Debt doesn’t start out as an obvious problem. For many people, lack of personal finance knowledge leads them to make poor decisions with their money. Once you figure out how easy it is to get credit, you start spending more and more because, hey, it’s there. Today’s guest is a former Hoyes Michalos client, and like many of our clients, he struggled with severe debt.
Beau started gambling at a young age through seemingly harmless games like scratch tickets. From there, it evolved to online card games throughout university and he eventually dabbled in “pretty much everything else you can think of”. Beau had a full-time job so for him, gambling wasn’t a means to earn income, it was his source for exhilaration. The main problem that Beau had was that credit was the only way he knew how to have that instant access to cash to gamble.
I’m just kind of at my wit’s end and I’m thinking, you know, I’m never going to be able to afford these credit card payments that I have if I keep going.
After working with a counsellor at the Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH), Beau found the source of his addiction: he had gone undiagnosed with ADD his entire life. After starting on his medication, and looking through nearly $40,000 in unsecured debt, Beau knew he needed a change.
How to Get Out of Gambling Debt
Initially Beau tried finding ways to trim his expenses like living in places that cost less. He was still stressed about his debt, and all the move did was affect his quality of life. He then realized that no amount of expense trimming would help if he still gambled what was leftover. So he looked for ways to restrict his access to new credit.
Beau started weighing the pros and cons of a consumer proposal vs. a bankruptcy. This was back in 2008 and there was still a lot of stigma surrounding bankruptcies. After looking into surplus income rules and bankruptcy exemptions, Beau decided that a consumer proposal was the best route for him.
He wouldn’t pay penalties if his income increased, and while his proposal payments may be slightly more than the payments he would have in a bankruptcy, his total proposal payments were still only about a third of his total debt. He $40,000 in debt, and was able to eliminate it with a proposal with total payments of $300 per month for 50 months for a total of $15,000.
Rebuilding While in a Consumer Proposal
Beau wanted to start rebuilding his credit as soon as he could. He saved up enough money to put down a deposit on a secured credit card and applied for one. He ended up getting approved by People’s Trust and was able to use that to start a rebuild.
At this time, Beau also identified any triggers that would lead him to want to gamble. While he didn’t have a drinking problem, he knew that when he drank, he had an urge to gamble. So he cut out alcohol.
I really do tell people that the consumer proposal saved my life because I don’t know – even if I would have figured out the ADD thing I still would have been in this crippling debt situation so I really don’t know if I would have been able to get out in the way that I did.
Beau reflected on his experience with gambling, debt, and the process of getting out of debt, and decided that others can benefit from his experience. That’s why he’s on our show today, and that’s why he started his own personal finance coaching business. Using his background in financial management, Beau now helps simplify information for consumers to help them make wise financial decisions.
Resources mentioned in this show:
- Beau’s personal finance site investwisely.ca
- The Personal Finance Show – podcast with Beau Humphreys
- Canadian Association for Mental Health
- CAMH Addiction Services
- What is a consumer proposal?
FULL TRANSCRIPT show #146 with Beau Humphreys
Doug Hoyes: Many people needing help with their debt problems find my company, Hoyes Michalos, through our hoyes.com website. They send us a message describing their debt problems. I’ve never done this before but today I want to read you the first message that we received from a person with a debt problem. Here is that message and I quote, “due to a recent gambling incident, my debt load has increased significantly. I do not believe that I can afford to reasonably pay my current debt load. I think a consumer proposal might be the right thing for me,” end quote.
What was his recent gambling incident? How much debt did he incur by gambling? He seems like a smart guy, he’s done his research. He thinks a consumer proposal might be the best solution for him. So, why does a smart guy gamble? What causes someone to gamble to the point where they’re borrowing to do it and now they have a debt load that, as he said, he can’t afford to repay. Lots of questions and today I have that guy here as a guest on the podcast. So, let’s get started. Who are you?
Beau Humphreys: I’m Beau Humphreys. Yeah, I had a gambling incident I guess.
Doug Hoyes: Well, and so that email you sent us, it was eight or nine years ago now. So, why don’t we go through the chronology and talk about it. So, do you remember what was going through your brain at the time that you sent that email to us so many years ago?
Beau Humphreys: I do remember. It’s funny that I said a gambling incident. I think I was trying to be as politically correct as possible because the incident was my whole life up to that point.
