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How To Plan For Big Life Changes With Jessica Moorhouse

How To Plan For Big Life Changes With Jessica Moorhouse

On today’s show I talk with financial blogger and podcast host, Jessica Moorhouse from Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses about how to make big life changes including relocation, going back to school, buying a home and planning a wedding. These are all common life events that can take a toll on your finances and can be difficult to manage for those already facing debt. As a millennial, Jessica has recent experience with all of these changes and shares her experience and advice with listeners.

Jessica and her husband made the move from Vancouver to Toronto two years ago to jump-start their careers. Both took a chance on relocating and did so without having jobs lined up. They sold their belongings and drove halfway across the country in search of something more. As trustees, we meet with people every day who have lost their jobs and are looking for options to get back into the job market. Relocation is one solution, but it’s not as easy as just picking up and leaving.

How To Plan For Relocation

I ask Jessica what they did to plan for their move and what kind of advice she would offer to people looking to take on this big life change. She advised that their move was not something that they decided to do on a whim. Her and her husband had been planning for a while to ensure that they had enough saved up to actually make it work. She suggests that anyone considering relocation create a budget and

definitely have an emergency savings, and more than you think you’re going to need.

Their goal was to save up $10,000 before the move to account for unemployment, rent, new furniture and necessities. Jessica reiterates this point stating that

in terms of preventing getting into debt, I would say you really do need to have quite a bit of cash in hand and in your bank account because if you’re just like, well, I just need a couple of thousand dollars and I’ll put the rest on credit, then once I get a job I’ll pay off that debt, probably not the best idea.

How To Plan For Going Back To School

Once she got to Toronto, Jessica realized that her arts degree would not get her the career that she wanted. Like many graduates with student loans, it’s hard to justify spending more money and taking on more student loan debt to go back to school. Jessica describes her realization explaining that

[it’s] kind of a big blow to the ego because I’m like, I just spent five years and thousands of dollars on a degree. I can’t believe I have to go back to school to get a job. But so is life, so is being a millennial.

For millennials (and anyone else) planning to return to school, Jessica recommends that you shop around for affordable options. Online courses that allow you to work, scholarships and grants, as well as choosing college over university can be more affordable options for going back to school.

Although Jessica’s student debt the second time around did not equal that of some of her peers, she says that when talking to friends about their debt, “they felt like they were drowning and they also felt like that was an impossible number to pay off”. To avoid taking on too much debt, Jessica advises listeners to look at the future benefits of your program and be realistic about the job market and the kind of job you can get with your new degree, after graduation. Moreover, it’s important to have a plan in place to repay that student loan debt; make repayment a priority and start early.

How To Un-Plan For Buying A Home

Readers of Jessica’s blog will already know that she loves to write about real estate and was recently looking to purchase a home. However, Toronto’s housing markets are expensive and when crunching the numbers she realized that continuing to rent is a cheaper and more flexible option for the foreseeable future.

When considering making this big financial commitment, it’s important to heed her advice: crunch the numbers and be realistic about your housing options. If you can’t afford to sustain a mortgage, property taxes, utility bills, as well as necessary life expenses, it’s not a good investment (no matter how badly you may want it).

Throughout our discussion, Jessica’s biggest message to listeners is to plan. Be prepared for planned and unexpected life events. Create a financial goal, calculate the costs and assess the future benefits. Being proactive about financial decisions can help to reduce or avoid taking on unnecessary debt that has the potential to get worse.

Listen to the podcast or read the full transcript below to hear Jessica’s advice about:

  • How to prepare for relocation as a freelancer; and
  • How to plan for a wedding.

Resources Mentioned in the Show

FULL TRANSCRIPT show #55 with Jessica Moorhouse

plan-life-changes new

So, let’s get started. Who are you and what do you do?

Jessica Moorhouse: By day I work in digital marketing but by night and weekends and all other hours of the day, I am a blogger and podcaster over at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses.

Doug Hoyes: And so, well first of all tell us your name.

Jessica Moorhouse: Oh yeah my name is Jessica Moorhouse. [laughter] Sort of important I guess.

Doug Hoyes: There we go, let’s not bury the lead here. So, Jessica tell me about your website, tell me about your blog, first of all why the name?

Jessica Moorhouse: It’s kind of an onion, there’s a lot of layers, surprisingly. So, I started my blog about three and a half years ago. And it was actually a name suggested by my first roommate. She thought it was kind of a funny play on words cause my last name’s Moorhouse and you know the rap song Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems? Maybe you don’t know it, but –

Doug Hoyes: No, sorry.

Jessica Moorhouse: You’re not familiar. [laughter]

Doug Hoyes: You’re going to have to walk me through it slowly here today.

