Catching Up

It’s been a while since I caught up with you guys to see how life is going and tell you what’s on the horizon. The beginning of the last month of the year seems like a perfect time. I am full of hope and anticipation for 2013. I hope that all the lessons I’ve been teaching have prepared people for whatever life next throws into the mix. I also hope that those of you who have learned well will pay it forward.

I have been busting butt with production of the new show Money Moron. Slice says it will air in the spring, so I’m crossing my fingers. We have worked with some wonderful people, and some people… well… you can’t win ‘em all. I know you’re going to love the new show. As soon as I have a finalized air-date, I’ll let you know. You can nominate someone for the next season, assuming there is one, through the link in the Gail News box. That’s where I’ll also be telling you about public appearances, book signings and the like.

Which brings me to the new book. Money Rules is now available for pre-order and will officially release on December 18. It is my BEST BOOK YET. It’s full of all those rules somebody should have told you. And it blows out of the water those rules that have no business being rules at all because they don’t do you any good. (They might make someone else record profits tho!)

If you have someone in your life that just doesn’t seem to get the common sense part of money, it may be because they don’t know the rules. My girlfriend, Casey, who read the draft for me (and asked me a question that was the kernel for The Gail Way) says she’s giving one to each of her children. “It’s the first time I’ve ever laughed out loud at a money book,” she called to tell me.  THAT made me happy.

I’m doing an extensive book tour January through March for Money Rules, going from coast to coast, if  both coasts want me. I’ll be making presentations at university/college campuses and appearing at bookstores. If you want a hug, come get one. I’m looking forward to meeting y’all and hearing your stories.

I’ve being doing my radio show at NewsTalk1010 on Monday nights from 10-midnight (yawn) for the better part of a year. I’m having loads of fun and learning lots from my guests. (Yes, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.) If you know of someone who would make a good guest, or you want to share your story with me on the radio, send an email to getgvo@gmail.com with RADIO in the subject line and we’ll try to make it happen.

I’ve been knitting up a storm. All that down-time on set means scarves, gloves, boot cuffs a’plenty for the lovies in my life. I’m not ready to do anything really complicated yet (like a sweater) but that’s partly because I’m not much of a pattern follower. I’m using my knitting as meditation more than as production. The stuff I make is just the side benefit. The real benefit is how it quiets my mind; a good thing given some of the frustrations I’ve experienced this year.

I can’t believe how fast 2012 went by. I’m convinced that as I get older, time moves more quickly. Malcolm is already in grade 11 and will be turning 17 in a few months. Damn! My Boyo will be off to college or university in no time and I will be a complete empty nester. Not so sure how I feel about not having a young’un to care for as part of who I am. But I have about 18 months to wrap my head around it.

I am shopped and wrapped, and only have a few things left to pick up for stockings, so I’m in pretty good shape for the holidays. Alex and I are headed off for a week’s rest in the sunny south just after Christmas. (There were moments in November when I had to keep thinking about this trip as my reward for 57 straight days in a row of working! Hey, not my choice of work schedule. Needs must.) My last new post for the year will be on December 21st and then you’ll hear from me again on January 2, 2013.

Okay, your turn.

How has life been this year for you? If you have challenges you want to share so you can get some feedback or good news you want to brag about, send me a Post (email me at getgvo@gmail.com) with Post in the subject line, or use the Questions option.

Have you been enjoying the Other Voices bloggers? Most have elected to stay on for another six-month shift, but we will add one new voice to the mix in January. Stay tuned.

Are there any particular topics you would like to see me go into in more detail on the blog? I’ve been doing this now for five years, so I’ve covered a lot of ground. But if there is anything you think I’ve missed, by all means pipe up and let me know.

Any other thoughts or suggestions?

Over to you…

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Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Gail Vaz-Oxlade wants YOU! Join MyMoneyMyChoices.com to get smarter about your money and help others get smarter about theirs. Isn’t it time we eliminated financial illiteracy? Come find me on Google+ and on Twitter.

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29 Responses to “Catching Up”

  1. Wow Gail, you sure are a busy lady! I’m glad you will be posting your whereabouts, but can you tell me where on the site I can find the Gail News box?

    Like you, I also have a child who will be starting university at the same time as Malcom and would love to hear about/how we make RESP withdrawals – limits, time frames etc. I did read a blog you did earlier, but between it and the reply postings I ended up being more confused then ever… :)

    I am relatively new to your site say 3-4 months or so, and between this and watching all your shows, I’ve re-set up my ledger and redid our budget and am happy to say things are going very well ~ still some room for improvement, but a couple of more months with concrete data and tinkering and it should be as close to perfect as we can make it.