Doug Hoyes: So, it was not one event, it was a series of events.
Beau Humphreys: I could have been referring to an event years ago. But at that point, I think I was at a point where I couldn’t even afford to gamble anymore. I was just, I’d resigned to my, you know, I ruined my life and I can’t even do what I tried to do in the past and gamble more to get the money back that I lost.
Doug Hoyes: Well, so walk us through it then. What kind of gambling are we talking about?
Beau Humphreys: So, well, I mean it started really early, you know, when I was 11, but I’ll talk about that in a sec.
Doug Hoyes: When you were 11.
Beau Humphreys: When I was 11.
Doug Hoyes: Okay.
Beau Humphreys: But really it was online gambling that got me. And now you don’t have to leave your house and for me gambling was a very private thing. It wasn’t, it’s not something that I would boast about. It was not something that I would do with friends. It was my coping mechanism.
Doug Hoyes: So it wasn’t a social thing for you. A lot of people, older people, in particular. We see this a lot in our practice that, you know, perhaps they lost a spouse, kind of bored. So, they get on the buses, go on junkets to Brantford or Niagara Falls or the slots or something like that and it becomes a social thing. And then it becomes a gambling thing after that. For you that wasn’t that case.
Beau Humphreys: No, and for them that may or may not be an addiction. If they have the disposable income to do that on a weekly basis and they don’t have anything else going on, you know, I’m not going to judge anybody for doing that. An addiction is when you start to use money that was for something else, say your rent or, you know, I’ve talked to people in the past who gambled away their mortgage and then a second mortgage. And that’s really unfortunate and that’s when it comes down to an addiction. And also when you start doing things and everything is revolving around the gambling, it’s more important than your family and other things in your life.
Doug Hoyes: And I guess that’s a good definition of an addiction. It becomes so important that everything revolves around it. So, you said starting at age 11.
Beau Humphreys: Yeah so there’s an inciting incident that I go back to. I had saved up a lot of money to buy a Super Nintendo. Now in 1991 it had come out in the U.S but not in Canada. So, I had to mail order, I had to get it by mail order. And I’m 11 or even like just about to be 11 at that time because it was 1991, I’m born in September. And I save up all my birthday and Christmas money and I asked my parents because I needed their help to get a mail order. I couldn’t just go and buy it myself. And they saw the price, which was about over $300, perhaps even US dollars and I forget what the exchange rate was at that time. And they said that’s a lot of money, let’s talk about it. Maybe some other time but, you know, let’s not do that. And I had this reaction, this, you know, spoiled kid reaction of I’m not getting what I want and I decided to go ahead and spend that Super Nintendo money in secret buying lottery tickets. Now you might ask –
Doug Hoyes: How is this possible that an 11 year old kid can buy lottery tickets?
Beau Humphreys: That’s right, that’s the question to ask. And in ‘91 I think the OLG laws were in place but very few retailers were enforcing them. And the loophole was I need a couple of tickets for my mom. And then oh, my mom wants me to cash in these tickets too. So, you know, the retailers weren’t too concerned, they were making a sale, they were getting business. There wasn’t a lot of penalties and I think probably even a couple of years after they started to enforce it a lot more and I think retailers are a little more careful now.
Doug Hoyes: So you were there at the right place at the right time.
Beau Humphreys: Or wrong place.
Doug Hoyes: Or the wrong place at the wrong time.
Beau Humphreys: Exactly. So, it was just a fun sort of week at the mall with my friends and it was really, you know, exhilarating. You’re spending money, maybe we won $50 on a $2 scratch ticket. So, what it did was it kind of opened my mind to this idea that I can make money out of what I thought was nothing. But what I didn’t realize is, you know, it’s fleeting and I spent all that money that week. And my parents later on were – asked where they money was because oh maybe we can go buy it now that it’s in Canada. And I had to admit that I had spent it all. And that was kind of the first time that I, you know, spent all of my money gambling.
And it just kind of built from there. I didn’t have a lot of money through high school and, you know, I did lottery tickets here and there but if you don’t have money you can’t spend money. And when you have credit you can’t use your credit card. But I turned 18, I went to university, I had an emergency credit card from my parents and that’s when it just fell apart or got huge if you wish. In residence I was just gambling first year at Western when I was there. I would gamble at night, sometimes I wouldn’t go to classes, I would gambling then.