Jessica Moorhouse: It was a big hit back when we were growing up, Mo’ Money and Mo’ Problems and so she thought that would be kind of a funny play on words Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses. And also, when I was getting into personal finance blogs and just books and stuff like that, I really got interested in real estate. And I thought, wow, it would be amazing if one day I could own a bunch of houses and rent them out and make an income that way. So, that’s kind of the second layer to that name.

Doug Hoyes: So, Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses, with Mo’ spelled Mo, that’s where people can find you. And I’ll put a link in the show notes as well.

Jessica Moorhouse: Yep, it’s just, super simple.

Doug Hoyes: Easy to find.

Jessica Moorhouse: Yep.

Doug Hoyes: So, right now you’re talking to me from Toronto, but you’re not originally from Toronto so wind back the clock and how did you get here?

Jessica Moorhouse: How did I get here? So, yes I’m originally from Vancouver and I’ve been in Toronto for two years now. We just hit the two year mark July 1st. And me and my husband we both grew up in Vancouver and we loved it. I still love Vancouver; it’s a beautiful place. But when we were kind of considering where we saw our lives and our careers, Vancouver just didn’t seem like the right place to be at that moment. And we kind of looked at a map and we were like okay where do you want to go? And it was kind of between Montreal and Toronto, but my husband doesn’t know French and my French is very poor. So, Toronto was kind of the best option for us to kind of jump start our careers. So, we sold all our stuff, packed what stuff that we did keep into our little hatchback car and we drove from Vancouver to Toronto.

Doug Hoyes: Very cool. And that’s really the reason I wanted to have you on the podcast today and the radio show is, I want to talk about how to manage big life changes. Because for many of the people we help at our firm, you know, people have gone through job loss and other issues and it’s the change that ends up either leading to problems or hopefully leading to better things. So, let’s start with when you relocated to Toronto you didn’t have a job.

Jessica Moorhouse: No, neither of us had jobs.

Doug Hoyes: Neither one of you had jobs. So, I guess, what were you thinking? What was the move like? How did you prepare for it? Give me some of the story on that.

Jessica Moorhouse: Sure, it was pretty ballsy move I just say. Looking back I can’t believe we did that. So, you know, I had a full-time job, I quit it. My husband’s a freelancer, but moving meant that he had to kind of give up all those contacts cause his contacts are all local contacts. And we did just get married as well and that wasn’t a cheap event.

So, but at the same time we had this idea that we were going to do this for about maybe a year and a half, two years kind of. When we were actually planning our wedding we also kind of planned this big move. And so, we kind of budgeted accordingly. We made sure that we just kind of saved every dollar cause we had this big goal in mind, to move to Toronto and kind of start a new life. And it wasn’t just let’s move and see what happens. We really wanted to make a good go of it cause we really did hope this move would really help our careers, we’d get bigger salaries.

My husband works in the music industry, and so, this was a big chance cause there’s a huge music industry in Toronto. And so we were kind of we got to try it. This is a big risk, but it could be a big payoff. And we felt like if we just stayed in Vancouver we would probably – I don’t know if we’d be in the same position right now. And right now we’re doing pretty good: we’re happy where we are.

Doug Hoyes: Well, I guess that’s the ultimate test then. So, for listeners who may be considering relocating to prevent going into debt what are the most important things that they should prepare for or know before making that kind of a decision?

Jessica Moorhouse: Well, definitely have an emergency savings, and more than you think you’re going to need because we spent way more than we thought we would. And I mean I’m a frugal person being a personal finance blogger so I was kind of shocked at how expensive the big move was; setting up in a new apartment, getting new furniture cause we sold all of our furniture.

And I mean I think I may have written about the final number. But I recently did a podcast episode about this specific move and I think I said I’m going to ballpark it at like $10,000, which is a lot of – that’s a big chunk of change. But we budgeted and we saved for a while in order to make this happen and we’re also lucky that we weren’t unemployed for that long. It still was quite long in my mind, but we were able to start finding streams of income within a couple of months, which was helpful.

But, you know, in terms of preventing getting into debt, I would say you really do need to have quite a bit of cash in hand and in your back account. Because if you’re just like well I just need a couple of thousand dollars and I’ll put the rest on credit, then once I get a job I’ll pay off that debt, probably not the best idea.

Doug Hoyes: So, it’s going to take more cash than you think.

Jessica Moorhouse: Absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: And that’s probably a universal rule that applies to everything.

Jessica Moorhouse: Uh huh, true.

Doug Hoyes: You know if you start with that then you’re probably good. Now you are, and I don’t think I’m giving out any secrets, are a millennial.

Jessica Moorhouse: I am.

Doug Hoyes: And what does that mean exactly? Is there a definition of that? I mean you’re not a senior citizen, we know that.

