Debt Free In 30



Every week we take 30 minutes and talk to industry experts about debt, money and personal finance.


  • 273 – Debt and The Sunk Cost Fallacy

    23/11/2019 Duration: 20min

    The Sunk Cost Fallacy is easy to understand: you’ve spent the money, it’s gone, but you keep on doing what you’re doing, whether or not it makes sense, because you’ve spent the money. You go to a restaurant and eat every morsel of food on your plate, whether you are full or not, because you’ve spent the money! On today’s show Ted Michalos explains how the Sunk Cost Fallacy is a disaster with how you treat debt, and we give some practical advice on how to overcome it.

  • 272 – Managing the Cost of Kids’ Sports

    16/11/2019 Duration: 16min

    On today’s podcast we’ve got two hockey parents: Kristen Kral, a credit counsellor in our Brantford office, and Rebecca Martyn, our Windsor trustee, who give their thoughts on how to save money on kid’s sports (particularly hockey). Enjoy!

  • 271 - TFSA, RRSP and Debt

    09/11/2019 Duration: 37min

    It’s amazing how many of my client are confused about the difference between a TFSA and an RRSP, so today Ian Martin and I go through the basics. But isn’t this a podcast about debt? Yes it is, so we also discuss what happens to a TFSA or RRSP if you go bankrupt, and we discuss which savings vehicle is best once you are out of debt and are getting back on track.

  • 270 - The Fable of the 20 Dollar Bill

    02/11/2019 Duration: 17min

    It’s the start of Financial Literacy Month in Canada, so instead of following the crowd and telling you to make a budget (which is the most common suggestion you will hear this month), I will go a different route and tell you a story about a 20 dollar bill. A fable, as it were. Enjoy!

  • 269 – Which Bank Should You Use?

    26/10/2019 Duration: 30min

    We advise our clients to open a new bank account at a new bank where they don’t owe any money, before filing a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, to ensure that their money is not “accidentally” seized by a creditor.  It’s wise to have a bank account at a bank where you don’t owe money even if you aren’t in financial trouble, for exactly that reason.  But which bank should you pick?  Are they all the same?  On today’s podcast credit counsellor Diane Cunha walks you through how to pick a bank and save money on bank fees.

  • 268 – No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

    19/10/2019 Duration: 20min

    Ted Michalos often says “no good deed goes unpunished”.  What does he mean by that?  Does he have a negative view of humanity?  On today’s show he gives examples to illustrate his point, and we give practical advice on how to make sure that if you are helping friends of family with money problems, you don’t put yourself in financial jeopardy.

  • 267 – Debt Stories: Renovictions, Retail Apocalypse & Stagnant Incomes

    12/10/2019 Duration: 35min

    On today’s show: no statistics, no numbers, just stories about the clients we help.  Scott Terrio talks about the growing trend of renovictions, how the decline of retail stores is impacting our clients, and how stagnant incomes but rising living costs are putting the squeeze on everyone.

  • 266 – Real Estate, Personal Debt, and Recession Indicators with Ben Rabidoux

    05/10/2019 Duration: 43min

    After a three year absence Ben Rabidoux is back on the show.  We start with the story of how he got sued for libel due to some tweets he sent out, and then we discuss how borrowers can deal with the more restrictive mortgage rules, and we discuss whether or not we are headed for a recession. It’s our longest show of the year, so far, so sit back and enjoy.

  • 265 – How To Talk to Your Aging Parents About Money

    28/09/2019 Duration: 30min

    My guest today is Cameron Huddleston, who wrote a new book called Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to have essential conversations with your parents about their finances.  How do you have the “money talk” with your parents as they get older? How do you even know if they need help? Those topics and more on today’s episode.

  • 264 – How To Negotiate with a Collection Agent

    21/09/2019 Duration: 41min

    Today on the show my guest is Blair Demarco-Wettlaufer, a real-life collection agent, who explains how a collection agent gets paid, and how you can negotiate with a collection agent.