Doug Hoyes: What kind of gambling are we talking about?
Beau Humphreys: This is online gambling. I would play probably like card games, Black jack or poker or what have you. And I would, you know, there’d be a $2,500 cheque coming to me in the mail and I get it by courier and everybody would be like wow, this is real.
But what they didn’t know is that I had already spend that $2,500 again probably a couple of times over. And the only thing that kind of pushed me over that first lapse if you will was the fact that I used my parents emergency credit card to try to get a lot of the money back and so there was the accountability. If I could have done it all in private I don’t know if anybody would have really known. I would have just started struggling with the debt then. My parents found out and I got counselling and, you know, they took the credit card back. So, at least somebody was aware at that time.
But over the next eight years I had many relapses, gave my credit cards to my family for a little bit. Then I’d be better and it just came down to, you know, how is this ever going to go away, how do we ever make this go away? I spent a lot of time at CAMH. We went through behavioural theory, I saw a counsellor, a great counsellor for years. And I just, you know, I ended up gambling so much. Whenever something stressful would happen it was my coping mechanism. I would go there. And so, coming down to that email, this is 2008 and I’m just kind of at my wit’s end and I’m thinking, you know, I’m never going to be able to afford these credit card payments that I have if I keep going. Like I tried living in cheaper places and it just all that did was affect my quality of life.
And so I moved into a place and I just started looking for alternate solutions to my problem as opposed to cutting down my spending or trying to stop gambling. Because even if, I always thought even if I did, somebody somehow magically paid everything off, would I stop gambling? It doesn’t work that way. I was actually afraid at the time that if I did have any available money that I would use it.
Doug Hoyes: So you were looking to treat the symptom as opposed of the problem by the sounds of it.
Beau Humphreys: Yeah. I mean at that point I started to be a little more introspective with, you know, looking at the consumer proposal, considering bankruptcy for the first time. I never even thought of it as a thing that I could do. And when I started looking into it, it started to make more sense because I knew I would not have more access to credit. And that’s what I was trying to do.
Doug Hoyes: Yeah and I want to talk about those two things but let’s look at both sides of it then. So, there’s the gambling issue, which lead to the debt issue. So how did you deal with the gambling issue and then we’ll talk about the debt issue.
Beau Humphreys: So, well, it’s funny because I would say that one of the first steps to dealing with the gambling issue was dealing with that debt issue because what it did is it gave me – it’s all temporary methods, temporary protection. You get like stopping your credit cards or giving them to somebody to hold or having someone look at your bank account so that if they see any gambling transactions they can stop you. It’s only temporary but this one was more of a permanent temporary in that I couldn’t get credit for a long time and credit was the only way I knew how to gamble. I was never into casinos and I hadn’t bought scratch tickets so I was a teenager and the benefits of those were it takes forever to get some money and there’s no quick wins.
Doug Hoyes: It’s not that quick endorphin hit.
Beau Humphreys: That’s right, not even close. Even though I did dabble in scratch tickets along the way and pretty much everything else you can think of. So, when I decided to do the proposal it just made so much sense and I would say it kind of saved me.
Doug Hoyes: So it was actually the proposal that helped you deal with the gambling.
Beau Humphreys: Because I was able to now say okay, the money thing, that’s taken care of, now I can focus on what is actually – like I don’t feel as much at risk to myself. That’s what it is. And for people who don’t know about addiction, there’s two sides. There’s actually two people. I even remember having conversations with myself, like saying like stop this, why are you doing this? And during the day I was successful and then after hours I was gambling. And people had no idea. Most of the people in my life expect for my parents and my brother and a couple of other close people did not know. And it’s a hard thing to deal with because you just want to get out there.
So I was able to say okay well now you’re – you other part of me, you’re kind of screwed for a little bit, now I can think and figure out what is actually wrong with me. And I turned to like way more introspection and I did mindfulness course with CAMH, which was great.
Doug Hoyes: Can you just explain what CAMH is?
Beau Humphreys: Sorry, CAMH is the Canadian Association of Mental Health. And they have a problem gambling service and it’s really great because they have people who are trained in addiction and specifically gambling because they have smoking, they have alcohol and drugs as well. But it’s not the same, you need to understand what a gambler is going through. But my time there, I explored all these things and I was like none of this stuff is helping, what is actually – there must be something else.
