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Popular money guru comes to Loyalist

By Courtenay Modeste [1] and Candice-Rose Gagnon [2]

BELLEVILLE – Reality TV personality Gail Vaz-Oxlade had some strong words for Loyalist students on Wednesday regarding finances and how to plan for the future.

As part of Loyalist’s universal break [8], Vaz-Oxlade did a one-hour seminar and answered student questions in a packed Alumni Hall.

Vaz-Oxlade was the host of three Canadian reality TV shows, Princess [9], Money Moron [10] and Til Debt Do Us Part [11]. She’s the author of 10 self-help finance books, one of which is being released in December. She’s also a radio personality with her own late-night radio show.

“You know the reason why I came here today is to kick your butts, right?” Vaz-Oxlade said.

She advised students to know how much interest they are paying on credit cards, and to limit the number of credit cards they have.

Students “are little fish, and (the banks) are going to hook you early with some debt and then keep you on the line for the rest of your lives. That’s the plan, and they are going to stick to it.”

Students should have a maximum of two credit cards, one for online purchases with a low limit, and another in your wallet for emergencies.

“I suggest a low limit on the online purchases, in case your identity does get hacked, so you don’t end up in the poorhouse,” she said.

Students asked questions about saving money for the future and how to take on entrepreneurial debt after school.

Vaz-Oxlade explained that those who are interested in working for themselves should have a business plan and a financial timeline to repay debts.

She gave advice to graduating students and those who are entering the workforce for the first time on how to get out of debt quickly.

“Make sure you live like a poor student until your student debt is paid off. If you start making money and you think you can live the high life, and you ignore your student debt, then lifestyle inflation [12] will take over and you will never have enough money and you will always be spending,” she said.

There were also door prizes for students who participated in the talk. A $500 tuition credit, gas cards and grocery cards were won.

Here’s QNet’s Courtenay Modeste video story about Vaz-Oxlade’s visit.

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