Project Money Special: Gail Vaz-Oxlade on family finances & unmanageable debt
From Debt-Ridden to Debt-Free
Sandra Pereira can't afford to live on her own because she's $20, 000 in debt. She's 41 years old... unemployed since July. She welcomed The Current producer Pacinthe Mattar into her parents' house in downtown Toronto, where she's living and they talked about her finances.
Canadians struggle with alarming levels of debt. Our next two guests went from debt-ridden to debt-free.
Bridget Casey paid off $21,000 of student loan in just 22 months. Her blog is Money After Graduation and she was in Calgary.
• This 27-year-old repaid $28,115 in debt - in under two years -- The Globe & Mail
Cait Flanders blogs at Blonde on a Budget and also on Gail's website. She lives in Vancouver, one of the most expensive places to live in the country... in the province where students go into the deepest debt to get their diplomas. Cait paid off $30,000 in 2 years.
* The average debt in Vancouver is nearly $35,000 while the rest of the country's student debt average is about $26,000
Amber Ashton is 31 and single, living in Barrie, Ontario. Her debt load is $45,000. When she heard I was hosting the Current, she wrote in. Here's part of her letter:
I literally don't know what to do anymore, and often stress out about it every single day and feel past hopeless. Any information or suggestions or help would be incredible, because I have no idea what to do anymore, and I'm frightened.
Amber Ashton joined Gail Vaz-Oxlade in Toronto.
Producer Liz Hoath has talked to some families with questions and joined Gail Vaz-Oxlade from our Vancouver studio to introduce her to some of the people she met.
L to R kids are Oscar LeBlanc, Jack LeBlanc, Ilona Bell and Jasper Bell.
Last Word - Gail's daughter, Alexandra Prue
We've just been talking about families making ends meet... and teaching kids about money. Gail has written books on the subject, and given financial suggestions for years.
But as always, some people are more receptive than others to her advice... and for today's Last Word, we ended our special edition of The Current with a conversation between daughterAlexandra Prueand mother.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade Links
If you can relate to the challenges of living with debt? Share your story with us.
This special was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Liz Hoath.
Listen to another segment hosted by Gail Vaz-Oxlade on Love & Money