Cover image of Simple Money Solutions: Personal Finance Canada, Personal Finance from a Canadian Perspective, Financial Independence, Lifestyle Choices, Early Retirement

Simple Money Solutions: Personal Finance Canada, Personal Finance from a Canadian Perspective, Financial Independence, Lifestyle Choices, Early Retirement

Updated 3 days ago

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simple living starts here

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simple living starts here

iTunes Ratings

15 Ratings
Average Ratings

Love it!

By CandidCats - Nov 18 2019
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Great podcast for helping you discover your financial goals and dial in the actions that are going to help you get there! Very applicable to most people regardless of age or income and presented in a kind, nonjudgmental way.

Great Podcast and I listen to a lot of them

By Financepodcastaddict - Mar 28 2017
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This was a recommendation from Radical Personal Finance. Even as an American listener, the content is great and I get to see a different perspective from our friends above the border. Keep the content coming, listened to the 1st 27 episodes in a couple of days, I like your style.

iTunes Ratings

15 Ratings
Average Ratings

Love it!

By CandidCats - Nov 18 2019
Read more
Great podcast for helping you discover your financial goals and dial in the actions that are going to help you get there! Very applicable to most people regardless of age or income and presented in a kind, nonjudgmental way.

Great Podcast and I listen to a lot of them

By Financepodcastaddict - Mar 28 2017
Read more
This was a recommendation from Radical Personal Finance. Even as an American listener, the content is great and I get to see a different perspective from our friends above the border. Keep the content coming, listened to the 1st 27 episodes in a couple of days, I like your style.

Listen to:

Cover image of Simple Money Solutions: Personal Finance Canada, Personal Finance from a Canadian Perspective, Financial Independence, Lifestyle Choices, Early Retirement

Simple Money Solutions: Personal Finance Canada, Personal Finance from a Canadian Perspective, Financial Independence, Lifestyle Choices, Early Retirement

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

simple living starts here

Rank #1: SMS 116 – Living on 50% of your Income

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Living on 50% of your Income:

1. Early financial independence equals control
2. Eliminate risk from you life

1. Move in this direction – not too slowly
2. Remove temptation
3. Control of your environment
4. Don’t fall victim to the gold fish effect
5. The double edge sword of living on 50% of your income
6. If you believe you can’t then you are correct
7. Inaction is in it’s self an action
8. If you are in your 50’s you have already done this (25 years ago)

Dec 04 2018

1hr 1min


Rank #2: SMS 137 – Retirement Considerations

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Retirement Considerations

Divide you
expenses into three buckets:

  1. Survival expenses
  2. Comfort of life expenses
  3. Luxury life expenses

in determining your costs base in retirement:

  1. What costs will remain in your life in
  2. You shouldn’t have any debt payments
  3. You won’t have any savings requirements
  4. You won’t be supporting your children
  5. You should relocate to a low cost region
  6. Don’t plan for the worst – unfortunate events
    will be offset by unanticipated benefits
  7. My research has determined – you need less money
    than you think
  8. Statically you send 2% per year less past the
    age of 65
  9. Part-time employment will provide more than just
    supplemental income
  10. You
    can always make more money – you can’t make more time

Sources of
retirement income:

  1. Pension plans (DB and DC)
  2. Retirement savings (RRSP, TFSA)
  3. Government pensions (CPP and OAS)
  4. Other investments
  5. Inheritance

May 28 2019

1hr 2mins


Rank #3: SMS 144 – Passion vs Profession

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Passion vs. Profession

The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work

Article from Radio Canada International: A recent survey shows only 27 per cent of Canadians say they are satisfied with their current employer and are not interested in a new job. –

“Millennials have a desire to do work that is interesting to them. Things that give them joy and satisfaction. I think they’re more willing to walk away than the generations that came before them.” –

Therefore, can your profession be your passion?

What is a passion?
Dig deep (i.e. personality type etc.)

What is a profession?
Ask yourself, are you really feeling intrinsically rewarded?

What’s holding us back from turning our passion into a profession? — The “F” word…
Fear of investment (time, money etc.)
Fear of judgment (others’ opinions)
Fear of failure (idea/business fails at any point of execution)
Fear of commitment (your interest will waiver; to ourselves)
Fear of unprofitability (idea/business does not perform well)

Can a passion really be profitable?

