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Debt Free in 30

Each week Doug Hoyes talks to industry experts about debt, money, and personal finance. Don't be confused; listen as the guest experts cut through the jargon and share practical advice.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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19 – Clean Up Your Debt Mess

Our first guest is Gail Vaz-Oxlade who says it’s time to “stop whining about being in debt, you had your fun, you made a mess, now it’s time to clean it up, get busy.”  She provides a four step plan for cleaning up your debt mess. In our second segment Ted Michalos returns, and we consider the case of Mary and Joe, who have a good income, but have more debt than they can ever hope to pay off on their own.  We discuss how a consumer proposal can help them clean up their debt mess. Their options for dealing with debt, but it takes a plan, and the sooner you start, the sooner you will be debt free.

22mins

10 Jan 2015

Rank #1

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227 – Getting Out Of Debt Requires A System, Not Just A Goal

Every financial guru says that achieving success starts with setting a goal. I disagree.  While there is some benefit to setting goals, you are more likely to achieve success if, instead of focusing on goals, you have a system. I discuss goals vs systems on today’s podcast. Listen or read the transcript below. This is our first episode of 2019, and I’ve got a question for you: how did you do with your New Year’s resolutions last year?  How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions this year?  If you’re like many people, you’ve probably already given up. If your goal is to get out of debt or to save more money, you might be a little frustrated knowing another year has come and gone without improving your finances. So what if your goal this year is to get out of debt? Or save more money? What’s the best way to achieve any goal? The answer may be to not focus on the goal at all, but instead to create a system to reach that goal.  Today on Debt Free in 30, I want to explain why, in most cases, systems are better than goals. 

17mins

5 Jan 2019

Rank #2

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107 – LIVE: Everything You Were Afraid to Ask About Debt

For the first time ever Debt Free in 30 broadcast LIVE on video, over YouTube.  The response was fantastic. We asked our listeners to leave us questions through sound clips, email, twitter and Facebook in advance of the show and took questions during the show.  Doug Hoyes and Ted Michalos answered as many of those questions as we could during the webcast. We talked about debt, consumer proposals, car loans and mortgages.  We even had a “celebrity” question. The full video is also available on the Hoyes Michalos YouTube Channel.

51mins

17 Sep 2016

Rank #3

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58 – Student Loan Debt

As the cost of higher education increases, so to does the amount of student loan debt for those graduating from university or college and entering the workforce.  On today's show we talk about the average student loan debtor, explain why females carrying student loan debt have more difficulty paying it off and Ted Michalos points out that student loan debt doesn't only delay big life events for graduates, but ultimately, it affects the overall economy as well.

29mins

10 Oct 2015

Rank #4

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125 – How One Man Retired Debt-Free at Age 48

If you are like most Canadians, you dream of a long and enjoyable retirement. Is it possible to retire early and achieve that by the age of 48?  While it is an anomaly, my guest today did just that. Bob Lassaline worked for 30 years and retired when he was 48 years old. He is 80 years old today, so he has been officially retired for longer than he was employed. How did he do it? Full details are in the podcast.

37mins

21 Jan 2017

Rank #5

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247 – Managing Your Second Biggest Expense: Food Budget

For the average Canadian family, their largest monthly expense is their rent or mortgage payment, and unless they have a very expensive car, their second biggest expense is often food. If you have a limited income, how can you manage your food budget effectively? Is it possible eat healthy without breaking the bank? On today’s show we welcome Heidi Pola, a Registered Dietitian who gives practical advice on how to eat healthy and save money.

32mins

25 May 2019

Rank #6

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4 - Credit Counselling – An Open and Honest Conversation – Heather Cudmore

Heather Cudmore is a credit counsellor with Mosaic Counselling and Family Services, a program of Carizon Family and Community Services in Kitchener, Ontario, and on today's show we discuss credit counselling. Who does a credit counsellor work for?  Is it true that they are just a collection agency for the big banks?  What does it cost?  What are the fees? Isn't a debt settlement better and cheaper?  What about other options? Answers to those questions and a lot more on today's show, and in the bonus segment Heather shares lots of practical advice for getting the best deal on a loan, and much more.