    I look forward to reading your new book, and esp. your new show Money Morons – I think I will have someone to nominate for next season!!

    Thanks and (((HUGS))) for all you do – am glad to hear you are taking some time for yourself, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and vacation :)

    PS – can you set up some older blogs for us to read while you are away?? Pretty please??

  2. My eldest is also the same age as Malcolm. We’re trying to put as much as we can into the RESP fund, and I agree with Sheri; any info re: withdrawing it will be helpful.
    My favourite posts are how people save money (the little things they do) and gifts and products they make themselves that are easy. I crave the simple life style, where priorities are clear and values don’t refer to what something is worth but what you stand for.
    I also love real life examples, like what you did on Til Debt Do Us Part with “if you save x, you’ll have y in z many years.”
    Keep it up, Gail. You are changing many lives for the better.

  3. I absolutely cannot wait for you newest book (I already ordered it) and the opportunity to come get another hug when you do a book signing.
    Have fun on your vacation with Alex, I’m sure that you deserve some rest and relaxation.
    I enjoy reading the Other Voices, but not as much as reading your posts, regardless of topic.

  4. Congratulations on your new show Gail, I can’t wait to see it. I also look forward to reading your new book. I love your radio show as well. Thanks for the opportunity. You interviewed me a few weeks ago. I love your headline you used for me. “From Newspapers at 12 to Homeownership at 20.”

    I can’t believe how quick 2013 is approaching. 2012 was awesome. I got married and started a side business. My goal next year is to replace my full time income with my side business. I am on track to doing this, I can’t wait.

    I love your “other voices” and I am glad you’re adding another one. I would love to write for your site. I love talking about personal finance. I’ll send you an email.

  5. So, is Princess coming back? Or any of your other shows?

    I am looking forward to 2013. My partner has a legal issue that is due to go into mediation in January and I am hopeful it will get resolved. It has been a huge stressor for both of us and I will be grateful to see the end of it so that we can move on with our lives. We’ll also be revisiting the baby issue once it’s done, so that is a strong motivation for me to root for a happy and swift resolution :)

    My steady summer job of the past few years has dried up so I will need to look for something else this summer (I am a teacher but need to work summers too because I teach at a private school and don’t get paid for summers). I hate looking for jobs so am not looking forward to this but I have enough notice this year to find something halfway decent. I have been saving just in case, like Gail taught me :-)

  6. LOVE your blog Gail! I’d like to see more detailed information about selecting Life Insurance (to help one navigate the options). I’d also enjoy the questions that you ask about what we are getting from our employer (investments, insurance, etc) because I had not realized how little information my employer had on those items and you gave me some great questions to ask them (which I would have never asked had you not told us to find out! I believe this was in your DFF book). I knew nothing about the insurance (life and accident) through my employer, and our Employee Share Ownership Plan (this is still very vague), and group RRSPs that they offer (is this a good idea? should I avoid and do my own? there’s little information from my employer on this and our HR department seems to be lost unless you have a specific question that they can look up and give you an answer…I don’t know what questions to ask). If I ask them to explain it they tell me its on our website (which has vague information) but if I ask them can I change beneficiary’s or something like that (specific) then they can answer me. Looking forward to more info on these topics!

  7. always great to hear a bit more about the behind the scenes, thanks for sharing, gail! looking forward to the new show, and i’ll be seeking out that book too. as for the knitting, it can be quite meditative huh? i love it for the same reasons, helps quiet the noise, and you get to make something nice to boot. for years and years, i didn’t follow patterns, just made things up as i went. i’ve recently started challenging myself with harder projects (made a sweater for a gift this year, took about a month!) and it’s not easy doing things the way someone else (the pattern author) wants you to do them, especially when you’re used to doing things your own way! ha, what an analogy for life :) but it’s rewarding in its own ways too.

    ah, i could talk knitting forever. all the best over the holidays and with your tour in the new year!

  8. Thanks so much for everything Gail! I have grown up being surrounded by people drowning in debt who tell me that debt is necessary in life and not a bad thing at all. How wrong they are. Thanks for everything you have taught me. I will definitely be buying this book for myself, and my mother. I hope you make it to Halifax so I can get them signed!

    I love the “other voices” part of this blog, every morning your blog and the other voices are the first things I check. I have learned so many things from everyone’s experiences and I hope you all keep writing away for all of us fans!