When should you turn your passion into a profession?
Testing ground to full-time: start a profit-earning side hustle (ex. online store, live market place – craft show, coffee house, art gallery, farmer’s market etc.); launch a free resource and monetize (ex. YouTube channel, blog, podcast)
Supply and demand — when your passion project gets too successful or popular to just maintain on the side
Just do it — Rachel Hollis: no one wants something more badly then you want it for yourself

Eight ways to find the true passion in life that has eluded you

Jul 23 2019

1hr 5mins


Rank #4: SMS 149 – Financial Literacy

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Why financial literacy is important
1. Personal finance touches all aspects of your life
2. It will serve you for your entire life
3. Builds self-confidence
4. Develops big picture thinking

Possible target groups – secondary school or post secondary school

Why financial literacy might not work in High School
1. Maturity is not ready (no urgency)
2. Peer pressure
3. Mandatory vs optional
4. Parent are too strong of a role model
5. The stakes are too low

Financial Literacy Topics:
1. 90% behaviour 10% math – develop life long habits and self-discipline
2. Spend less than you earn – a documented budget is a requirement
3. Credit does not solve problems – it makes them worse
4. Life does not always go as planned – and that’s ok
5. Develop the self discipline to save money – and not spend it
6. Document your goals and dreams
7. Develop a value system – this will evolve as your grow

Aug 26 2019

1hr 1min


Rank #5: SMS 125 – Used Cars Part 1 – Why Buy a Used Car

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Why buy a used car:

  1. It’s not a status symbol, it’s transportation
  2. Learn resourcefulness – shopping and owning (limited warranty, the warranty is not free its built into the price, if the company was losing on warranties they would go out of business)
  3. Less Stress – pre-scathed, pre-dented (pre-flawed)
  4. The second largest purchase you will ever make (this can make a difference)
  5. This is a purchase you will repeat – get it right (every 10 years, get it wrong and it compounds)
  6. Borrowing money for things that go down in value (with a new car you can be upside down on your car loan)

Feb 26 2019



Rank #6: SMS 129 – Budgeting Part 1 – Why Budgeting is Important

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Part 1: Why have a

To survive without budgeting at some point would require the
use of credit or a very extremely conservative lifestyle which would mean lost

Very High
level – How to Budget

  1. Tracking income and expenses – find a tool and
    develop the skills
  2. Set spending parameters – this is where the
    “why” becomes important
  3. Project future income and expenses – this is the
    real payoff to budgeting


  1. Budgets are for “poor people”
  2. Budgets are restrictive
  3. Budgets are temporary
  4. Budgets are “one size fits all”

Budgeting is important:

  1. Provides a roadmap with directions to your goals
  2. Budgets identifies problems before they occur
  3. Makes you aware of where your money is going –
    automation is your enemy
  4. Budgets drive behavior change – you need to
    review your budget regularly

Budgets are a tool for decision making

Mar 25 2019

1hr 15mins


Rank #7: SMS 124 – Debt Freedom

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How to Get
Out of Debt:

  1. Debt Avalanche – prioritize based on interest
  2. Debt Snowball – prioritize smallest to largest

Why you
should live a debt free life:

  1. Reduced risk – your biggest financial risk is
    loss of income to cover your expenses
  2. Freedom of choice – paying for your past actions
    in the future
  3. Reduced stress – life has many moving pieces
    debt can be a very volatile piece
  4. Changed how you view money

Using debt as a financial management tool will force the decisions you make today to be controlled by your actions of the yesterday. Living a debt free life means you can focus on the present and the future and leave the past behind.

Feb 12 2019



Rank #8: SMS 155 – You’re Not Poor You’re Broke

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SMS155 – You’re Not Poor You’re Broke

Poverty – is not about a lack of wealth it is about a lack of

Broke – is about an insufficient amount of wealth for a chosen

The problem with not knowing the difference is you either try to
solve the wrong problem or worse you become powerless to solving it.

You don’t have to be born into poverty to be poor, circumstances can
be your undoing.

Relative poverty vs absolute poverty – relative poverty can be
solved much easier than absolute poverty.

Canada’s poverty rate was 9.5% in 2017 (35,000,000 * 0.95=
3,325,000) defined as a family’s ability to afford a “basket of goods”.

