sun is out and we take the dog for a walk in the forest behind our house.
Somehow it’s late and hours have flown by. I’m back at my desk to finish prep for a new client meeting tomorrow. This should only take 30 minutes.
I go to bed to and read War and Peace (it’s my new sleep aid). But I am managing to get a few pages in before I drift off. I’m starting to see why it’s so revered.
Tuesday, May 8th
I wake up as always without an alarm (I love this more than I probably should). I stand in the living room on my way to the office to look at the ocean and the mountains. I do this everyday. Sometimes I make time for yoga in this spot. When the sun is out I can practice on the deck. When we moved into this house I promised myself I would never get used to it or take it for granted. So everyday, I effortlessly enjoy the magnificent natural beauty that is right out my window. Grateful. Beyond words.
I sit in my pretty (but terribly non-ergo) office chair and I check our team Slack channel to see what all my colleagues out East have been up to while I’ve been sleeping. I read some articles that have been posted and reply to emails.
The morning flew by as I baked scones for Ollie’s snack, made his lunch and got him off to school.
I now have time to make my tea and work on a client plan.
I just remembered I was supposed to go to the gym this morning. It wasn’t in my calendar so I conveniently forgot. Will have to do something active later today.
I get in the car for the 45 minute drive to Vancouver. I have finally discovered audio books and they have completely changed my life. I don’t know why I couldn’t figure this out sooner. I am meeting with an Investor Specialist in from Toronto.
I get downtown from the west side just in time for a CFA event that Julia and I were invited to. Carla Harris is speaking and she astounded and inspired me with her incredible voice, presence and accomplishments. She spoke a lot about success in the corporate domain which feels like a different world to me now. But I gained a lot of valuable nuggets during her captivating speech (Her voice! She’s also a gospel singer… need I say more?) and looking forward to reading her book.
I’m at my office downtown. First meeting with a couple that were referred to me by one of my wonderful long-time clients. These new clients run a corporation and they have questions on how to manage cash flow with a small child and another on the way while they purchase a home. I am excited!
I love starting new plans and I left this meeting feeling excited about what we are going to create and the strategies I will provide. I make a call on my drive home (hands free of course) to my expert mortgage broker colleague, Dustan, to ask if he can help with mortgage solutions for my clients. He answers his phone in less than half a ring everytime or he has an automated text telling me he’ll get back to me shortly. This guy is a machine in the best way possible and I can always rely on him to give the best advice.
I make it just in time for the end of Ollie’s ball hockey practice. It’s Taco Tuesday at our house and not I nor Elliot have prepped anything for dinner (meal planning is a dynamic process in our house). So we go to the new taco restaurant in our neighbourhood on the way home because it’s Taco Tuesday there too and tacos are $2.50 each! This is better than me attempting to throw dinner together at the last minute and worth every penny. Ridiculously good.
I get Ollie to bed and then complete the action list for the new clients today and send it off to them.
I am exhausted and going to bed to read.
Shoot, didn’t get in a workout. Tomorrow…..
Wednesday, May 9th
I get up, shower (do I really need to tell you this?) and go straight to my office. I might have an hour and a half before Ollie wakes up so I get as much work as I can in.
He’s up and we only have 30 minutes before school. He comes in the office and sits on my lap asking questions about my work. I love this moment and want to take the time to answer all his questions but I am also thinking “shit, we are going to be late and I haven’t even made your lunch yet!”. I opt for enjoying the moment with him. Gawd, I love working from home.
I have a Discovery call with a prospective client. These calls are probably one my favourite aspects of my work. It’s an opportunity for people to talk to me about all their thoughts and feelings about money. Someone who will not judge them. Ever. Who gives them the space to talk about their fears, stresses – their shame. Oh, the shame is there for so many and once they can unload it there are so many beautiful things that are possible. But it needs to be shared to be freed. Then there is space to talk about dreams and goals. They end the call telling me they are so hopeful and excited to get started. I am full of love and gratitude and literally skip around the house to make my tea before I create their detailed proposal.
Not everyone will work with me and they may not be a great fit for our services but I will speak to anyone that needs to have these conversations. Even if they don’t work with me, but leave feeling somewhat changed or hopeful then I consider it a success.
