Kalee Boisvert has been in the financial industry for over 15 years, but her love of money started very young. Growing up in a single-parent household, she watched her mom struggle with finances and wished there was something she could do to help. Around this time, she realized she needed to find a way to save and earn if she wasn’t going to allow her circumstances to define her. And so, her journey to financial literacy began.
Today, as a single mom and financially independent woman, Kalee is called to support women in their financial lives. She felt the pull toward a career that would allow her to pursue this deeply personal goal to advocate for women and their money, which led her on the path to becoming a financial advisor. Being an advisor allows her to work directly with women to empower and support them and help put an end to any money-related stress and doubts.
To further her efforts supporting financial literacy, Kalee has two books being released in 2023 – a children’s picture book called MoneyWise Mabel’s Bursting Bank, and a non-fiction book called Make Money Your Thing! Which aims to build confidence and empower people in their financial lives.
I didn’t grow up with money. Being poor was a pervasive theme in my childhood.
I didn’t grow up with money. Being poor was a pervasive theme in my childhood. I also recognized early on that not everyone seemed to be plagued by the same lack and money scarcity that my Mom, sister, and I endured. These glimpses of wealth brought me hope. And with that, from a very early age, I set out on my mission to make my own money to achieve my goals.
Each target I hit built up my confidence and belief in myself that anything was possible. It started at age eight with a Super Nintendo and a pet dog, and then as I got older the financial goals progressively got bigger, including a post-secondary degree, my first condo, an MBA, my first starter home, then a bigger home for my two kiddos and me, and now accumulating wealth for my financial freedom. It turned out the circumstances that characterized my childhood didn’t define who I was at my core or what I could have or achieve.
As someone who started from scratch, I knew that if I was able to succeed with money, then it was possible for everyone. And that fueled my drive to share the money confidence I developed with other women. If I could support other women to believe in themselves and what they were capable of in their financial lives then perhaps no more women would have to go through the stress and struggles that my Mom endured. And that is when I chose to become a wealth advisor, to empower women to build money confidence, too. From there I knew I wanted to reach an even larger audience of women to support them in their relationship with money and that’s what inspired me to write my new book Make Money your Thing! This book is all about giving women a confidence boost in their financial lives so they feel ready to take action with their money.
Please share your money story
Growing up, my money story revolved around never having “enough” and money being a constant source of stress. As a child, whenever I mustered the courage to ask for something, my mom’s response was always one of the following: “That’s too expensive,” “We have no money,” or “I can’t afford that.” Money was never discussed in a positive light in my household. We were always struggling to stay financially afloat, and that became the recurring theme in our money conversations.
The messages about money that I internalized back then were that we never had enough, we couldn’t afford nice things, and money didn’t grow on trees. These beliefs played on repeat in my mind, making me feel like I was surrounded by scarcity. I started associating having less than others with a personal deficiency, thinking that being “not enough” was a defining characteristic of mine. It felt like an inseparable part of my identity, tied to my family’s perpetual financial struggles.
On my path to becoming a financial advisor, I realized that I needed to heal the deep wounds of unworthiness that stemmed from growing up in poverty. To achieve this, I embarked on a journey of introspection, delving into my earliest money memories to understand how they shaped my present beliefs about money. The process of journaling allowed me to gain insight and brought about healing. I came to appreciate the immense impact that words have on our perception of money and its role in our lives.
Recognizing the power of awareness, I knew it was time to let go of the limiting beliefs I had carried from my childhood. Holding on to them only served to hold me back from financial growth and well-being. This newfound awareness empowered me to choose which money beliefs I wanted to retain and which needed to be discarded. It was liberating to realize that these beliefs were not only inaccurate but might not even be truly mine, originating from the messages I absorbed from family or friends during my formative years.
- What is the biggest misconception about building wealth
The most significant misconception I often encounter is the belief that building wealth requires making a substantial income. However, from my experience working with clients, I can attest that many individuals who never earned six-figure salaries throughout their careers have still managed to retire as millionaires. The journey to wealth is primarily about being diligent with your finances and making wise decisions along the way.
