BOOK REVIEW BY WILLIAM FRASER
Gail Vaz-Oxlade is perhaps best known as the host of TV series “Til Debt Do Us Part” and “Prince$$”. Her no-nonsense approach to debt repayment and money management not only makes for good television but also for good reading. While much of the book’s advice is for the working person, it also applies to those of us who are retired and living on a fixed income.
The first step in solving a problem is to know that there is a problem and what that problem is. Vaz-Oxlade has her reader look back in time for up to six months to examine spending habits and where money is actually going. Service charges, hidden fees, interest rates and cash out of pocket make it very easy to lose track of where the money goes and how much is being spent.
She suggests that the reader make a real budget listing both fixed costs, such as mortgages, and variable costs, such as groceries. She also insists on budgeting for savings and emergency funds as well since without these the best of plans can be torpedoed.
Her book has a number of charts and forms for the reader to use in tracking spending and planning a budget. Chapters are dotted with ‘Gail’s Tips’ that can provide even more ideas about managing money.
Debt-Free Forever is an easy read and can point us all to a more secure financial future and help us to get out of debt and stay ‘debtfree forever.’
The Pension and Financial Advisory Committee has been adding a few books to the ATA library as resource material for ARTA members on topics such as wills, estate planning and investments. This book is on retiring your debts, and is the newest addition to the library.
Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life
By Gail Vaz-Oxlade
Collins Canada, 2011.
Paperback, 336 Pp.