Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life
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Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  349 ratings  ·  57 reviews
If you’re afraid to open your bills, if you’ve never added up how much you owe, if you can’t even imagine being debt-free, it’s time to join the thousands of people Gail Vaz-Oxlade has helped. Her straightforward approach to money management is based on self-control, hard work, and prioritizing what’s really important. Debt-Free Forever is Gail’s step-by-step guide, and sh...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 15th 2010 by The Experiment (first published 2009)
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I trust Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I used to watch "Til Debt Do Us Part" whenever I could and I thought she just made a lot of sense. So, when it came time to start getting my own minimal debt under control, She was just the right person to turn to.

She doesn't BS you into believing there is some magic potion that can erase your debt and give you savings *just like that*. She just serves up reality with a heavy dose of encouragement and shows you that it is reasonable to get yourself out of consumer debt i...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
I have one word to describe Debt-free forever : take control of your money and your life by Gail Vaz-Oxlade: amazing! Gail is a Canadian financial guru. I wrote about her previously when I said that we were going to try her budget jars idea.

This book is really meant to be a step-by-step workbook about how to get your financials in order. If you have ever seen her show, this is what the couples go through, and includes the steps you don't see in the show.

I have read through it once, and my husban...more
A no nonsense, easy to understand, financial how to. Whether you want to get out of debt, pump up your savings or reign in your spending, this book has something for everyone. Plenty of info and tools necessary to achieve your financial goals.
A great read for fans of her show or anyone who needs some help with financial woes. Gail's no nonsense, get real, life isn't easy approach comes through in her writing style. I wish she could come to my house and help me out!
Read Gail's blog everyday and have watched her shows - her no nonsense and simple approach is brilliant. Love her.

Canada’s “Til Debt Do Us Part” financial TV guru Gail Vaz-Oxlade has published a solid beginner’s financial advice guide. As indicated in its title, Debt Free Forever provides the first steps in eliminating debt and starting to save. It gives common-sense advice in plain language on topics including: creating a budget, reducing credit card debt, saving, and purchasing insurance.

The information given by Vaz-Oxlade follows the recommendations that she makes on her show. These include making...more

If you have not watched her TV show 'Til Debt Do Us Part - you are missing out. My Mom first told me about Gail and her Magic Jars as a way to help me get out of some debt. I was hooked from the first episode I watched and honestly as soon as this book came out I went and bought it. So this is a re-read for me, but it really is great to be going over this information another time. I have stickies on a handful of pages that I refer back to all the time.

Gail will teach you how to mak...more
Love her, love her show, love this book! I am debt-free now, but I still learned a fair bit from this book:

Cancelling a credit card isn't always enough - need to check your credit score to be totally sure. Ask for written confirmation that the account has been closed.

Written requests for your credit score cost nothing. It is free once per year.

You can save a lot of money on your mortgage by switching from a monthly payment to an accelerated weekly payment.

I was not convinced by her arguments in...more
Wow. She is pretty harsh. She has this way of making you feel bad and then showing you how to feel better. Sheesh, I get it already!

There are definitely some good tools and techniques (I like the 3-6 months emergency savings chart) but it left me wanting some chapters more fleshed out and some taken away. More budget advice and less bankruptcy advise, please!
Marc Jackson
If you are in debt or need to learn how to save, pay off debt or want tips and tricks to make your financial life easier READ THIS! From creating a budget, to saving, having an emergency fund and even finding the right insurance for your needs Gail will walk you through the basics. I thought I knew enough but after reading Gail's book I am confident I have the knowledge to finally gain control of my finances. I am looking to a brighter future thanks to this book, with a plan to pay off all my de...more
Tamara Taylor
This book is awesome! It is a simple, straight forward system to climb out from under debt. I know that this is something we've struggled with since we were in college, and could never seem to get ahead. I love her no-nonsense approach and humour. This book helped us develop a budget, a debt repayment plan and developing "grown up" habits like opening a tax-free high interest savings account (I didn't even have a clue what that was before this book!) and retirement savings. I've always felt over...more
For anyone looking for a way to fix their finances, I really recommend this book. Vaz-Oxlade is pretty blunt, and rightfully so. You need to know that there is no easy way to fix your financial state, but it is possible. She provides you with a way to look at your spending, to make a budget and to figure out how to pay back your debt in 3 years or less. I'm eager to start putting into action the things that she has taught me and to see how I achieve my financial goals!
Global Vision Press
Imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that no matter what happens today, you can cope. Imagine that you’ve got enough money to take care of the expenses that need to be paid regularly and to have some fun too. Imagine the sense of peace that comes from knowing you’re in control of your life.

If you’ve been frantically trying to cover your butt because there just never seems to be enough money, this book can help you. If you’re up to your eyeballs in debt and can’t even imagine being debt-f...more
Angela Rankin
I love Gal Vaz-Oxlade so I had a feeling I would love this book of hers. And I wasn't disappointed. It's an easy read, written in simple language that anyone can understand. Her funny but tough love voice shines through. This would be the perfect gift for a young person (before they get into debt) and those like myself who are just learning about personal financing later in life.
Aug 24, 2011 Jennifer added it
Shelves: partly-read
I really like Gail Vaz-Oxlade (and her shows!). If you've seen "Till Debt Do Us Part," this book gives more tips on how to budget wisely.