  9. Long time reader, first time poster here. Gail, I love your blog and what you do for people! I’ve long struggled with money and it’s your voice that manages to get through to me :)

    I’ve got a long way to go but I’m on the right path. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog in regards to spending as a response to anxiety or the link between spending addiction and emotional or psychological issues. Any reading suggestions on the topic would also be welcome.

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures and more of your advice in the new year!

  10. avatar Mary Lu Redden Says:
    December 3, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Gail: Watching Princess is my little treat every few days while I eat breakfast. My husband and I are good money managers but of course worry about our kids (20 and 27)who are not so good. But even they are coming to see that our frugality, which they have rebelled against, isn’t such a bad idea and allows for real treats like the family trip we took to Asia this summer. I love the way you make people face their responsibilities as adults. You are one tough cookie but you have a big heart. I had the makings of a Princess when I was younger but marrying someone who is financially disciplined was the best thing I’ve ever done.
    I often wonder about what becomes of the Princesses, especially the ones who seem not to have learned any lessons.

  11. You have truly made a positive impact on our lives Gail. Hope you come to Vancouver for the book tour. All the very best to you and your family for a well deserved break. Hope you have a wonderful relaxing vacation. Merry Christmas and all the very best for the new year!

  12. I’d like some information on income tax impacts from kids with part-time jobs. Ours is in first year college and works (for cash) a couple of times a week. He’s been tracking his income in a journal all year but will not receive a T4 or anything official. I haven’t figured out how claiming his school tuition and transit passes works yet. Who claims them, and if there’s a choice how do we decide which is more advantageous? When his income is all cash and he’s paid no tax so far so we just enter it all in the “incomefrom other sources” part of the return (like tips for restaurant workers I guess). His total income will be well under the basic personal exemption so he won’t owe any taxes, so I’m unclear about where the school deductions go – on his even though he doesn’t need them, or on one of our returns? Even though he won’t owe any taxes, or get a refund because he hasn’t paid anything, I’ve explained to him that it all helps build his RRSP limits. If you don’t report income you can’t contribute. He isn’t planning to contribute just yet but will start in the next couple of years.

  13. Hi Gail
    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and watching your programmes this year…we shall certainly look out for dates of your book tour :)
    Just as an aside, is there any way you could change the name of your forthcoming show? We watch your shows with our children, but around these parts (BC), the word ‘mor*n’ is derogatory; the kids know that labeling someone or name-calling is a big no-no (however silly your contestants are with their money!)
    So could you please change the name of your show…just for me? You could call it ‘Money Rules’ to tie in with your book! Pretty please?!?

  14. I would love to see some blogs about the dollar figures involved with getting out of debt. As an avid watcher of your shows, I see the $100 – $150 for food, $6.75 – $25 entertainment jars, but the old episodes don’t ever show how much these couples have to actually apply to their debt over 3 years to get rid of it. People would be shocked at how high a number this is. I have a friend struggling with this right now, but she is in denial about how much of a lump sum she’s going to have to apply to debt repayment just to make a dent in it.

    I’ve been DF for three years now thanks to your show, and wouldn’t have it ANY OTHER WAY!!! Thanks for all you do!

  15. Keep going Gail, your blog inspires us all. I would love to have a regular Alex blog. I think it would definitely appeal to the High School + University crowd who don’t necessarily listen to us old folks.
    My oldest is in her first year Uni and the second will go in 2 years. I cannot imagine an empty nest. More Info on cashing in the RESP’s, building your credit (as a student) and balancing your budget (again as a student) would be great.

    I have re-discovered knitting, but won’t be tackling sweaters either, although sleeveless tops are good. Sleeves take too darn long, might as well do another sleeveless top in the same amount of time. Lets not even mention sewing the darn thing together.

    Thanks Gail for Everything!

  16. Thanks for the update! To you, and to some other knitters in the comments who don’t like sewing seams or following patterns, I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the book Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It’s the best (and most witty) knitting book for those who want to take charge of their own knitting, learn how to knit a sweater without following someone else’s pattern, and still have lots and lots of meditative stocking stitch in between the (still easy!) shaping and constructing parts. And all of her sweater “recipes” have no seams to sew at all. It changed my knitting – and she’s an inspirational woman too.

  17. If I may out myself, I’m the one answering a lot of people’s questions on your Facebook page, mostly by finding the relevant links to your site and posting them.

