Money Matters

Money Master Class: A Year of Financial Guidance

If you’re looking to learn more about your personal finances, get your finances in order, get out of debt, save more, or any combination of these, bookmark this page!

This Money Master Class will take you through a year of financial tasks, advice, and times of reflection–all with the purpose of getting your personal financial life in order.

At the beginning of 2020, Gail Vaz-Oxlade came out of retirement to share her wealth of financial advice with the world one last time. She launched her Money Master Class on Twitter, sharing daily tweets with advice, homework, and, questions to start conversations. I’ve summarized all of these tweets into weekly recaps for you to have access at any time.

Who is Gail Vaz-Oxlade?

If you don’t already know, Gail Vaz-Oxlade is a Canadian treasure! She is a money guru who has written many books and has hosted a number of popular TV shows. One of my favourite shows of hers is Til Debt Do Us Part where Gail shares her straightforward, no-nonsense money advice with married couples.

How to Take this Class

This is an online class that was hosted on Twitter in 2020. I’ve summarized each week of the class on our blog in Weekly Recap posts, so that the information is ready and organized for you.

You can go through this information at your own pace. My suggestion on how to tackle this course is as follows, but do what works for you!

  1. Go at your own pace, but at a consistent rhythm.
  2. While this course is separated out into months of the year, you can start at any time and work through the 52 weeks. Just make sure to start at week 1 and go from there.
  3. Read through the week’s post at the beginning of the week and plan out time to tackle the tasks at hand.
  4. Be honest with yourself and your finances as you approach each task, question, and time of reflection.
  5. Ask questions! If you have a question, feel free to reach out on social media or comment on the weekly recap post and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.

Getting Started

January


February


March


April

  • Money Master Class: Week 14
    Week 14 continues talking about needs vs. wants, introduces the curveball jar and curveball account, and has you looking at your ATM fees and personal economy.
  • Money Master Class: Week 15
    Week 15 continues the discussion of personal economy and HISAs.
  • Money Master Class: Week 16
    Week 16 introduces the concept of a Money Set Point and talks about kids and finances.
  • Money Master Class: Week 17
    Week 17 addresses overdraft protection and breaking the cycle of reliance on your overdraft. This week also has you getting a handle on bill payments.


May

  • Money Master Class: Week 18
    Week 18 includes a reminder to file taxes and reasons to be on top of filing taxes. Gail also introduces tax form T1213.
  • Money Master Class: Week 19
    Week 19 begins the discussion on shelter. This week includes a conversation about renting not being a waste of money and also how to calculate the cost of your home.
  • Money Master Class: Week 20
    Week 20 prepares you for buying your own home by focusing on the math behind choosing a property you can afford.
  • Money Master Class: Week 21
    Week 21 talks about the difference between buying a starter home versus your forever home and also gives advice on how to approach paying off your mortgage.
  • Money Master Class: Week 22
    Week 22 continues the conversation about paying off your mortgage as fast as you can and the benefits to this approach.


June

  • Money Master Class: Week 23
    Week 23 brings attention to relationships and money. This week also looks at the cost of having kids and planning for life with kids.
  • Money Master Class: Week 24
    Week 24 provides advice on what to do if you have a change in your income. Continuing the discussion on relationships, this week talks about divorce and provides advice for going through one.
  • Money Master Class: Week 25
    Week 25 provides advice about moving out on your own and preparing for emergencies. This week also talks about getting married and the cost of a wedding, as well as assisting aging parents.
  • Money Master Class: Week 26
    Week 26 helps you to prepare for retirement and your retirement budget. This week also gives advice for changing relationships and having hard conversations.

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July

  • Money Master Class: Week 27
    Week 27 has you starting to set up your Emergency Fund by calculating how much money you need to have for it. This week also guides you through financial and life steps if you’re widowed.
  • Money Master Class: Week 28
    Week 28 has you looking at life insurance for your life and circumstances. Gail also addresses the topic of fear.
  • Money Master Class: Week 29
    Week 29 has you looking at disability and critical illness insurance. Gail also addresses the topic of selfishness.
  • Money Master Class: Week 30
    Week 30 has you choosing guardians for your children, confronting the topic of death, and estate planning.


August

  • Money Master Class: Week 31
    Week 31 has you continuing your estate planning by choosing a Power of Attorney. Gail also talks about the realities of marrying a money moron.
  • Money Master Class: Week 32
    Week 32 has you reflecting on your progress so far this year. This week also has you starting a 6-month spending analysis.
  • Money Master Class: Week 33
    Week 33 has you continuing with your spending analysis and looking at the behaviour and driving forces behind your spending decisions.
  • Money Master Class: Week 34
    Week 34 has you continuing the spending analysis and looking at your needs vs. wants.
  • Money Master Class: Week 35
    Week 35 provides more time to work on your spending analysis and also has you looking at the topics of celebrating successes and instant gratification.


