Get Thin and Rich by Wanting Less!
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Get Thin and Rich by Wanting Less!

Start it off right by learning how to make your financial and personal goals for this year specific and attainable!
5.0 (2 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
690 students enrolled
Created by Alan MacDonald
Last updated 4/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $40 Discount: 75% off
1 day left at this price!
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 10 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Focus your spending on what you truly value, and save for your goals with enjoyable, simple routines
Control personal finance, savings and investments to achieve financial independance
View Curriculum
  • A computer, Pen and Paper or word document on your computer so that you can write down information and easily access it. A printer would be helpful (but not necessary) to print out the work sheets that are provided.

The course is about getting your personal finances under control through the tried and true routines that financially independent people have followed for years.

The Course Includes:

  • defining your values and goals around finances,
  • using simple tools to track cash flow
  • an easy and simple discipline to stay on budget without writing everything down
  • constructing a personal balance sheet, and a method to prioritize expenses to get the highest possible satisfaction from your hard earned money
  • effective and constructive ways to communicate with a partner about finances

Are you transitioning from school to working life, changing careers, or preparing for retirement? Find out if this course is for you!

75% of North Americans identify personal finances as the number one stress in their lives. Stress will kill you. You will Live long and prosper if you take this course. Follow simple routines that will have you putting extra money in the bank every month. This course is the foundation upon which financial independence will be built. The co-authors, Alan MacDonald (a chartered financial analyst and chartered financial planner who has worked as an financial advisor for 30 years) and Paul LaBarge (a senior tax partner at his own law firm who also specializes in business law, arbitration, estate and financial planning) have had, literally, thousands of conversations about personal finances. The same patterns keep showing up among those who have successfully achieved financial independence, and those who do not. You don't need a business degree to understand or implement the successful routines. A relatively short initial investment of time will see you equipped with tools that can be used easily and successfully through the rest of your life to keep your cash flow under control and your spending focused against the things that are most important to you and your family.

The course is divided into 3 major sections and will take 8 hours to complete. All exercises are included and all you need is a computer with speakers, pen and paper, and an eagerness to learn how to start living a financially fit lifestyle!

Who is the target audience?
  • People in transition, whether that is from school to a career, transitioning careers, or transitioning from work to retirement.
  • People in their late twenties, early thirties, or those preparing for retirement
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 26 Lectures Collapse All 26 Lectures 03:51:02
Course Introduction
9 Lectures 46:27

Meet Alan MacDonald, Welcome to the Copperjar System!

Preview 02:11

Our wants are unlimited! In this section you will understand the meaning of Financial Fitness, and how to achieve it through:

  1. Good habits
  2. Basic skills
  3. Routines in practice

It's time to honestly assess where you are right now, let's get started!

Preview 02:53

First we will outline our working definition of both Thin and Rich.

  • How can we gain a sense of control over our wants and desires when we are still wired for survival the way we were over 200, 000 years ago
  • The philosophies that question what we desire are worth exploring in order to recognize the Treadmill of Dissatisfaction and find ways to stop the cycle so that we may support our lifestyle with our own resources.
  • take it to paper and write down things that you Want but that are not serving you well. (exercise provided)
Preview 09:32

During this lecture, keep in mind that what we want is not always a concious decision, and how we are wired has a lot to do with how we act in regards to obtaining what we believe we need.

Challenge yourself by asking if your Desires are legitimate, and help you reach your goals.

Are these things bringing you closer to your goals? Or keeping you from them?

Question Your Wants & Desires

Thinking of your wants and desires as guests at your door can remind you that you have choice in which ones you decide to follow and which ones you leave on the porch.

Guests at your Door: You have the key to the lock

Cultivating Good Habits and Recognizing our Not So Good Ones

The first step to achieving the goals that suit you best is consciously recognizing when you are satisfied with what you already have.

In this section we will demonstrate tools that can help with wanting what you already have.

Taking the First Step towards Wanting what we already Have

This section makes us think about which desires will contribute to our happiness, and which will detract from it? It reviews what has been discussed and emphasizes the links between Happiness, Control, and Freedom.

A Sense of Control, A Sense of Freedom

This course has 3 main sections:

  1. Set your Initial Targets and Goals
  2. The Financial Fitness Check-up
  3. Getting a Baseline: Build your game plan for progress!
Course Breakdown
Goals and Values: Where do you want Your Money going?
5 Lectures 13:41

Take a moment to complete our Financial Fitness Test in the Materials section of the course. This will act as our baseline for progress.

The Fitness Test

Values are what fuel our Goals

  • Be consciously in touch with your Values: What's most important to you?
  • When we translate our Values into Action, this becomes our Goal.
Assessing Your Values

Take a moment to complete the Wishes and Wants List in the Materials section of the course. This is a great place to start. Write down 30 things, have fun, there are no limitations!

Wishes and Wants: It's time to Dream with No Limits!

Let's group your wishes into broader, measurable categories. Reaching your goals all starts with The First Potato Chip, and this lecture will show you how by giving you a foundation for your Personal Action Plan!