I borrowed this from the library and didn't get a chance to read it all the way through. I really enjoyed what I did read though. Most of it covers what she says in the show (you NEED savings, why are you only making minimum payments on your credit card? etc), but goes more in depth. There have been times when I have watched the show and wondered what process...more
Bonnie G.
OMG, are you addicted to this woman like I am? Til Debt do We part is one of the most fascinating shows ever! All 7 seasons are on the Canadian website and I have my best computer nerds working on getting me able to watch Slice streams so I can hunker down and peek into other people's financial lives! From the moment I heard her Jamacian/Canadian accent say to a couple "Your paychecks are pathetic" I was hooked. This book is damn good. I mean, I love me some Susie, some Jean, some Farnoosh, but...more
This book has some really great information. I ended up taking notes as I read it. So much information I didn't know even existed. Some stuff didn't apply to me, there is a section about bankruptcy, but overall great stuff to know. It took a couple days but I did complete her project, where you print off all your bank/credit records for 3 months and then make up a spread sheet on where you spent every single penny. Quite an eye opener! I would recommend it to anyone who is having money troubles,...more
Marlene Caldwell
tough no non-sense advice to becoming debt free. this is how you can do it. if you don't become debt free its not the budget's fault or the magic jars' fault. you need to change. you need to be committed. its going to be hard. but do it. I love Gail. love her shows.

my only hesitation is she says to you use your credit cqrds for everyday expenses and pay it off at the end of the month. but what happens if you lose jyour job? you get sick? you coukd end up carrying the balance and paying interest...more
This book has really helped me to come to grips with my wasteful spending and the consequences for my actions. Although many of the things in this book do not apply to me, such as mortgage, children, etc. I learned so much about how to take control of my finances and ultimately, my life. Gail does a great job of telling you what you do not want to hear but need to hear while at the same time offering encouragement and inspiration. I am so excited to start putting her tips into action. This will...more
Mar 08, 2013 CM rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Debtors wanting to be debt free
Obsessed with TDDUP and spouse and I would have like to have participated but didn't want our lives made public.

Love the fact that this is a step by step process of her show. OK so I won't get her money but perhaps I can keep a lot more of my own.

We tried the jar system awhile ago but didn't do the other steps so we didn't get anywhere.
The book is very practical - a lot more instruction than me just guessing.

After reading the book and then also using the Interactive Budget Worksheet from her we...more
Though none of this information is new, I loved the layout, the concepts, and the Canadian focus of this book. Gail Vaz-Oxlade brings back the idea of saving and budgeting, something that finance authors have been leery of flogging for the last 20 years. Sometimes mean and sometimes repetitive, at least the book wasn't pulling its punches.

All I have to say is, thank god for my parents. None of these techniques were a surprise to me and I was already doing several of them. Soon I will institute t...more
So not everything in the book applied to me (no credit card debts, house, insurance, etc), so I do admit that I skimmed some of it. I really loved the approach she took to make debt management possible, in that she introduces baby steps to get the ball rolling. She accounts for any excuse that someone might come up with and you are left wondering why someone would think up that excuse in the first place! I especially appreciated how this is a Canadian book with Canadian resources. I think that a...more
Renee Boucher
I love Gail's no nonsense approach. I love the show and the book was just a bit more explanation on her budgeting and jar regime. This was a good book, its very basic and practical, a good start for someone looking to dive into their debt problem. If your looking for investment advice or insurance options, they are only touched upon here, I'm sure she has other books with more information regarding these topics. If your prepared to see it how it is, you'll love Gail's book.
There is a lot of really good information in this book and I love Gails' no nonsense way of presenting it.
This is a great book for taking control over you debt. I have heard many of her suggestions before, but I think it was a great attempt. I would definitely recommend it to a friend along with other debt free books. This books recommends that you have all of your exact figures available, no guessing or estimating. Sometimes it's a challenge to have everything that you need in one spot. However, I give it a three.
I picked up this book because I was interested in implementing a budget into our lifestyles to be able to actually 'see' where our money was going! I wanted to be better prepared for life's emergencies, and I think this book delivered. It also touched a bit on the how and why of investing which I also found helpful. I love Gail's no nonsense approach. This is not just a book for those trying to get out of debt!
Alexandria West
Great start, but was pretty repetitive by the end. I skipped a few subsections like the one about filing bankruptcy..luckily I am no where near that point! Overall though, I picked up some great information and it definitely lit a fire under my butt to start clearing student debt while building a budget that balances and putting money away in case of emergencies. So thanks Gail!
Agnes M
Out of all the finance books I've read, I really liked the no-nonsense approach in this one. Sometimes we all need someone to tell us we're dumb if we continue to do something that isn't good for us.
A lot of the information was a reiteration based on Gail's show but it was good to have lists and suggestions that condensed a lot of that information into easily digestible segments.
The book is very conversational and an easy read. I've read both this book and Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and found I preferred Gail's style over Daves, mostly because Gail is very relatable and realistic whereas Dave sometimes comes across as condescending. If you are trying to decide between Gail and Dave when picking a get out if debt book, pick Gail.
I liked this. Could not hear her voice as clearly as I had hoped but the ideas were the same as her show. A lot of details surrounding the basic information she was trying to get across so I did have to read it twice. But it definitely made sense and went deeper then most balance your budget books. I made a couple charts on her suggestion. Good read.
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"Hello! 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,...more
More about Gail Vaz-Oxlade...
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