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  • Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s School of Personal Finance

  • Gail Vaz-Oxlade's School of Personal Finance

    If you’re looking for someone that is going to be completely real with you about money – Gail Vaz-Oxlade is your gal. She is one of those people that speaks the truth, even if you don’t want to hear it – and that’s what I love about her. She doesn’t sugar-coat personal finance issues, like so many others seem to do.

    Some people may find her a bit harsh, but I personally think that she’s perfect the way she is. Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, but we really do need to hear it.

    Gail Vaz-Oxlade is the host of Til’ Debt Do Us Part and Princess on Slice TV, where she helps families, couples and single women get back on track with their finances. I have been a huge fan of Til’ Debt Do Us Part for years now. It’s one of the few shows that I can actually watch repeats of… I always seem to learn something new that I missed the first time.

    If you’re looking for a great author of personal finance books, Gail has you covered in that department, as well. She has written over a dozen of them! Debt Free Forever is my favourite.

    Gail was even kind enough to answer some of our personal finance questions last year.

    Things Gail will tell you about personal finance that you probably didn’t know:

    You can (and should) receive your credit report twice a year for FREE. That’s right, not a single cent.

    You can (and should) negotiate annual fees, such as those on a credit card, every year.

    You can change your billing dates to make bill-paying more convenient for you (ie. your bills are paid as soon as you are paid).

    You can ask the government to reduce your income tax (in which case you will increase your income) each month, instead of getting a lump sum at the end of the year.

    Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s top 5 personal finance tips:

    1. If you’re in debt, dig yourself out. Start today.

    2. Create a budget. Everyone should have one.

    3. Spend less money than you bring in. It sounds simple, but many, many people don’t follow this simple rule and then wonder why they never seem to have any money left at the end of the month.

    4. No matter how much money you make, you should ALWAYS be saving at least 10% of your net income.

    5. Eliminate impulse purchases by shopping with a list. Groceries, clothing, gifts – make a list before you shop.

    Gail Vaz-Oxlade is successful because she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to money. Her tips have helped thousands of people, not just in Canada, but around the world.

    She’s one of the few people that I actually believe truly wants to help others with their finances, and not just make a quick buck. If you are desperate for financial help, I highly recommend checking out Gail’s website.

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    21 Responses to »
    Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s School of Personal Finance

    1. Mrs January says:

      Melissa: Just let them know that you can’t afford to pay the current rate. :)

    2. melissa says:

      Question – what do you say when you call CC companies to ask for a lower rate? Do you give them any reasons?

    3. Julie says:

      Oops, I meant to say “should be done in October/ November of current year for the *following* year.”

    4. Julie says:

      This is the form you need to fill out from CRA to request to reduce tax deductions at source for the following year (Form T1213) – http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1213/ You must meet certain criterias to be eligible. (I’ve heard that there are similar provincial ones… I know a form does exist for Quebec, but I do not know about the other provinces.)

      My husband was thinking about doing it for 2012, but he missed the deadline (should be done in October/ November of current year for the previous year. Once CRA approves, you get a form that you then give to your compensation department at work, who then ensures that the correct amount of taxes is withheld, and not a guesstimate, which is why you get more money on your paycheck.)

      Seems like a hassle to me – I don’t mind getting a refund. Gail’s point is that we are lending the government money, interest free. She is right…

    5. Mrs January says:

      Leslie: I think it’s perfectly acceptable to call your credit card company to ask for a lower rate. If they are not able to lower it, that’s perfectly fine – some companies will say yes and some will not. I think that it’s worth a shot to give them a call to find out what they will say. You never know unless you try.

      Albertamommy: You can add that in ADDITION to your credit report – it’s for your credit score. Only your credit REPORT is free. :)

      SK: Aw, thank you so much for the sweet comment!

      Charlene: Check out the response by Judy (thanks, Judy!), she explains it perfectly.

      melissa: Thanks for your two cents! :)

    6. melissa says:

      Hi guys as a CRA auditor I will clarify Gail’s advice on reducing your taxes deducted by your employer. This can ONLY be done if you have additional credits, such as tution, children etc that you claim and would otherwise get a refund for. If you get large refunds each year go for it. If not you should not do this. You cannot ask them to reduce the taxes without specifying which credits you will be claiming on your return. if you do this and make something up you wil only be hurting yourself:) Just my two cents. I personally have done it as a mom of 4 but its not for everyone;)

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