Personal Finance

The Money Rules and the Gail movement!

About 17 years ago, I picked up a book called Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Retirement Answer Book. I was a financial advisor helping clients retire happy and this National Best Seller was one of my key learning tools.

Gail was a bit of a celebrity then but soon after she became the host of the TV show “Till Debt do you part” which really catapulted her stardom.

I recently became witness to what I call the “Gail Movement” when she filled a University Lecture hall with over 500 people in Edmonton and the event organizer “Bridget Casey” of Money After Graduation had to turn lots of people away. Everywhere she goes to sign books and give seminars, she has an amazing following. It’s really something to see.

At the event

Gail is confident, passionate, opinionated (in a good way) and tells it as it is. Just like on her TV show, she is not afraid to offend people to get them to do the right thing. Here’s a video of her presentation at Red Rive College.


Meeting Gail in person

There is no question, my highlight of her trip to Edmonton was getting to spend a little one on one time with the debt diva! It was great to learn more about her career as well as her commitment to being a mom of 2 kids. True to her character, in addition to comparing professional notes, she gave me some no-nonsense advice on parenting and I’ll never forget our conversation on how to talk to kids about the birds and the bees.

Gail’s new book – Money Rules

I’ve got so many books on my “To Read Shelf”, it’s ridiculous. One of those books was Money Rules but after meeting Gail, I had to make it a priority. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

In Gail’s words, Money Rules is not a How to Book. She’s written other books for that like “Debt-Free Forever” and “Never Too Late” Money Rules is a common sense book with some really great rules. It’s not a book you have to read in sequence. It’s a book that you can pick up, go to a page and read that rule.

With 261 rules in this book, it’s impossible to talk about too many in this post but I thought I would share my top 10 rules, which was not easy to do because there were so many good rules.

Rule #10: Your financial education is your responsibility

Rule #49: Your kids’ financial education is your responsibility

Rule #38: More will not make you happier

Rule #48: It’s not your money until it’s in the bank

Rule #107: Saving is easy – Investing is complicated

Rules #125 and #126: Busy people spend less money and Lazy people spend more money.

Rule #174: Life isn’t fair

Rule #39: You are in charge (Great story!)

Rule #21: It’s not how much you make – It’s how much you keep

Rule #53: Don’t buy the minimum payments Bullsh*t

Rule #73: Track your Net Worth

Rule #85: Patience is a virtue

No matter how old you are, how much debt you have, your income, your marital status, your state of financial affairs, Money Rules has something for you. Don’t expect all 261 rules to apply to you. Focus your time and energy on your top rules and make them personal. Gail says it best, “The finance part is straight forward: Numbers are both concrete and absolute. But people aren’t. In fact, folks have become so obsessed with finance that some of them don’t even acknowledge the personal part.”

Do you have any favourite rules from Gail’s book to share?


  1. Gail

    Hi Jim, what a lovely review. Thank you so much for being so kind. It was a pleasure meeting you and thanks for carting me around when I was there. Biggest hugs, g

  2. Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle

    I have several of her books but the television show Til Debt Do Us Part changed the way I think about money. I have seen every episode at least twice and they were shocking. Pay day loans, using one credit card to pay another credit card and mooching from family and friends instead of working were things I didn’t know about.

    Seeing everything other people did wrong was an eye opener and I could see myself ending up with those sorts of problems if I didn’t make changes.

  3. Chris

    Rule number 73 and 107 can be accredited the most with my financial development. Thanks for the summary her book is on my to read list.

  4. Osmond Rodrigues

    Read the book – Money Rules and greatly enjoyed it. Great Review Jim

  5. Claude Mayrand

    Rule #73: Track your Net Worth

    Almost all my relatives have no idea of their portfolios, usually Mutual Funds. They don’t know how much they’ve put in nor what the income tax implications are, nor what their future holds.

    Someone told me aeons ago: “If you can’t/don’t track it, you can’t manage it.”

    I even track the time I spend on managing my retirement portfolio. That’s how I know that my time in a month is worth… a multiple of minimum wage.

  6. Rafael Zambrana

    Gail Vaz-Oxlade states in her book “YOUR money is your responsibility. If you won’t take the time to figure out how it works, you shouldn’t be surprised when it doesn’t work for you” I think this is great advice, but we should ask IS SHE FOLLOWING IT HERSELF??

    Is the author of MONEY RULES truly understanding MONEY? Is she “taking the time” to actually KNOW what money truly is?

    I DON’T THINK SO. She never came close to explaining what Debt-Based money is!! She doesn’t even take it into account, so how can she be giving any advice on how to handle money? Like many other “experts” she has assumed the fallacious story money is created by the central bank. The truth is FRACTIONAL RESERVE BANKING is the SYSTEM the US dollar and the Euro utilize to CREATE THE MONEY SUPPLY and this system is a FRAUD. It relies in commercial banks lending to create the money supply, making EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR OR EURO IN DEBT TO A PRIVATE BANK.
    What this means is that society’s debts are IMPOSSIBLE TO PAY IN FULL because if we all did, we wouldn’t have a single dollar in circulation to conduct the economy. THIS IS WHY IT IS A FRAUD!! Another telling fact is that the Money Supply in the economy is not enough to pay ALL the debts in it. It means THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY ALL DEBTS IN THIS ECONOMY!!
    HERE are links links explaining why:


    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation,
    One is by the sword. The other is by Debt”
    John Adams

    “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
    Henry Ford

    “Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as it’s most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile…Once a nation parts with the control of it’s credit it matters not who makes the laws…Usury once in control will wreck any nation.”
    MacKenzie King,
    Canadian Prime Minister

    “History records that the money changers (bankers) have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit and violent means possible to maintain their control over government by controlling Money and its issuance.”
    James Madison

    “The study of Money, is one in which complexity is used
    to evade truth, not to reveal it”

    “The process by which Banks create money
    is so simple, that the mind is repelled”
    John Kenneth Galbraith

    “If you want to remain slaves of the bankers and pay for the costs of your own slavery, let them continue to create money and control the nation’s credit”
    Sir Josiah Stamp
    1880-1941 Former Director Bank of England

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