And so, I stumbled across a test online that was a test for attention deficit disorder. And I was trying everything at that point and I took the test and I was like, this is me. You know, can’t read a book, can’t make friends, terrified of everything. Everyone manifested in different ways but this was the, you know, are you afraid to start or finish things, are you afraid to do anything because you don’t know if you’ll be able to handle it, the amount of energy that it will take from you, the focus that a simple interaction or a simple work task requires? Everything was hard for me. And I was this is me so I was lucky enough to have access to a psychiatrist at CAMH, which everything there is free for addicts, which is a fantastic thing and she gave me the real test and yeah, I have attention deficit disorder. And I was medicated and everything changed.
Doug Hoyes: So the ADD is what lead to the gambling.
Beau Humphreys: It is and so when I talk to people about gambling and addictions and what they are, I usually say that the addiction is not the problem it’s the response to the problem, it’s the coping mechanism for what is actually affecting your life. And for a lot of people it is, you know, like the more obvious ones like depression or anxiety but for some people it’s mental health issues like attention deficit or something that’s been diagnosed. And simple medication is often what you need.
Doug Hoyes: So you were able to deal with the ADD and I guess it’s not something you cure, it’s something you deal with.
Beau Humphreys: It isn’t something you cure unfortunately.
Doug Hoyes: But you’ve got that under control I assume. So let’s talk about the second piece of it, which is the debt piece of it then and I realize they’re all kind of interrelated here. It’s not like one is separate from the other. So, you reached out to us and you ended up filing a consumer proposal.
Beau Humphreys: I did.
Doug Hoyes: And what was the thought process? because the email I read at the start, you had obviously done some research already. It’s not uncommon the email you sent us in that you said I think the solution is this. And obviously when we meet with someone we say okay, let’s figure it out. And yeah, in your case you were right. That was the solution and I can touch on I think why that was probably the solution you picked. But why do you think that was the solution as opposed to something like bankruptcy?
Beau Humphreys: Because I mean for a lot of people bankruptcy carries this stigma and for me it did at the time. I realize now sometimes it’s the better option. And I think for me I was able to hold on to kind of my assets or the ability to earn more. I kind of had this feeling that if I went full bankruptcy that I wouldn’t be able to recover or grow out of this or I might feel like I was just under the weight of it.
And with the proposal all of the different options with the proposal in that if you start making more money, that’s fine, you don’t have to pay more money. And the proposal in itself was just the deal with your creditors and it’s final and you make the payments. I really like that. I really liked that I had options because I felt like I was heading towards the light so to speak. And I didn’t know how I was going to get there but I knew this was a first step and I wanted it to be open for me and I didn’t want to feel trapped. And I guess even though this may not be true, bankruptcy felt like it was more trapping to me.
Doug Hoyes: It’s almost as though you are an optimist and you viewed that as more of an optimistic solution.
Beau Humphreys: It, yes I am an optimist. My wife will tell you that. And I did view it as the ability for me to grow and for to make decisions and I knew that I was being introspective much more and that maybe eventually I would find this and so.
Doug Hoyes: Yeah and just so that people listening understand kind of the mechanics of what you’re talking about. In a bankruptcy the government sets a limit. You’re allowed to earn this much and it’s based on a number of factors, the size of your family, you know, if you have medical expenses that sort of thing. If you earn more than that level you’re paying the penalty of half of that amount you’re over. So, if you’re a single guy and we’re recording this in 2017, the number changes and certainly would have been different back when you did it. The limit’s around $2,100 a month. So, if you’re making $3,100 a month you’re $1,000 over the limit, you’ve got to pay a penalty, surplus income penalty of $500 a month. So, in a bankruptcy you don’t know how much you’re going to pay unless you know exactly what your income’s going to be during the period of the bankruptcy. With a consumer proposal, as was done in your case, we go to the creditors and we say here’s what my life looks like right now, here’s what I’m making, here’s what I can afford to pay. It’s more than you get in a bankruptcy probably. Take the deal. And in your case obviously they did. And in your case it was kind of a win/win. You knew exactly what you had to pay and they agreed to the deal obviously. And so, the proposal was completed, you were able to make your payments I assume.
Beau Humphreys: Yeah I had 50 months I think it was, 50 months at $300. My debt was reduced and I know it’s not the same for everybody but mine was reduced from $40,000 to 15. That was huge to me at the time.