    I’m having a great year of wonderfully topped up maternity leave. I’m socking lots of money away to pay back a year of work pension contributions, taxes (since taxes aren’t collected during mat leave), & impending daycare costs. I’m particularly proud of having built up a sizeable emergency fund and having no consumer debt, despite a few large expenses this winter (winter tires, snow blower, new oven because the old one finally quit).

    This will be my second year of donating to charity instead of buying Christmas gifts, since there are no kids in the family. Some family still insist on giving gifts to me, and I am grateful but remain conflicted, with a strong anti-over-consumption mindset and extremely specific tastes. I’d rather treat myself to what I really want, and I’d rather not give gifts that will end up at next summer’s yard sale.

    The one thing I would like is a mobile version of your website, since I’m always reading it on my smart phone. :)

  18. @ K; Have your friend go to Gail’s website under Resources and use the “Own UP to your Debt” Worksheet. Have her input her debt (each and every last one including debt owned to family/friends) and the interest rate they each have attached to it. She will then be able to see how much she needs to apply (approximately) to each one of her debt amounts if she wants to get out of debt in 12, 24 or 36 months! The total of all those payments per month will be at the bottom.

    Sometimes that monthly amount is very much an “EYE OPENING” experience. Remember that total amount per month is only an approximate amount because each credit card has so many different fees associated with them, but it will indeed help your friend see how large an amount would need to be applied to her debt each and every month to get her to DEBT FREE!

    Good luck. I’ve been working with my brother and for him it was indeed an eye-opening experience. He is so-o-o-o-o-o thankful I introduced him to Gail!

  19. love your shows, blogs and books :) Never miss the other voices either.

    I have a couple of topics I’d be keen on reading:
    Finding the balance between having a bare refridgerator and tossing out spoiled food.
    LED lights, initial cost vs long term savings – Is it really worth it
    Front Load washers – they promote savings with water and energy consumption and detergent but do they really clean clothes? I have had front loaders for almost 12yrs (2 different types) and when I wash in a top loader for whatever reason, I find the clothes come out much cleaner. I would love to hear other peoples comments on this.

    All the best!

  20. avatar psychsarah Says:
    December 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Thanks for the catch-up Gail. You certainly have been working hard! I’m quite excited about the new show (and so is my husband-he is growing tired of watching the TDDUP reruns that I still enjoy, even the 5th time around!)

    This year was very exciting for us-I returned to work in January after 6 months maternity leave, while my husband took over care of our the second 6 months and worked on starting up his business at the same time. It has taken til this month to see any real profit from all the hard work, but I’m proud that we were able to swing things on my income even with daycare costs for the past 5 months. This would not have been possible had we not discovered the Gail Way a few years ago. Just goes to show that being wise with your money gives you more choices.

    Beyond finances, it’s been a great year watching my son grow, learn and develop. He is so much fun now that he’s 16 months and really starting to communicate. It’s been nutty, busy, and sometimes exhausting, but hey, it’s the stuff of life, and the things that money can’t buy that make it all worth it. That said, without money to pay the bills, it’s hard to enjoy the good stuff. Thanks again for everything you bring to others with this blog, the shows, and your books. Enjoy your well-deserved vacation. Happy Holidays!!

  21. We’ll lost my man, lost my job and don’t know what 2013 will bring.. I could really use the hug. Please come to Edmonton.
    Love you Gail

  22. great post Gail, can’t wait for the new book and the new show. I love this site and come to it daily for my daily dose of Gail, common sense, a laugh and to make me think!!

    We are a family of 4, with 2 kids, 1 in school, 1 in daycare, 2 working parents, mortgage, trying to save for every day life, future life, dreams, etc. would love some more posts about how to juggle it all, the ‘you can have it all but not all at once’ posts are my favourite. and i like the other voices, a lot

    thanks, have a great Christmas

    Lori

  23. I would like to see an article on the UPS and downs of buying pet health insurance.

  24. I agree with Lori, more “How to juggle it all” posts would be great, as the “You can have it all, just not at once” posts are also my favourite! I find myself getting anxious and angry with how slow it seems to be taking me to reach my financial goals. Although I am making huge strides, I need to practice patience when it comes to working hard and achieving things!

    I would also LOVE to see more posts aimed at the 20-something crowd… I loved the 4 part series you did this year that was directed towards financial planning in your 20’s.

    Thanks for all you do Gail, I just love you! You have completely transformed how I deal with money. Have a wonderful holiday season with your family and friends!!!