I have a 45 minute monthly check-in call with a long-time client. We discuss her corporate cash flow and ensure taxes have been put aside. Her mortgage is up for renewal and she wants to share some ideas put forth by her mortgage broker so we can see how they will fit into her personal cash flow plan.
I have an annual review call with other long-time clients. They’ve had a new baby (their 3rd) and have increased their income substantially since we last met. They want to create a new cash flow plan and discuss new goals with their change in circumstances. After our call I take some time to review my notes and create their Action list.
Second cash flow meeting with clients that I started with last week. This meeting is online using screen sharing tools so we can review their Cash Flow Planner together. We discuss updates to their goals and then review the initial cash flow plan that I have created. This is by no means their final plan but simply a draft we use to discuss ideas and ensure their spending is in support of their values. We touch on a debt repayment plan but their current lifestyle needs must be addressed first before we can create a debt-free plan.
I finish my call, connect clients to a mortgage professional and send their Action list. I somehow make a stir-fry in 20 minutes, eat and get Ollie out the door to baseball.
Why are baseball games 2 hours? Beautiful night to be outside though, and fun to see my little guy play the sports he loves. A few of my friends are there too which makes it an even better evening. Ollie reads, Elliot cleans the kitchen and I finish the laundry.
The house is quiet and I pop into the office to start writing a book review for our blog and reply to a few clients.
Elliot and I have a few minutes where we get to discuss our plans for the master bath and bedroom renovation. My dad gets back tomorrow and will be starting the demo. Thank goodness we spent time creating the renovation budget before the work begins. Honestly, I’d prefer to go on vacations but it’s been a number one goal of Elliot’s for 4 years, so it’s time we use our money to support one of his dreams.
Thursday, May 10th
I love Thursdays because I have my weekly fitness training session booked with Chrissy! And clearly I haven’t done any purposeful exercise since Saturday. Chrissy has set me up with her new Kiwi Cardio online training program app, so going forward it will be like I have a personal trainer every day right in my phone! Thank goodness for Chrissy keeping me on track with my health and fitness goals.
I have already been out and exercised and my boys are all sleeping! Including the dog.
Semi-monthly meeting with one of my self-employed clients. We confirm actual income received to our projections and ensure all is on track. Her primary goal is to pay down debt. It’s been 8 months on her plan and she is now making the income she wants to earn, has been saving for income tax and GST and is able to repay the shareholder loan.
I take a short break and visit with my parents.
Third meeting with cash flow clients. We finalized their plan and are ready to implement their structure. They are excited to start using money in a new way!
Leave the home office to go my local office where I meet clients. This one is only 5 minutes from home so the commute is wonderful. I rarely meet clients in person for follow-up meetings but sometimes exceptions are necessary and it’s easy for me to make this work since they are local. We reviewed their plan since it’s been 2 months after implementation. They tell me this is the best thing they have ever done and love having a strong female professional working with them to get their corporate finances and personal cash flow on track. This warms my heart more than they will ever know and I am grateful to be a part of their team.
I call my best friend on the way home because I haven’t spoken to her all week! We end up talking for an hour as we often do.
Now I only have 30 minutes to get 3 Action lists done for clients. I get one done and I will work later this evening. It was worth the phone call!
Quick check-in call with clients in Toronto. We have a meeting next week but there are some immediate decisions that need to be made and I want them to have the information in advance.
Call was brief so I am able to get the 2 other Action lists complete.
I am spending the evening with Ollie and Elliot and don’t plan to go into the office all night.
Friday, May 11th
Friday is my free day! I have always made a practice of not holding client meetings on Friday so that I can catch-up on plans, speak to colleagues and finish my week by 1:00pm. I started this when I first started my business when Ollie was 2. And when I joined Spring I was thrilled that they practiced Free Fridays too!
Leisurely morning checking Slack on my phone but mostly getting Ollie ready for school.
I go for a long walk with my neighbour along the ocean and through the trails. We live in an amazing part of the world!
At Spring we absolutely love connecting with our colleagues 1 to 1. Thanks to our amazing assistant Lindsay, I have a call scheduled with Julia today.
Our weekly Leadership call. I love everything about this call.
Sitting on the deck reading a book. It’s a money book.
I pick up Ollie from school, we make after-school snacks and he tells me about his day.
It’s boys night for Ollie and Elliot since I’m going for dinner with my 2 best friends in Vancouver.