Doug Hoyes: Yeah and those are relatively typical numbers I would say. The typical client we deal with has around $55,000 of unsecured debt so we’re ignoring obviously mortgages and car loans and that number. And the typical proposal is probably somewhere around a third of that number, which is roughly the numbers you’re talking about. So that’s a fairly typical. And in your case there was quite a weight lifted off your shoulders as a result of that.
Beau Humphreys: Because it was all credit card debt. This wasn’t, you know, a subprime line of credit or a mortgage for that matter.
Doug Hoyes: So higher interest rate.
Beau Humphreys: They were up in the 20s or at least close to that. And, you know, I became a balance transfer master at that time. Everything would come in the mail. I used them all, everything that I could. I couldn’t transfer the balance anymore and then now I’m faced with this huge interest and minimum payments that were just eroding my life. And I think that kind of, that lead me definitely down the consumer proposal path.
Doug Hoyes: And so how has your life been different since? So, the proposal has been paid off now for a number of years.
Beau Humphreys: Yeah I paid it off and then you have to wait three years after that for –
Doug Hoyes: Well, there’s a note on your credit report that stays for three years that says you filed a consumer proposal after the payments are made. I mean you can still borrow money but you’re faced with potentially higher interest rates things like that. So, the proposal was paid off and then have you taken steps to rebuild your credit, do you not have any credit, how has that changed?
Beau Humphreys: During the proposal I got a secured credit card, People’s Trust is pretty good for that. I tried to get one from TD but they wouldn’t even have it. It’s unfortunate that even – I think that was even after the proposal was paid off. And they have very specific guidelines, banks have every right to do that but I gave them the money but they still wouldn’t give me credit for that amount and, you know, unfortunately I’m not going to bank at TD for that reason.
Doug Hoyes: Yep. Well, banks are funny because I can show you somebody else that applied for it the day after you and they got it, there’s no rhyme or reason at the time.
Beau Humphreys: That’s really upsetting to me. because I went through the whole process, it was a $600 credit card. I wanted it to be something so I had a branch that I could go to say. And they went through the whole process and then denied me without even knowing what their policy was before I applied.
Doug Hoyes: Their computer kicked you out.
Beau Humphreys: Exactly.
Doug Hoyes: If you asked for a million dollar mortgage you probably would have got that no problem.
Beau Humphreys: I might have got that, for a high rate I’m sure.
Doug Hoyes: Exactly, exactly.
Beau Humphreys: But, you know, so I was able to keep my credit rating up to date throughout that, at least some reporting, that I have a credit card and I’m paying it off even though it was secured by a $500 GIC in Vancouver, People’s Trust but after that once it was paid off and then with the three years expired. Everything gets wiped clean. Well, you have to do a bit of work with Equifax and TransUnion people to make sure everything is clean.
Doug Hoyes: We can do a whole show on that, yes they live in their own world sometimes too.
Beau Humphreys: But with the due diligence, you can write to them and say you took this proposal off so you have to take everything else off that goes with it. And they have to abide by that. It may take a little bit of time. And then my credit rating just went through the roof and I started getting offers again. Well you might say well, you didn’t go and get credit cards again, well I did because having a credit card is good for your credit rating, for your credit report. I just don’t leave a balance ever, I probably pay it off on daily basis, if not weekly at the most.
Doug Hoyes: Yeah and so you’re not paying any interest and you’re not getting into any trouble.
Beau Humphreys: Exactly.
Doug Hoyes: And you’re not using it to gamble I assume.
Beau Humphreys: No. You know, gambling, it was about six years ago now that was the last time I ever gambled. And it was just before I took a trip to Peru, I spent 30 days in Peru and that’s exactly what I needed. I was right at the end. I’d been on the medication for ADD for a couple of years just trying to shake the – you know, you do this thing for so long, it doesn’t go away immediately. And medication doesn’t cure all the things that ADD causes and it still hasn’t, it’s still hard for me to read a book, things like that. But this trip was exactly what I needed to just change, change myself.
To get out of an addiction finally even though you have a lot of tools, you have to change your life and I think a lot of people they don’t know that or realize how much they have to change to actually get out of it, 100% out of it. Because if you are a drinker and drinking make you gamble then you need to stop drinking. And I did because I don’t have an alcohol problem but I have a gambling problem that’s fueled by alcohol.
