SMS 010 – Author Tim Stobbs: Free at 45

Website: Canadian Dream: Free at 45

Tim’s Book Available at Amazon: Free at 45 – How to Retire Early & Happy

Contact Tim Stobbs:


Book Recommended by Tim Stobbs:

SMS 008 – How I Consume Books

There is a ton of personal finance books that have broadened my knowledge base and should be considered required reading.

  • They can be motivational and inspirational
  • Put you on the right track
  • Keep you on the right track
  • Can help you re-define normal
  • Change your perception
  • Confirm your perception
  • Knowledge gives you the ability to devise a plan
  • How-to and Why-to

Topics to consider:

  • Debit management
  • Retirement planning
  • Investing – understanding to strategies
  • Minimalism – intentional living with the things that are important to you
  • Simple Living – is a more gentle slow approach to life
  • Frugality (lifestyle, life hacks, travel)

Book Formats:

Traditional books


  • hard cover , soft cover
  • book store, amazon, library
  • people like them on their book shelves
  • loan then to friends
  • donate when done
  • highlight, write in margins


  • sometimes more expenses
  • take up more space


Ebooks – electronic books used with a device


  • smart phone, kindle, kobo
  • convenient – always with you
  • often cheaper than traditional books
  • thousands of books in one place
  • night reading ability


  • requires the purchase of a device
  • battery life concerns
  • can’t loan books
  • too many books creates a distraction
  • not as easy to make notes


Audiobook – books read by a narrator listen to with device


  • MP3 player smart phone, computer
  • iTunes, Audible, CD

Cons – are similar to those of ebooks


How I Consume Books:

I often buy books in all three formats:

  • I will often give it a listen and if I like what I hear I will read it because I better and longer retention when I read.
  • I like the ebook for its portablity and night reading features
  • I like the traditional book, usually in hard cover as a reference with highlights and notes in the margins, and the ability to loan to friends
  • Some books that have a lot of tables and graphs are far better suited to a traditional physical book.

Books I would recommend:

Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

The Wealthy Barber Returns – David Chilton (Canadian)

Wealthing Like Rabbits – Robert R. Brown (Canadian)

Free at 45: How to Early & Happy – Tim Stobbs (Canadian)

Early Retirement Extreme – Jacob Lundfiskar

Your Money or Your Life – Vicki Robin

Millionaire Next Door – Thomas J. Stanley

Jeff Goins – The Art of Work

The More of Less – Joshua Becker

Everything That Remains – The Minimalist

The Little Book of Contentment – Leo Babauta

Books I want to Read:

Retired Inspired – Chris Hogan

Millionaire Teacher – Andrew Hallam

Books I am Reading:

The Essential Retirement Guide: A Contrarian Perspective – Frederick Vettese



SMS 005 – Auto Debt Crisis

Canadians getting lured onto ‘auto-debt treadmill’ by signing on to long-term car loans: “The federal consumer agency of Canada is sounding warning bells about the growing debt Canadians are taking on through auto loans.”

This is the described auto debt tread-mill

“In these circumstances, consumers put themselves in the position of having to roll the debt owing on the long-term loan into the loan for the purchase of the new vehicle, thereby potentially stepping onto an ‘auto-debt treadmill’,” the agency warned.

“Spurred by tantalizingly low interest rates, sweeteners like stretched out loan timelines, and increasingly confident consumers who worship their wheels, car debt has been growing at a phenomenal pace.”

The FCAC called the growth in long-term car loans “worrisome,” noting that the average new car loan last year had a term longer than 72 months, up from about 65 months in 2010.

“Consumers have been taking advantage of stretched amortization periods in recent years to take on more debt without increasing their monthly payments, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada revealed Tuesday in a research report tracking market trends.”

  • the auto industry is coming up with ways to sell more expensive cars
  • you’ve got leases, where you make payments on a car will all kinds of restriction
  • eight year car loans this is more like a long-term lease
  • by the time the car is paid off its time for another car maybe even sooner
  • just because its expenses doesn’t mean it’s going to last longer
  • these people are buying luxury not quality or durability

“In the same five years, the share of consumers trading vehicles with negative equity has risen by 50 per cent” – this is where people trade in there 3 year old car for a new one and role the remaining loan into the new loan

“Although significantly more consumers are carrying negative equity when they break their existing auto loans, the average amount of negative equity carried by consumers who are underwater … has hovered around $6,700,” the report says.

“Vehicles depreciate quickly, which means the negative equity peaks in the early years of a loan when the portion of each payment dedicated to interest tends to be larger. Holding the loan longer eventually moves the borrower into a “positive equity” position. That typically happens by the fourth year in a standard 60-month auto loan, but the longer loans leave many borrowers in negative equity positions into the fifth year and even well beyond it, the report says.”

Simple Money Solution: I am a big fan of the used car market it represents a big saving opportunity, if you own two car make sure at least one of them is  used car.

SMS 003 – Why You Need a Budget

Today on the show I am trying to make a case for why you need a budget

Welcome to simple money solutions podcast where we focus on money from a Canadian perspective. This podcast is released weekly and show notes for every episode can be found at, now let’s get on with the show.

What is a Budget:

A tool to manage your financial inflows and outflows guiding you toward your financial goals.

For me the budgeting is a 3 step process:

1. Record your income and expenses by category (you have far more control over your expenses than you do your income so more expense categories)

2. Using historical data you have collected in step 1 develop a plan (monthly) for your future income and expenses by category

3. Monitor your progress

Making a Case for Budgets:

  • The word budgets has been a negative term
  • Viewed as a tool to restrict your spending – like a diet restricts your eating
  • Resourceful tool (proactive rather than reactive) as your life changes and evolves
  • Provide you with information and direction to help you achieve your goals
  • Change your current financial situation  – you need to know where you are currently
  • If you fall on tough times
  • If an opportunity presents itself

Record Keeping:

  • A good solution for keeping a record of your income and expenses is to use a smart phone app such as Mint, Every Dollar, YNAB, spreadsheet, or even pen and paper.
  • Record keeping is a discipline
  • You need to be diligent and record every transaction.


  • Documenting your income & expenses, you will learn something you didn’t know
  • Understanding your money inflows outflows will help you make better decisions
  • Having a budget will reduce stress
  • Having a budget will improve your relationship
  • Having a budget is a financial road map of where you have been and where you are going