  25. Hi Gail!

    I watch all of your shows. I finally read Debt Free Forever (checked it out from the library and then bought a copy when I found a great price on it) and it was great.

    I’ve always been saver, from the time I was young. I would save up birthday and Christmas money for a full year if that’s what I needed to do. I still remember saving up for my first big purchase – a boom box when I was 10 – and it was over $100! I felt so proud to have saved the money to buy it myself.

    I’ve been saving for a house since I was fifteen. Recently, I met my goal of a 20% down payment (I’m 27). I went away for a year in my early 20s to travel, and worked while I traveled to make sure that I wouldn’t end up in the hole when I got home. I made enough to finance my entire trip, including all of the costs (plane tickets and insurance) leading up to the trip. I got to do everything I wanted to do while I was away without using a credit card EVER. It was a major accomplishment!

    I got married and moved in with my husband on the same day. We were both living at home to save money before the wedding.

    And this is the real story, I suppose: I married a spender. A major spender. And the worst kind, I think: the generous spender. It’s tough to really be mad when he spent money on others. Not that he didn’t spend any money on himself – he admitted to me that while he was in school and working part-time, he refused to live as a “poor student” and took out loans to make up the difference. But he absolutely LOVES to treat people, to entertain, to pick up the bill…

    So while I have enough for a down payment, he has debt to the tune of $50k. Not the best way to start a marriage, I realize. But he’s slowly come around over the last while and now he’s making payments of $1800/month on the debt. To poster “K”: it was a struggle to come together and decide on the $1800/month. It’s a huge amount to be coming out of our budget (just over 30% of our income). We offset it by having low housing costs (we rent, so housing is at about 22%). We’re still trying to save about 9% of our net income each month, and then once the debt is repaid, (in less than 3 years!) we’re going to spend a couple months using the debt repayment portion to put away for a vacation, and then we’re going to add a substantial chunk to savings each month.

    We debated just paying off all the debt with my savings, and then rebuilding the savings, but we thought it would be smarter to keep the savings and just accelerate the debt repayment so that we live simply and make sure that those payments are actually getting made each month. It would be way too easy to pay off all the debt and then feel like we were “in the clear,” and that we could just spend whatever we want on…whatever we want.

    There’s definitely arguments and tough conversations. We’ve revisited the budget a few times, too. We’re trying to stick to the budget but we’re finding that we’re spending more in some categories than we ever thought we would.

    It’s a learning process, and it will keep changing, but Gail, we couldn’t have done it without you. By the time we’re 30, we’ll have our 20% down payment, zero debt, and (hopefully!) full TFSAs. And hopefully, a first baby on the way.

    Merry Christmas, Gail. We owe you…more than we’ll probably ever know.

    And Merry Christmas everyone!

  26. 2012 has been an interesting year for me … graduated, decided which country I am going to live in and by early 2013 will hopefully have my legal separation finalized. So am looking forward to what the New Year will bring.

    Like Fiona, I wish the title of your new show didn’t use the word “moron” … would really ask you to reconsider the use of this word.

    I would like to see some articles on ethical investing – putting money aside in accounts and investments that consider environmental issues.

    I would also love a few articles on managing your finances after a divorce and issues to watch out for.

    I enjoy reading your blog Gail – it helps to keep me on track.

    Wishing you a peaceful Christmas.

  27. I agree with Angela RE: ethical investing – I’d love to learn more about that!

    And thanks, Gail – your book “Debt Free Forever” has had a huge impact on me, and I love your blog (and the “Other Voices”). I love checking both of them every day.

    I’m not debt free yet, but I’m on my way, and I’m looking forward to 2013.

  28. Glad to hear about your new book and I am still making progress in paying off my debt thanks to you and also have been building a substantive emergency fund as well.

    I too would urge you to change the name of the show and drop Moron – it really is a derogatory term towards people with developmental disabilities – I also think that shaming people about their money skills by calling them a moron doesn’t achieve the change that we want in folks.

    Thanks Gail.

  29. Hi Gail! You said you will be making stops at universities/colleges…..so would you mind coming to Brescia University College in London for one of them?? We are a women’s university college and I think you could really shed some light on financial management for young women for now, for five years from now and even further down the road! I would love to come see you and maybe you could answer some of my questions about being a part-time student who works full-time and who wants to go into even more debt for further education. I have so much to ask as I’m sure many other women students would too. Would you be able to make a stop in to London Ontario? Please, we would love to have you!

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