Recent Articles

M Wrote: Your book Debt Free Forever completely changed my thinking and attitude towards money. For the first time in my 28 years, I know the worth of a dollar, and how to make my money work for ME, not the other way around. I have a question about irregular income. I get paid bi-weekly, […]

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David Whyte was born in November, 1955 and grew up among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but his Irish mother imaginative influence is still at play among his words.   The Lightest Touch Good poetry begins with the lightest […]

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I’m a big-batch cooker. From time to time I put to and make a mess of food, putting it in individual containers in the freezer. This saves me time when I don’t want to have to start from scratch. And since I’m the best mama ever, I end up stuffing my children’s freezers with my […]

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Buying a Home

March 28, 201610 Comments

A single mom wrote to me recently asking for some advice about buying a home. She wants to know how much she should put down, and how much she can reasonably afford to spend. While she’s been pre-approved for a mortgage – a good first step – she’s uncomfortable with the amount the lender seems […]

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J Wrote:   I am 63 years old, employed. Pensions: CPP and Company totaling approx. $1666/mo. I plan on retiring in 2 years. My mortgage is $144,500. RRSPS totaling $160,000. Question is when I retire do I pay off the mortgage so no more mortgage payments or do I withdraw $1000/month from the RRSP? I figured […]

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We eat a lot of rice in the Caribbean. Other than provisions (which is the group name given to things like yam, dasheen, eddoes, cassava, breadfruit, sweet potatoes and green banana) rice shows up as a side dish for most mains. Here’s my version of Caribbean fried rice. Enjoy.   Caribbean Fried Rice 2 cups […]

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When I was at my high school reunion last fall, one of the events was a brunch the day after the gala. I went into the kitchen to get a glass of water and was told that there was a cold bin of bottled water on the patio where everyone was hanging out. Thing is, […]

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Spending is a significant part of money management, so it makes sense to try to help kids figure out the best ways to use their money. The fact that nobody taught most of us about becoming smart shopper is evident in the way we abuse credit. More than half of North America’s credit-card holders have […]

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Gail's Tools

Now, easier to find than ever, here are the tools you’ll need to take control of your money and your life… like the Interactive Budget Worksheet. Make sure you read Gail’s Guide to Building a Budget or my latest book, Debt-Free Forever, before using the Interactive Budget Worksheet so you know how to put it to good use.

And have a look under Favorite Blogs for what I’ve written on topics people most often ask questions about.


Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Gail Vaz-OxladeHello! I'm Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I'm a mother, step-mother, grand-mama, friend, confessor, writer, TV host, money maven, teacher, artist, and ex-wife. I'm loud, large and laugh a lot. I'm passionate about learning, committed to sharing and hell-bent on getting people to take control of their money and their lives.

I've written 13 books on personal finance, hundreds of articles for the financial media, published a financial magazine for women, hosted three prime-time television shows and worked with Canada’s leading financial services companies to help educate employees and clients. (I've been busy, eh?)

My corporate projects have ranged from the design of a product knowledge and sales curriculum to cover every product sold through the branch network, to the writing of several consumer-oriented brochures, the development of web content, the on-camera hosting of consumer-oriented videos, and myriad public presentations. I can make the most complex financial topic accessible to everyone, even kids.

For those of you who have detected an accent, go ahead and guess! I immigrated to Canada in 1977, lived in The Big City for a long time and then moved to the country. I have dozens of houseplants, read or listen to about 150 books a year and I'm a fabulous cook. I’m learning to knit and dying to get a new puppy… but the time’s not quite right yet so I’m practicing what I preach and being patient.

I’m all about change, and I believe that we can have anything we want in life…anything. It’s all a matter of what’s important to us and how hard we’re prepared to bust our butts. I also believe that a well-balanced life is one of the keys to happiness, and so I strive to achieve a sense of balance.

I’m happy with my life. I am determined to do interesting work and to be useful. I love to learn new things. And I’m practicing living in The Now. I am a work in progress.