Jessica Moorhouse: You know, millennials, I mean it’s a big buzz word, it’s just a generation of people and I think I read somewhere that it’s people that are aged like, I don’t know, 23 to 35 or something like that. It’s actually a pretty broad age range. But basically it’s just people who grew up I would say and were kids in like the 90’s.

Doug Hoyes: Okay.

Jessica Moorhouse: Or early 2000’s.

Doug Hoyes: And I guess the issue with being a millennial is life is different now than what it was like when I grew up in the – I don’t know when I grew up in the 70’s and the 80’s I guess. I graduated from university in the early 80’s I think, 1983 or 84, somewhere around there. When I graduated and, maybe it was 1987, I don’t know. I’ll have to check my bio. When I graduated there were lots of jobs.

So, I hit it just right, the recession was over, things were booming, I had my choice of jobs. It’s different now for millennials though right now. Job security, it’s harder to come by, there’s a lot of – a lot more temp work. There was no such thing as temp work when I graduated from university. You either got a job or you didn’t. There’s more internships, contract jobs are much more popular. So, now you mentioned that your husband is a freelancer, so how does someone who’s a freelancer prepare for this kind of uncertainly then, when you’re contemplating a big move like this?

Jessica Moorhouse: Oh gosh, well yeah that’s kind of the tricky thing about being a freelancer, especially in the arts industry. He never really knows how much he’s going to make month to month, year to year until he does his taxes. So, it was tricky. I obviously, since I’ve always had like the full-time job, I am probably a bigger saver and bigger budgeter than him and so I think we kind of balanced it out a little bit like that. Whereas – but at the same time – whereas for me where I do like working for a company and being an employee in that respect, I kind of have to wait to get a job to make income, whereas for him he can do a variety of different things to make some money.

So, when we actually first moved here, yeah it took me about, maybe, two or three months to find a stable, full-time job. But for him, he is an audio engineer by trade, but he also has a lot of other skills. So, in Vancouver he also used to be a theatre tech, and so, he found similar companies for what he worked for in Vancouver and they’re just kind of on call jobs whatever, but they paid kind of a decent wage. And so when we landed here it was like well until I start building up a client base for my audio engineer business, I’m going to contact these theatre companies and see if I can get some work. And it’s a labour job really; like lots of the work is really physically arduous and tough and he really didn’t like it. But it was one way that he could make money. So, he kind of had that in his field. So, that was one way that he – he may not have saved up as much as I did prior, but he was able to make money faster once we got here.

Doug Hoyes: And so you’ve got to be willing to take what you can get.

Jessica Moorhouse: Oh yeah and we both did. Like don’t get wrong, I worked some questionable jobs when I got here just so I can make a living and I didn’t want to feel like – I didn’t want to turn down anything because I needed money, I needed to pay the rent. So, I definitely did a few jobs like I’m like oh wow, I can’t believe I did that. [laughter]

Doug Hoyes: But it was something you wanted, you wanted to move here and so you had to take the risk.

That’s the first part of my conversation with Jessica Moorhouse. She and her husband moved from Vancouver to Toronto with no jobs lined up. But they were willing to take that risk. Another risk is going back to school. And I’ll get Jessica’s thoughts on that right after the break.

Doug Hoyes: My guest today is Jessica Moorhouse and we’re discussing big life changes. To start this segment I asked Jessica about going back to school.

You’ve also discussed, reading through your blog going back to school to supplement your BA and working experience. Student loan debt is something we’ve talked a lot about lately because it affects so many of our people. Many of our clients have student loan debt and in a study that we do every two years called Joe Debtor found that females are especially impacted by student loan because of factors like maternity leave, job instability, taking a leave from work to care for family. So, as someone who has worked to pay off your student loans on your own, how did you tackle the debt and what’s your advice for people trying to do the same thing?

Jessica Moorhouse: Yeah, well so yeah my only experience with student debt was when I was doing my undergrad and I was able to finance my whole degree by myself. I worked part-time and I worked a lot of hours. But I was very proud of myself for doing that. But still, in my last year – I was there for five years – I didn’t have all the funds I needed to pay for my last year of tuition. So, I did have to get a student loan and it did take me – I don’t know, it was very small, it was only like $5,000, but still, when you’re a student you’re like that’s a lot of money.

So, it took me about six months to pay that off and then after that I’m like I really don’t want to get into debt again. I really hated that feeling of owing somebody money and paying interest on the money I owe. I just hated it. So, when we moved here and I realized in order to kind of switch careers I had previously worked more in a kind of in sales, advertising role, I knew I wanted to work more in marketing. I knew I had to go back to school, I knew that definitely would help me. And it did cause it did help me get my current job.

So, I realized I had to go back to school which is kind of a big blow to the ego cause I’m like I just spent five years and thousands of dollars on a degree. I can’t believe I have to go back to school to get a job. But so is life, so is being a millennial.