Doug Hoyes: One things leads to another.
Beau Humphreys: And the same thing if you’re trying to keep smoking then you have to stop doing the things associated with smoking and unfortunately for a lot of people that’s getting up in the morning. So that’s why cigarettes are very hard to quit even though they are not as detrimental in the short-term as, you know, say going on an alcohol bender or, you know, overdosing on drugs or spending $25,000 in a night gambling. Cigarettes have a long-term effect and so because they don’t have that immediate “I got to stop this”, people have a lot more trouble with that. But I had this $40,000 in debt and I was making probably 30 something a year and that was just not working for me.
Doug Hoyes: The math doesn’t work there.
Beau Humphreys: It does not.
Doug Hoyes: Yeah you’ve got to interrupt the pattern is really what you’re saying.
Beau Humphreys: You really do. The travel, I would recommend that to anyone. Go away go away from your current situation. And if you’re at the tail end of your recovery that might just be what you need.
Doug Hoyes: Yeah if my problem is I walk by that bar and I want to go in and have a cigarette well if I’m in Peru I can’t be walking by that bar and eventually I’ve interrupted that pattern. And it won’t be an issue. So, your background is what job wise?
Beau Humphreys: Yeah so I’ve been in financial management and accounting for the last 15 years.
Doug Hoyes: And for those of you who are watching on YouTube because we’re going to put a video of this up on YouTube, Beau doesn’t look like me, the traditional accountant. So you can go to the video and look. He’s not wearing an Armani suit today. Neither am I but , you know, hey.
Beau Humphreys: This is my every day –
Doug Hoyes: That’s his everyday thing. But you also have, you know your own business, your own thing that you do. Tell us a bit about that.
Beau Humphreys: Yes. So, my main business now is I am a personal finance coach and what I really want to do is help people. I don’t want anyone to be in the situation I was in. Mine was unique but it was easy to get into the debt I was without the gambling addiction I was in if you just don’t pay attention to what you’re doing. If you don’t start putting stuff away then you have an emergency you don’t have an emergency fund, you don’t have any savings and then you have to go into debt and you might even have to go the payday loan route which is the worst.
Doug Hoyes: Very bad.
Beau Humphreys: We can have –
Doug Hoyes: Oh we’ve done shows on that, yeah.
Beau Humphreys: Exactly so I just want to make sure that people are educated in a very simple way because people find personal finance to be really dull and some people would just rather eat trash than talk about their finances at all and they don’t even have to have a bad situation going on. They might even have a lot of extra income to invest. They just don’t want to think about that stuff. And so what I’m trying to do is make it easier for them.
So personal finance coach, I am here to simplify and organize in very simple way. We meet once a year, twice a year to figure out your stuff and we kind of automate it all. So I’ve been writing for my website investwisely.ca and I have a podcast now which you’re going to be on shortly called The Personal Finance Show. And because of my background in accounting, I’m not a designated accountant but I have lots of years of bookkeeping experience and I did do 95% of my CGA course back in the day. During the time before I was medicated for ADD so you imagine –
Doug Hoyes: That’s quite an achievement then.
Beau Humphreys: I didn’t really feel like doing another exam. This is so hard for me so I wonder if I would have finished otherwise. But I do realize now that that wasn’t the path that I was on. But what I do like is the basics and I want to teach everyone the basics of personal finance but also bookkeeping. I’m a bookkeeping coach, QuickBooks online.
Doug Hoyes: So if I’ve got small business then I call you up and you’re not going to do my books for me you’re going to show me how to set it up so I can do my books,
Beau Humphreys: Exactly. And everybody can learn basic bookkeeping in terms of classifying where an expense goes and how to make a simple statement for you or maybe a partner to look at or whoever you’re doing business with, invoicing that sort of stuff. I can show you how to do it because you don’t want to be paying someone on an hourly basis to do stuff that when you’re starting a business you might have a lot of time or a lot of money and that’s the time to learn this stuff.
Doug Hoyes: I’ve had hundreds of clients over the years who were self-employed because hey I can make more money if I’m self-employed, I can be a roofer or a drywaller guy, I’m going to drive a truck, whatever it is. They’re not accountants though so they don’t realize what you’re supposed to be keeping track of or how you’re supposed to be doing it. They don’t understand all the initials you’ve got to know like HST and WBIB and all that sort of stuff EHT and so on. And that’s what gets them into trouble.