Factors that would indicate poverty:

  1. Access to
  2. Access to housing
  3. Access to savings/investing
  4. Access to the free market

Four simple factors can determine future poverty risk:

  1. Race –
    visible minority
  2. Education – no access or
    limited access
  3. Martial Status – single with
    no support system
  4. Age – a bad start leads to
    bad places

Factors that would indicate
artificial poverty (broke not poor):

  1. Your
    situation is temporary with a known solution
  2. You have a safety net –
    family or debt
  3. You have options – choice
    could solve or improve your situation
  4. You have something to lose

Reasons you might be broke but think you are poor:

  1. You’re
    consumed with first world problems
  2. Compare yourself to others
  3. Don’t take ownership
  4. Don’t understand the Maslow
    Hierarchy of needs

Oct 08 2019



Rank #9: SMS 132 – Financial Myths

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Personal Finance Myths
We like to make excuses; easier to blame others then ourselves. We all, like eating, have the ability, for thee majority, to earn, save, and spend.

1.“Personal finance is too hard.” — news flash, a lot of the most important things we will ever embark on in life are really hard. Anything worth having, anything worth being good at is always going to challenging, But its how willing you are to fight to achieve what you want to achieve is the true measure of strength and resiliency. Change will come from a place of discomfort.

2. “Personal finance is easy… just don’t buy anything or spend any money, I’m set…” — things happen, clever marketing ads get shoved in your throat in all sorts of subconscious ways, its harder then ever not to spend money

3. “My parents are bad at it which means they didn’t teach me how to get too at it.” — the moment you stop letting someone else dictate how good or bad you are and will ever get at something is the moment you relinquish control. Control and permission to excel at something and be great. You are not your parent’s legacy, instead you can foster your own legacy at leading an incredible personal financial life. Yes, you may not have been dealt an incredible hand, but you own how you play that hand out. I will also in the same breathe be the the first to admit that my parents are incredible with their finances, that everything I know and everything I told true is because of them.

4. “People with a financial background have an upper hand.”

5. “Personal finance is a place you get to.” — in reality, it’s a journey not a destination and you have to be kind, gentle, and patient with yourself as you grow and go through this journey

6. “There’s a “right” way to do personal finance” — and by right way we mean there are right strategies to take on i.e. spend less then you earn, but the things that work for your neighbour, friend, etc. might not work for you. It’s easy to get caught up in the perfectionist side of things, that if you live your life according to the success plan that worked for someone else it’ll work for you, however in reality our lives are all so unique.

7. “I’m older now, its too late.” — its never too late

8. “Caring about personal finances is only for those with lower incomes.”

9. “If I made more money I wouldn’t have any financial worries or problems”. —Don’t look for external solutions to an internal problem

10. “Everyone else around me is living large, why can’t I?”

11. “It feels like my debts will never get paid off, why even try or start?”

12. “I tried the personal finance thing and it didn’t work.” — Trust yourself — trust yourself that you’ll have the ability to succeed

13. “My spouse takes care of the personal finances so I don’t have to.” — faulty approach, important to delineate roles, but also as important for both partners to have a pulse on your joint personal finance situation and be jointly involved (regardless of who may be the primary/larger bread winner of the family unit). Each partner serves as a sounding board, your accountability partner. Ensures your immediate/short term actions align with your long term goals.

14. “Thinking about personal finance is too restrictive — budgets, curbing my spending…”

15. “I’m not wired that way.” — its not about math, its something you need to learn, something you should embrace getting good at

16. “Personal finance is something I can ‘dabble in’ whenever its convent for me” / “I have a bad habit on spending money on things I don’t need.” — no, personal finance is a way of life and a way of living, not a habit to be broken and then commit to next week or next year when you think it’ll be easier.

Apr 15 2019

1hr 28mins


Rank #10: SMS 148 – Personal Finance Advice

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Opinions vs. Advice

People who may try to give advice:

  1. Perceived general knowledge experts
  2. Individuals who have been where you are
  3. Individuals who are where you are
  4. Individuals who want to be where you are
  5. Parents – may give advice to be cautious because they don’t want to
    see you fail
  6. Family and friends

How to know you’re being given advice:

  1. You second guess your decisions
  2. You find yourself relying on the input from others
  3. You feel bad about your financial decisions (and let others make
    you feel bad)
  4. You’re indecisive and/or easily swayed
  5. You succumb to keeping up with the Joneses (this plays out in a
    multitude of ways with family, friends etc.)