36mins

27 Sep 2014

Rank #7

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61 – Scary Debt Stories

As a trustee in bankruptcy, I meet with people every day who are struggling to pay off their debt. In the finance world, it's not uncommon to hear shocking stories from clients about threatening calls from collection agents or how they got into debt in the first place. On today's show, I'm joined by Hoyes Michalos bankruptcy trustee, Howard Hayes, collection agent Blair Demarco-Wettlaufer, credit counsellor, Nicole Olsen from Fitness Financial in Windsor and bankruptcy trustee at Hoyes Michalos, Rebecca Martyn from our Windsor and Leamington offices to hear some of the scary stories that they've heard over the years.

29mins

31 Oct 2015

Rank #8

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279 – How Debt Fools People

On today’s show Scott Terrio explains that, for most of our clients, debt “sneaks up on you”.  You borrow the money and expect to have no trouble paying it off, but then life happens, and the debt problems begin.  We discuss how debt causes problems, and Scott creates a new term: Financially Catatonic.  All that and more on today’s show.

31mins

4 Jan 2020

Rank #9

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129 – Burn Your Mortgage with Sean Cooper

Sean Cooper returns to the podcast today to talk about his new book, Burn Your Mortgage, to be published on March 1, 2017.  Sean worked up to 80 hours a week for many years to save for a down payment, and then he managed to pay off his mortgage in less than four years.  He held a mortgage burning party that was covered by the CBC, and that's where the fun began.   Some people applauded his frugal lifestyle, but others said that it's not realistic to work that hard just to pay off a mortgage quicker, earning him a lot of online haters, which is where I got involved in the story when I was interviewed by the CBC in a follow up article. I believe that some of Sean's strategies will work for some people; the key is to listen to his ideas and apply what you are able to do, given your financial situation.  As Sean Cooper says, the starting point is "setting a goal, because for so many people what keeps them from being homeowners is they're not able to come up with that down payment." On today's show Sean Cooper talks about his new book, talks about the on-line haters, and provides advice on how to "burn your mortgage".

31mins

18 Feb 2017

Rank #10

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71 – 4 Easy Steps To Save Money Each Week With Nicole Olsen

The weekly trip to the grocery store is a big expense for a family, so saving money on food can go a long way.  But how do you save money?  Is the only way to save by clipping coupons and buying no-name brands? There are other strategies, and on today's show, Nicole Olsen, the Financial Literacy Program Director for Financial Fitness in Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario, joins us back on the show to share her smart shopping tips.

29mins

9 Jan 2016

Rank #11

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191 – Pay Off Debt First or Follow Your Passion?

As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, I'll always advise that you prioritize debt repayment. Why is it important to pay off debt first? So that you are no longer burdened by it. While that is the most prudent course of action, not everyone wants to wait until they are debt free before pursuing their dreams. For example, if you are a recent graduate, you might not want to delay starting a business until you've paid off all your debt. This is exactly the decision that my guest, Alex Grodnik, made. Still owing $75,000 in student loan debt, he left a stable job to follow his passion. But, should you follow in his footsteps? Alex says it depends on the kind of person you are and if you're willing to take risks. More on Alex’s story, and some practical advice, on today’s podcast.

28mins

28 Apr 2018

Rank #12

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141 – How Car Loans Can Lead to Insolvency

There are two major purchases we make in our life that we typically use debt to purchase. The first (no surprise here) is our home, and the second is our car. But can car loans lead to insolvency? Believe it or not, yes car loans can lead to insolvency. As cars are getting more sophisticated and fitted with new gadgets and features, which means they're also getting more expensive. You're no longer buying just a car, you're buying a driving computer. Instead of the days where we could just pay cash up front for our vehicle, we're presented with loans and leases as a way to stretch the total amount over a number of years. In some cases, car loans extend up to eight years. This makes cars more affordable for the every day consumer, which is great for car companies as they're able to continue with the technological evolution of their cars. But, they can get expensive, so on today’s show Doug Hoyes explains why we get into debt with cars, and he gives practical advice for dealing with car loan debt.