September

  • Money Master Class: Week 36
    Week 36 starts you looking at your debt repayment and filling out your debt repayment worksheet.
  • Money Master Class: Week 37
    Week 37 talks about the realities of debt fatigue, then has you reordering your debt and finding out how long it will take to pay off your debt.
  • Money Master Class: Week 38
    Week 38 has you creating a budget based on your spending analysis and then creating a visual budget based on the information. This week also discusses snowballing payments.
  • Money Master Class: Week 39
    Week 39 has you looking closely at your budget and providing advice on what to do if your budget does not balance.


October

  • Money Master Class: Week 40
    Week 40 has you doing some self reflection, looking at topics such as choices, values, and failures vs. opportunities.
  • Money Master Class: Week 41
    Week 41 has you looking at your bank fees and the interest rates of your savings accounts. Gail also talks through some life advice on the topics of life’s ups and downs, living with debt, and values.
  • Money Master Class: Week 42
    Week 42 has you checking on your budget to ensure it balances, looking into whether you’re using your overdraft, and re-looking at your debt repayment plan.
  • Money Master Class: Week 43
    Week 43 has you planning your retirement savings and checking on the status of your curveball and emergency fund accounts. Gail also briefly touches on TFSA’s and RESP’s.
  • Money Master Class: Week 44
    Week 44 has you checking your credit score. This week also gives you the chance to check in on a number of areas addressed earlier in the year: your will and power of attorney; taxes; life insurance; and investment portfolios.


November

  • Money Master Class: Week 45
    Week 45 provides an opportunity to look back at everything learned so far this year. This week also gives more guidance on the topic of kids and finances and defines the personality types of Misers, Spenders, and Avoiders.
  • Money Master Class: Week 46
    Week 46 defines the personality types of Deprivers and Classic Debtors and addresses adulthood and responsibility. This week also returns to the topic of Money Set Points. There is a question and answer section this week
  • Money Master Class: Week 47
    Week 47 has you looking at your feelings. Gail talks about feelings of denial, entitlement, and what we deserve. There are a number of questions and answers with Gail included this week.
  • Money Master Class: Week 48
    Week 48 touches on a number of topics including relationships, helping others, and the importance of community. This week also gives the reminder that credit is not your money and includes a question and answer section with Gail.


December

  • Money Master Class: Week 49
    Week 49 gives you the opportunity to reflect on the year and set your intentions for next year. This week you will also be updating your net worth statement.
  • Money Master Class: Week 50
    Week 50 is a chance to re-examine your budget and make the necessary adjustments. This week is also a chance to check in with your debt repayment plan.
  • Money Master Class: Week 51
    Week 51 has you looking at your stuff and how you take care of it. Also addressed is the idea of sharing belongings and how this saves you money.
  • Money Master Class: Week 52
    Week 52 is about celebrating your success in finishing the year and looking back at some of the most memorable lessons.

Resources

You can find all of the relevant spreadsheets, worksheets, quizzes and all other Gail Vaz-Oxlade resources here on Hoyes – Michalos.

The work is worth it!

Learning, growing, and getting control of our financial situations can impact every area of our lives. One reason I love budgets and knowing the ins and outs of my financial situation is that it enables me to confidently make choices for my life. I may not have a lot, but I’m able to make what I do have work for me.

Taking steps like the ones Gail walks you through in the Money Master Class, can help get you to a place of financial freedom and financial control.

I hope you enjoy the class as much as I did! I would love to hear how it goes for you!

6 Comments

  • Baby Boomer Super Saver

    Wow, this Money Master Class looks very comprehensive! Doing this work over the course of a year makes it very manageable to change not only your money mindset but also your behavior and relationship with money. I had not heard of Gail Vaz-Oxlade before, so I appreciate being introduced to her work.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      It was amazing to do for the year and so helpful to be keeping money matters at the front of my mind all year. So happy to introduce you to Gail! She has such good advice and is straightforward so I love that about her 🙂

  • A in the Midwest

    I’m going to restart this as I had a move to another state last year and it kind of derailed me.
    Thank you again for copying over all her wisdom found in her tweets and putting here for us to easily find.
    I appreciate it very much.

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      Life has the way of doing that to us sometimes, doesn’t it? I hope this year is a steadier one for you. If you have any questions as you go through the MMC again, don’t hesitate to ask! I’m happy to try and help 🙂

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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