  • 263 – Why The 7-Year Rule for Student Loan Debt Should Be Eliminated

    14/09/2019 Duration: 30min

    If you start a business, and get into trouble, no problem, you can go bankrupt or file a consumer proposal to get debt relief.  Even tax debt goes away in a bankruptcy.  But, if you have a government guaranteed student loan, the law says you must wait 7 years after you leave school to be able to automatically discharge student loan debt in a bankruptcy or consumer proposal. That’s both unfair and punitive, so on today’s podcast we explain how the rule works, and give our suggestions for fixing this injustice.

  • 262 – Welcome to Season 6 of Debt Free in 30

    07/09/2019 Duration: 07min

    In season #5 I started doing “rants”, single topic shows with just me talking.  The most downloaded show of the past 12 months was a “rant”, Show #227 where I talked about why systems are better than goals, and that was the show that I replayed just last week. What’s in store for this year? Lots more guests, and rants, and who knows what else. Thanks for listening, and please enjoy Season #6!

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

    31/08/2019 Duration: 18min

    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. 

  • 260 – REBROADCAST: Take The Blame And Shame Out Of Debt Repayment

    24/08/2019 Duration: 34min

    In over 20 years of 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? On today’s special rebroadcast episode 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.

  • 259 – REBROADCAST - What to Know About Credit Cards So You Use Credit Wisely

    17/08/2019 Duration: 28min

    When used correctly, a credit card is a helpful tool to build your credit history, and it's a safer than carrying cash. However, when mismanaged, a credit card can quickly become one of the most expensive borrowing options, leading to serious debt trouble. For many of our clients, credit card debt is the second biggest debt they carry. To help you avoid the common pitfalls that come with owning a credit card, on this special rebroadcast episode I talk with Diane Cunha, one of our certified credit counsellors. She shares tips for using credit wisely to avoid debt problems.  We discuss billing cycles, due dates and grace periods, and we have 8 tips for avoiding credit card debt.

  • 258 – REBROADCAST - Managing Money on a Variable Income

    10/08/2019 Duration: 35min

    It’s August, and we are rebroadcasting our most downloaded episodes of the last year, with a new introduction, and this one has opera! How do you stay on top of your finances when your income differs from one month to the next? Chris Enns is an opera-singer and a fee-only financial planner specializing in helping people who work in creative careers organize their sporadic salaries. He understands first-hand the struggles of applying traditional financial advice to a non-traditional cash-flow. Today Chris outlines his approach for managing cash-flow when you have variable or intermittent income. Chris explains that many people in the creative world avoid thinking about money because they believe they are just bad at it; they just don't get it so they think managing their finances is something they can't do. As 'money misfits' they don't feel they are part of the financial conversation. The terminology around money is foreign so they don't connect with the language. On today’s show Chris explains how creative p

  • 257 - REBROADCAST: Think Twice Before You Get a Home Equity Line of Credit

    03/08/2019 Duration: 34min

    A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a loan secured by the equity in your house. A HELOC is often presented as a great borrowing tool because unlike with credit cards or unsecured loans, you have access to a large amount of revolving cash at a lower interest rate. But what you probably don't know is that your bank can change the borrowing terms on your HELOC whenever they want. On today's special rebroadcast, we talk with Scott Terrio and he shares why you need to think twice before signing up for a home equity line of credit. 

  • 256 – Advice for Dealing with a Debt Buyer

    27/07/2019 Duration: 35min

    What is a debt buyer?  What should you do if you find out that a debt buyer has bought your debt? On today’s show a former collection agency lawyer explains the law, and discusses options for negotiating with a debt buyer.

  • 255 – Are You Financially Dependent on Debt?

    20/07/2019 Duration: 20min

    Could you survive without debt?  Sounds like an easy question to answer, but many of our clients are so dependent on credit cards that they don’t realize they are borrowing to live. On today’s show Ted Michalos discusses how you can tell if you are dependent on debt, and how to get off the debt treadmill.

  • 254 – What Costco Can Teach Us About Making Financial Decisions

    13/07/2019 Duration: 21min

    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).

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