True wealth is generated from the surplus that results when your income surpasses your expenses. It’s not about how much money you make, but rather how effectively you manage and allocate your resources. Some individuals may have impressive high salaries, but if they have expensive tastes and end up spending most of their income, they will never be able to accumulate wealth, no matter how much they earn.
In contrast, those who focus on living within their means, saving diligently, and investing wisely can steadily grow their wealth over time, regardless of their initial income level. It’s about maintaining a healthy balance between earning and spending, with a strong emphasis on saving and making sound financial choices.
From your work and experience why do some struggle with making money?
Making money can feel like an uphill battle at times. There are all sorts of reasons why some struggle with it. Not having the right skills or enough education can make it hard to find good-paying jobs or get a successful business going. And let’s not forget about the way we think about money – negative beliefs and self-doubt can hold us back like what happened at the start of my career from holding on to an outdated money story.
Debt and unexpected expenses can also hit hard, making it tough to get ahead. And sometimes, it’s the economy that’s just not on our side.
Recessions and bad job markets can make it tough to find good opportunities. But it’s not all hopeless. Possibilities are still within our reach and switching the focus to what is in your control can help shift your energy towards what you can do to achieve financial success!
What was the greatest challenge in writing your first book?
The most significant challenge for me was figuring out how to write a book about money and finances that would be enjoyable and fun for the reader! My goal was to create a sense of having a friendly chat with the reader about money matters. To achieve this, I knew the book had to exude a welcoming, casual, and relatable vibe. Despite having a business school background, I didn’t have any formal education in creative writing, which made the task even more daunting.
In the initial version, the book probably read more like a dry financial textbook than the engaging read I had envisioned. However, through numerous revisions and the inclusion of relatable stories, I managed to transform it into exactly what I had intended – a light and breezy book on money!
I’m excited to share this light-hearted and accessible money book with readers, hoping it will make the sometimes intimidating world of finances feel like a friendly conversation with a trusted friend.
What have been your proudest moments and why?
Writing my book, Make Money your Thing!, is one of my proudest moments, and it holds a special place in my heart for several reasons. Firstly, it fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine to become a published author. I poured my heart into crafting a proposal and writing a few chapters for the book, which I then courageously sent to agents and publishers in the hopes of securing an offer. Despite facing numerous rejections, I remained resilient and determined to see my dream come to fruition.
Refusing to give up, I decided to enter the book into a Canada-wide writing contest. The effort paid off, as my book earned a position as a finalist and caught the attention of a new publisher in Canada, one that turned out to be the perfect fit for my work! This achievement filled me with immense pride, knowing that my perseverance and hard work had paid off. The journey of writing the book was not without its challenges. I am especially proud that I managed to write a significant portion of it while being pregnant. Even after my son was born, I continued to push forward, dedicating myself to completing the necessary edits. And recently, I experienced a truly touching moment when I took my nine-year-old daughter to a bookstore and proudly showed her my book displayed on the shelves. It was a reminder of my own past and the challenging relationship I had with money while witnessing the stress it caused my mother. Now, standing in that bookstore with my daughter, I felt an overwhelming sense of achievement and joy as I presented her with the very book I had written about money, turning my journey into a positive and empowering one for her and for others who may read it.
What’s next for you?
I have another book coming out in September, which is a children’s picture book about a little girl learning the value of money. It’s titled “MoneyWise Mabel’s Bursting Bank,” and I wrote it in response to the most common regret I hear from people about their financial lives – that they wish they had started sooner. This led me to ponder: how soon can we begin teaching kids about money? The answer is really, really early! That’s why I wrote this book – to encourage parents to initiate conversations about money with their kids as young as 4 to 5 years old. My hope is that MoneyWise Mabel will inspire children to pursue their biggest money goals and realize that anything is possible for them.