Reasons to get advice:

  1. Lack of confidence
  2. Lack of experience or knowledge – we convince ourselves that others
    know better when no one knows our situation and goals as well as we do
  3. Not wanting to own our own financial decisions
  4. Don’t have well defined goals
  5. Haven’t developed a value system

Aug 20 2019

1hr 25mins


Rank #11: SMS 138 – Rent – How Much to Pay or Should You Buy

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How Much
Should You Pay for Rent?

  1. One week’s pay equals on month’s rent
  2. Consider all of the costs when comparing

Your Housing Rental Needs:

  1. Can you do a reference check on your landlord?
  2. Location, location, location
  3. Assess how long you plan to live there
  4. How much space do you really need
  5. Luxury comes at a cost
  6. Beware of a deal that is too good to be true

Rent vs Buy:

  1. You are not throwing money away – you get a
    place to live
  2. Home ownership is not for everybody
  3. Home ownership does not make sense at every
    stage of life
  4. There are more costs to home ownership than just
    mortgage payments
  5. The transactions cost of buying and selling are
  6. Read the Wealthy Renter by Alex Avery

Jun 04 2019

1hr 8mins


Rank #12: SMS 134 – Re-Thinking Emergency Funds

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is an emergency fund?

  • should
    be 3 to 6 months of survival expenses
  • Insulation
    from life (living insurance) – removes risk from you life

purpose of an emergency fund:

  1. Job
  2. Unanticipated

needs an emergency fund:

  1. Negative
    net worth – having debt in your life adds risk
  2. Relative
    low income – close to the financial edge
  3. Home
    owner – learn to predict expenses
  4. Car
    owner – learn to predict expenses
  5. Unstable
    employment – be observant
  6. Significant
    number of dependents – adds complexity to your life
  7. Known
    credit issues

to build and manage an emergency fund:

  • Make
    it a line item in your budget
  • Stop
    all savings & aggressive debt repayment until you have $1,000
  • Aggressively
    build up 3 to 6 months of survival expenses
  • Have
    the discipline to not spend it on non-emergencies
  • Make
    it accessible but not too accessible

doesn’t need an emergency fund:

  • Positive
    net worth with no debt
  • Earn
    significantly more than you spend
  • Do
    not have credit issues
  • Very
    stable employment

Mr. Money Mustache

MMM vs. The Emergency Fund – MMM Show Episode 9

May 07 2019

1hr 24mins


Rank #14: SMS 133 – Does Costco Really Save You Money?

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Starting from the standpoint that everybody should have a
Costco membership and the reason you want it is to save money.


  • Gold Membership $60 per year
  • Executive Membership $120 per year with 2% cash
    back (spend $6,000 cash back $120)

My personal
issues with a Costco membership:

  1. Membership costs – have to save the membership
    costs plus
  2. Altered consumption – having an endless supply
    could change how you use
  3. Walk past the shiny stuff – everybody know my
    weakness for electronics
  4. Creates a sense of scarcity
  5. Not supporting local business
  6. It stands for consumerism (more is better)

Who should not have a Costco

  1. Single people
  2. You don’t own a car
  3. Have a consumer weakness
  4. No Costco in your local community

Apr 29 2019



Rank #15: SMS 126 – Used Cars Part 2 – How to Buy a Used Car

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How to buy a used car:

  1. Realistically access your transportation needs –
    not a status symbol, narrow your search make/model
  2. Set a budget and stick to it – maximum loan 3
    years, 40% to 50% of your annual income tied up in cars
  3. Do your research – become an informed buyer, know
    your prices & search out known problems
  4. Only buy from a dealership – buy a previously leased
    car, don’t buy somebodies problems – know why the car is for sale
  5. Test drive as many as possible – you have to
    drive a bad one, check the car proof, take it home and wash it
  6. Beware of a deal that’s too good to be true – be
    willing to pay fair market value (the seller knows more than you do)

Mar 05 2019

1hr 2mins


Rank #16: SMS 152 – Comparing Yourself to Others Financially

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Comparing yourself to others Financially

Life is so much simpler when you stop explaining yourself to people and just do what works for you.

Why we tend to compare ourselves to others:
1. Easy (lazy)
2. Societal pressure
3. Envy
4. Our Social Circles
5. Inspiration
6. Predictable outcome
7. Lack of confidence

Why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others:
1. Different resources
2. Different values
3. Different goals
4. Different support system

Sep 17 2019



Rank #17: SMS 140 – Harnessing Your Financial Emotions

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Harnessing Your
Financial Emotions

Your emotions make most of the decisions in your life and
our logical brain tries to create sound reasoning to support your emotional

Control: We have the elution that we control things we
actually have no control over. If we submit to the fact that our emotions are
in charge and we control far less that we think we do you can begin to put in
place a framework of a financial value system that will drive our actions.