Setting Your Goals: The First Potato Chip

How do you and your spouse see yourselves 10 years from now? Take time to ask yourselves these simple questions:
  1. Where are you living?
  2. What are you doing?
  3. What roles do you occupy in your family lives?
  4. Where do you want to be financially?
These are some of the examples that will be expanded on in this lecture.
Coordinating With Family: Support Eachother in Achieving what is Most Important
Your Financial Fitness Check-Up
4 Lectures 16:46

Where are you starting from? Here, we will pay attention to the present.


Assess your starting point: What are you spending your money on today? To gather all of the data, there are a few things you needs and questions to answer:

  • A detailed Balance Sheet: what do you owe and what do you own?
  • Imagine your desired lifestyle: are you currently spending your money against your goals?
  • Seek out professional advice
  • Make goals that motivate you
Balance Sheets and Cash Flow: The Best Tool is Information

This lecture will show you a simple technique for conscious spending that gets rid of the clutter and helps you reach your financial targets.

We will explain discretionary vs. non-discretionary expenses and how you can get continuous feedback on your spending.

Tracking the Elusive Cash Flow: The 2 Numbers that Matter

Where is your money going?

To build a budget, first, you need a month by month picture that includes your assets and your liabilities.

It's time to find out where that money is through tracking your spending on a month to month basis. For help, fill out the Monthly Spending Spreadsheet and join the 5% of people that know where their money is going and what their net worth actually is.

Which Number is Bigger?
Getting a Baseline: Collect and Rank your Data
6 Lectures 16:02

Take time to think about where you are spending your money on a daily basis. With the tools you have from the previous sections, you will be able to prioritize your spending and focus it on what is important to you. Cut those hidden costs to become Financially Fit - no crash diet required!

Introduction: Where is your hidden spending happening?

With working more hours per week than our parents did on average, we seek greater reward for our hard-earned money.

Get back to the basics and keep your financial priorities in mind to stay on track.

You Deserve a Break Today

Most of us do some amount of unconscious spending- it's time to wake-up. This requires making adjustments and asking yourself: Is it all essential? In this lecture we will ask you to separate your Luxuries from Necessities in order to live comfortably within your means.

Know Your Limits: Wake-up from Unconcious Spending

Where do you go from here?

With The Copperjar System's point structure, you will be able to easily categorize your spending and separate luxuries from necessities so that they are in line with your values.

Counting Your Hidden Calories

  • Move from Unconscious (spending on impulse) to Conscious spending (being within budget)
  • Separate and rank your luxuries from necessities with a strong base in your values and financial goals
  • With your new ranking system, you will be able to see where you can scale back so that you are in positive cash flow, and perhaps starting to save monthly.
  • Remember to be wary of borrowed money- it's a dead end that always catches up with you!
Summary of Section 4

Now that you have been introduced to our Points System, take a moment to ask yourself:

How much are you currently spending on your goals?

In order to find out, and make sure you are spending the most towards your goals, use the document in the materials section of this course to rank your expenditures in order of both necessity and where it is based on your goals and values.

You will get the most out of your financial and personal life if you are spending your money against those things that are most important to you and your family!

Find Your Inner Ski Bum
Course Conclusion
2 Lectures 03:06

You have the tools you need to be Financially Fit!

  1. Spending less than you earn
  2. A cash flow statement and balance sheet
  3. Spending your money against what is important to you
  4. A cash budget

These are all part of your Action Plan moving forward! Thank-you for completing The Copperjar System!

Course Conclusion: Congratulations!

Congratulations on finishing the course! Are you wanting a more in-depth look at The Copperjar System? It is our hope that you have gotten routines and practices out of the course that will change your life for the better, making you Financially Fit! To say Thank-You, and to continue your journey we invite you to read our E-Book: The Copperjar System: Your Blueprint for Financial Fitness.

This is an accessible guide to the topics covered in this course. Inside, you will delve deeper into your goals and values, continue on your Financial Fitness routine, learn more about how to build your personal equity, and see how you can plan for retirement.

Happy Reading!

Additional Reading: The Copperjar System in Print
120 pages
About the Instructor
Alan MacDonald
5.0 Average rating
2 Reviews
690 Students
1 Course
Investment Advisor

Alan has been in the financial services industry for more than 30 years, serving entrepreneurs and top executives and their families. During that time, he has seen all the ups, downs and sideways fluctuations the capital markets are capable of delivering and learned first-hand what works and what doesn't.

As a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Financial Planner, Alan is a regular contributor to the Ottawa Business Journal, Canadian Moneysaver magazine. He has co-authored a book called “The Copperjar System – Your Blueprint for Financial Fitness" and is excited to share its proven techniques in this course.

Alan is also an active member of the community. He serves on the Board and Trail Projects Committee of the TransCanada Trail. Alan was also a proud volunteer for more than 10 years with Citizen Advocacy, a group dedicated to reducing the isolation of disabled adults. Alan provided weekly companionship to an older man with physical and mental disabilities.

Alan and his wife Cathy have two children and recently discovered how much weddings cost with his beautiful daughter getting married this past fall. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, skiing, snow biking and practicing an inflexible, stiff middle aged guy type of yoga.