Archive for June, 2010

Book Review: Debt-Free Forever

June 1, 2010

[Front Cover of Debt-Free Forever]

Many Canadians have a debt problem. A recent report titled Where is the Money now: The State of Canadian Household Debt as Conditions for Economic Recovery Emerge by the CGA Canada showed how bad the debt situation is in many households. It found that even with the temporary relief afforded by a credit card or line of credit, one quarter of Canadians would not be able to handle an unforeseen expense of $5,000. About 1 in 10 would have difficulty with a sudden expense of $500. The reason for the dismal statistics is pretty clear: Only one third of non-retired Canadians committed resources to any type of regular savings.

In an environment of easy credit, low interest rates and a debt picture that would make Greece proud, Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s rallying cry of “debt free forever” may sound quaint and anachronistic. But Gail couldn’t care less how it sounds. She takes a no-nonsense, tell-it-as-it-is approach to show deeply indebted Canadians how to dig themselves out of debt and stay out of it.

Now, getting out of debt, saving a bit of money and putting some money away for day when the “Caca hits the fan” isn’t exactly rocket science. Even a child knows the secrets to financial success but it is following through that is the problem. That’s where Gail comes in. She is there every step of the way, cajoling and coaxing the reader to stay with the plan, all of it delivered in the inimitable style that will be familiar to viewers of the wildly popular TV showTil’ Debt Do Us Part. Here’s a sample:

Now comes the hard work!

Crap! Really? I have to do the math?

Darn tootin’. You’re going to sweat some before you can clean up the mess you’ve made of your money and your life. This is where you figure out what you’ve been doing wrong so you can stop. If you skip this step, you’re lazy, uncommitted, and looking for an easy way out. There is no easy way out.

We live in one of the richest countries in the world. It is very sad that so many Canadians are skating so close to the financial precipice. Gail is on a mission to help as many Canadian as possible worry a lot less about their financial affairs. This book is one more way of getting her message out. The book is published by Collins and carries a list price of $21.99. I got my copy at Costco for $12.99.