The problem with making emotional financial decisions is we
often evaluate those decision later with logic.

How do you
know you are making an emotional based decision?

  1. Excitement
  2. Sadness
  3. Anxiety
  4. Anger

Ways to
control your emotions when making financial decisions

  1. Don’t rely on your “gut”
  2. Pause and come at it from a different angle
  3. Write it down – Pros and Cons (pen to paper
    awakens the logical brain)
  4. Get external opinion – hire a professional
    (lawyer, agent, accountant)
  5. Don’t marry yourself to an outcome – make it
    about the process

Have a value system based on overarching rules that you can rely on for your
decision making process.

  • Car loan: maximum 3 year
  • Mortgage: paid off in 15 years
  • I will never pay for a service I can do myself
  • I will not commute more than 30 minutes
  • Borrowing money for things that go down in value
    is not an option
  • Credit cards are a form of payment never to be
    used for credit
  • I will never use the equity in my house as a
    source of money
  • Replacements decisions are based on an items
    functional utility
  • Never mix money and family

Jun 18 2019

1hr 12mins


Rank #18: SMS 150 – A New Beginning

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Build on top of something you have already started or get back to there basics

Our lives tend to be a contagious never ending cycle with a re-sets you need to find a time of year for a fresh start.

New years resolutions are not quite the same because you go from winter to winter where with September brings a change of season and all of your senses are engaged.

Why September represents a new beginning
1. Move from relaxation mode to productive mode
2. End of vacation season – re-start routine
3. Change of seasons – environmental and physical
4. School starts – traditional and continued learning

Areas of life for a new beginning:
1. Relationships
2. Health – physical and mental
3. Finance

How to leverage a new beginning:
1. Enrol in continuing education
2. Remember the frugalness of the student lifestyle
3. Read a self help book (audiobook)
4. Subscribe to a youtube channel
5. Subscribe to a podcast
6. Join a group of like-minded people

Sep 02 2019



Rank #19: SMS 130 – Budgeting Part 2 – How to Budget

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Part 2: How to Budget

Developing a
budgeting is a process,

  • Track your income and expenses
  • Develop income and expense parameters
  • Project future income and expenses.

First develop
your expense tracking skills:

  1. Start with a smart phone app – automation is
    your enemy
  2. Develop the skill of tracking your spending for
    3-6 months create 1 income category and 4 expense categories: Home, Living,
    Transportation, Other
  3. At the end of 3-6 months you should have a solid
    view of how you income expenses are flowing
  4. Divide your 4 expense categories into 4
    sub-categories (drive behavior, facilitate decisions making)

Now you can
begin to develop income and expense parameters

  1. Determine monthly income budget
  2. Use averages to determine monthly expense budget
    by category
  3. Zero based budget means you have to account for
    every dollar

Your budget
has evolved to the point where you bring expense tracking and spending
parameters together

  1. To account for every dollar you have to
    reconcile to your bank account
  2. Monitor your performance of your actual spending
    against your budget and make adjustments

You are now
at the stage of financial planning where you can begin to see how you can
achieve your financial goals

  1. Develop a spreadsheet to mirror your income and expense categories
  2. Input 12 months of historical data
  3. Project monthly income and expense by month for the next calendar year (previous, current, and next year)
  4. Project annual income and expenses for the next five years.

Home Budget App

Apr 02 2019

1hr 2mins


Rank #20: SMS 147 – Measuring Financial Progress

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Measuring Financial Progress

Whenever you
are measuring anything in personal finance never use comparison as a guide.

Reason to measure progress:

  1. Make sure you are moving toward your goals
  2. Stay motivated
  3. Observe cause and effect
  4. Stop chasing a financial horizon

How to measure financial progress:

Hard measurements:

  1. Debt reduction
  2. Savings goals
  3. Income level
  4. Net worth
  5. Financial independence number

Soft measurements:

  1. Financial edge concerns
  2. Reduction in stress
  3. Your goals seem more realistic
  4. Frequency you celebrate wins – read the sign
  5. An increase in time spent enjoying life

Aug 13 2019

1hr 2mins