21mins

13 May 2017

Rank #13

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261 – REBROADCAST: Getting Out Of Debt Requires A System, Not Just A Goal

Every financial guru says that achieving success starts with setting a goal. I disagree.  While there is some benefit to setting goals, you are more likely to achieve success if, instead of focusing on goals, you have a system. I discuss goals vs systems on this special rebroadcast episode, originally aired in January, 2019. If your goal is to get out of debt or to save more money, you might be a little frustrated knowing another year has come and gone without improving your finances. So what if your goal this year is to get out of debt? Or save more money? What’s the best way to achieve any goal? The answer may be to not focus on the goal at all, but instead to create a system to reach that goal.  Today on Debt Free in 30, I want to explain why, in most cases, systems are better than goals. 

18mins

31 Aug 2019

Rank #14

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206 – REBROADCAST: How to Pay Down Massive Debt

It’s the month of August, and we are replaying the most downloaded episodes from the past season of Debt Free in 30. This episode was inspired by all of those personal finance bloggers who love to write stories about how they paid off a massive amount of debt in a short period of time.  That’s great if you have a massive income and can do it, but what if you can’t? That’s the topic on today’s rebroadcast, so please enjoy our take on a Realistic Approach to Paying Down Massive Debt.

16mins

11 Aug 2018

Rank #15

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236 – Take The Blame And Shame Out Of Debt Repayment

In over 20 years helping Canadians eliminate their debt, I've yet to hear a single client say they chose to have debt problems. Debt accumulates over time and then it becomes an even bigger problem when you lose your job, become ill or get divorced. But for many of my clients, despite knowing that the cause of their money troubles was beyond their control, they still blamed themselves for their financial woes.  So, how does one overcome self-blame to achieve debt relief? Today we talk with Shannon Lee Simmons, author of Living Debt-Free: The No-Shame, No-Blame Guide to Getting Rid of Your Debt about how negative feelings towards debt can create more debt and strategies that can put you in the right direction when dealing with your debt.

33mins

9 Mar 2019

Rank #16

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11 – Turning Debt Problems into Hope – Chris deVries

Today’s guest is Chris deVries, a former banker who provides personal financial counselling to people of all ages.  He advocates a straight forward approach to resolving money problems, and on today’s show he gives many practical examples of strategies to deal with debt issues. He discusses the importance of knowing where your money goes, and then taking steps to save money.  He gives practical examples, including a strategy to reduce cell phone costs. Through his many years of counselling Chris has worked with many people in what appear to be hopeless situations, but he believes that despite how serious a situation may appear, there is always hope.

35mins

15 Nov 2014

Rank #17

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136 – Thinking Ahead and Planning For Your Future

My guest today is Shamez Kassam, a financial advisor based in Calgary who has just published his first book, Your Money’s Worth: The Essential Guide to Financial Advice for Canadians. Shamez wanted to write a book that acted as a road map for how the Canadian financial advice industry worked. There's only so much you can learn within the traditional educational institutions. Shamez himself tried learning on his own before losing it all in the tech bubble. That's when he decided to go back and do his MBA in New York. The Millennial Conundrum Younger generations or anyone who is just starting out have a lot of challenges to overcome to succeed financially. Debt loads are high, job security is low, and student debt is higher than ever. Our Joe Debtor study found that millennials are the most likely of all age groups to use payday loans. So they're not only operating within unsecured territory, but they're adding volatile, high-interest debts to their list of challenges.  We discuss this and more on today’s show.

23mins

8 Apr 2017

Rank #18

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138 – Financial Stress Facing Single Parents

Struggling financially is difficult for anyone. It can be exceptionally stressful if you're a single parent trying to juggle your finances, work, and parenting all on your own. Without a partner you're solely responsible for the fate of your family. My guest today is here to talk about how going through insolvency as a single parent feels, and how she overcame her debt. Her name and personal information are kept anonymous for confidentiality reasons so we'll call her Joan. Joan was a working professional with a job on Bay Street. Like many Bay Street positions, Joan was making a very good salary. Shortly after Joan celebrated her 50th birthday, work at her office was slow and she was downsized. On today’s show we hear her story, and how a consumer proposal helped her deal with her debts.

33mins

22 Apr 2017

Rank #19

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254 – What Costco Can Teach Us About Making Financial Decisions

Today we discuss a wonderful, magical place called Costco.  Is it a store?  A finance company?  Something else?  And why does it matter?  All that and more on today’s podcast (and I’ve got slides, so if you want to see the numbers, the video is posted on the Debt Free in 30 channel on YouTube).

21mins

13 Jul 2019

Rank #20