And I always say before you start a business it would be great if you could spend a few thousand dollars with a lawyer and a few thousand dollars with an accountant, well of course no one can, that’s impossible. I’m starting a business because I don’t have any money. So, it sounds like the service you’re providing would be great for someone like that to point them in the right direction. Okay let me show you in the right direction. because okay, we have computers now, that’s a pretty cool thing.
Beau Humphreys: Exactly.
Doug Hoyes: And you don’t have to do the old green ledger paper like I learned on 35 years ago.
Beau Humphreys: No more T accounts.
Doug Hoyes: T accounts. I was using those last week I’ll have you know because I had to figure something out.
Beau Humphreys: Sometimes it’s useful.
Doug Hoyes: I went around the office asking all the accountants, do I have this right? And they’re all looking at me like I’m crazy. I think that’s a great way to start out and it’s a great way to prevent problems in the future. So, anyone who’s in a small business or starting one then that would be a service that you would provide. And again you’re not going to do the work, you’re going to show them how to do the work.
Beau Humphreys: And I’m not even going to come to where you are. This is 2017 so we’re doing this over video and it’s all going to be through screen sharing and you’re using QuickBooks online to make it easy. So everything’s in the Cloud.
Doug Hoyes: Which keeps the cost a lot lower too.
Beau Humphreys: The cost is so much lower. You don’t want to pay for my travel to come and visit you and you don’t want to pay the higher fees I would have to charge if I did come and visit you. So everything I do is in the Cloud and it’s all through video. The apps that they have out there are free and you can share the screen. I can look at what you’re doing and point to where you need to click or the thing you need to fill out. Everything’s a little easier now with technology but sometimes people just need a little bit of coaching.
Doug Hoyes: Excellent. Well, I think that’s a great way to end it. So, we will put in the show notes all of the links that you just mentioned to your website. So the best place for people to find you is at what URL?
Beau Humphreys: It’s investwisely.ca
Doug Hoyes: So all one word investwisely.ca. And then the name of your podcast is?
Beau Humphreys: It’s called The Personal Finance Show.
Doug Hoyes: And you can find that on iTunes, Stitch and all of those.
Beau Humphreys: You can just type Beau Humphreys, The Personal Finance Show in Google and it’ll come up.
Doug Hoyes: There you go because there’s not that many Beau Humphreys out there.
Beau Humphreys: That’s right. And I got all the first page of Google was all me.
Doug Hoyes: You’re it. It’s all you so Beau b-e-a-u and then Humphreys.
Beau Humphreys: That’s right.
Doug Hoyes: So for people listening who are going through what you were going through your advice would be get help.
Beau Humphreys: Yes.
Doug Hoyes: And a place like CAMH would be a great place to start I would imagine.
Beau Humphreys: CAMH is great and they have a problem gambling service. They have it online, you can go in and try to find them but they’re findable so you can Google them.
Doug Hoyes: And they’re obviously big here in the Toronto area and Ontario but there are other places that can help with so I think reaching out for help is a good idea. And then on the debt side you’re happy you that made the decision you did on the consumer proposal.
Beau Humphreys: I am. I really do tell people that the consumer proposal saved my life because I don’t know – even if I would have figured out the ADD thing I still would have been in this crippling debt situation so I really don’t know if I would have been able to get out in the way that I did. It might have taken another 10 years.
Doug Hoyes: Well and you do the math, $40,000 in debt, the minimum payments are a big number. Interest is adding up every month. So even if you could pay the interest every month the $40,000 is still there.
Beau Humphreys: It’s still there and always going to be.
Doug Hoyes: So unless you’re making $200,000 a year the math just doesn’t work. So, at some point again you’ve to interrupt the pattern, and it worked for you. Well, that’s great. Fantastic. Well, I think that’s a great way to end it. So, as I said I’m going to put links to what we talked about in the show notes so they will be over at hoyes.com. You can just do a search for Beau b-e-a-u and it’ll be the only thing that comes up there. Thanks for being on the show.
Beau Humphreys: Thanks for having me Doug.
Doug Hoyes: Thanks for being here Beau. That’s our show for today. As I said full links to everything we talked about a full transcript will be at hoyes.com that’s h-o-y-e-s-dot-com. Until next week, I’m Doug Hoyes. That was Debt Free in 30.