So, yeah I went back to school and it was tough. You know, I did shop around there’s a lot of schools out there, a lot of digital marketing programs and I found one at U of T that seemed like the best, but also the cheapest I guess, or just the most reasonable. It was only three courses; each course was only $700. There was no books and you could do it online so I could also work while I was going to school. So, financially it made the most sense to go there and luckily because of that I didn’t have to take out a loan to go back to school.

Doug Hoyes: Got you. And I think – I mean I’m a graduate of U of T many years ago, obviously, and I think a whole year cost back then what a course costs today. So, that’s a big difference. So, let me ask you a profound philosophical question here, and that is, so student loans, do you see education as a good debt, a student loan as good debt?

Jessica Moorhouse: I mean that’s a tricky thing. I feel like it can be but the tricky thing with me is, since I did put myself through school, and only got a very small loan, I don’t have the same I guess perception of student loan debt that I guess lots of other students have, that had to pay for their whole degree through student loans and couldn’t for some reason pay for it. For me, I just didn’t like – when I finished school and I had lots of friends who had like $50,000 in debt from student loans and I was like I can’t imagine having that much debt. They felt like they were drowning and they also felt like that was an impossible number to pay off.

Now for me, I – do I think it’s a good investment? I think education is always a good investment, but I think some people – young students especially in schools we’re not really taught about money until we’re out in the real world spending it, which I think is important, which is part of the reason I started my blog. But I think lots of people think they have to take out a student loan to pay for their whole degree, when there’s a lot of other ways to fund your degree. There’s scholarships, there’s grants, you can get a job. There are a lot of other opportunities.

But I think lots of people don’t realize this and so they fund their entire degree and sometimes, you know, let’s be honest people will take out a big loan on a degree that they may not use. And I’m there, I got a fine arts degree in film production, I’m not using that. I’m in digital marketing now. But there’s a lot of people doing degrees that they’re spending like $50,000 and they’re not even using it. And then they have to go back to school for something that’s a little bit more practical. So, in that respect probably not the best investment.

I think people – I don’t know I think a lot of the issue today, you know, high school students are told that they need to go to school to get a job but they’re not really maybe pointed in the right direction of what they should do. And the thing is I think a lot of the kids think you – oh you have to go to university, well that’s not necessarily true. You can make a really good living if you go to school for a trade. And actually I have a lot of people, and lots of my husband’s high school friends that went to BCIT, a technical college, to learn a trade. And they’re making really good money. They own their own house and they’re doing really well. So, university isn’t the only option for education as well.

Doug Hoyes: So, if I had a time machine and we could go back to just before you were to start your undergraduate program, knowing what you now know, what would you be telling yourself?

Jessica Moorhouse: I’d like to say that if I could go back I would do the communications program at SFU where I went, but I don’t really like living with regrets. And I don’t regret my film degree because it made me who I am. I loved doing my degree. It was the best five years of my life, honestly. I learned a ton and a lot of, I mean, not necessarily – like am I a film maker now? No. But I’ve used a lot of my skills in my marketing job. And like I don’t think I would have been able to start a website and now a podcast if I hadn’t had those technical skills I learned in film school.

So, I don’t regret my film degree, but if I had kids I’d definitely be like well if you’re going to do a fine arts degree, you’re probably not going to make a very good income once you leave.

Doug Hoyes: So, do you think it’s important to look to the last chapter, then? I’m going to university, I’m going to college. Should I be asking whether there’s a job there when I come out? Or should I treat the education as kind of a standalone thing?

Jessica Moorhouse: Yeah, I think it’s definitely – and that’s something I didn’t do. I didn’t think about what job I could get after school. I was just like I’ll figure that out later. Cause you think you have the world, you have five years, four years, you think that’s an eternity as a 20 year old.

But no, I think it’s definitely important to look at what kind of jobs are out there with the degree that you want. It’s tough though, when you’re 18, 19 and starting university; you don’t even know what those jobs mean. And to be fair, the job that I have now didn’t even exist when I went to school. Digital marketing wasn’t a thing, Facebook wasn’t even a thing. So, it’s kind of tricky cause some of the jobs that these people might be getting, don’t exist yet. But then again I think it’s important to always have that in mind. Like what are you going to do out of school?

Doug Hoyes: And that’s where it gets tricky, trying to decide when you’re 17 or 18 years old what you want to do when you’re 50. So, that’s great, Jessica. I really appreciate you taking the time to be with me today, tell us again, what’s the website, what’s the podcast?

Jessica Moorhouse: Sure, so you can find my blog, my podcast at and specifically my podcast I have all my episodes listed on there.

Doug Hoyes: And you can –

Jessica Moorhouse: Thank you so much for having me.

Doug Hoyes: No problem. You can subscribe to that on iTunes as well. That’s how I get it. Presumably all the other podcasting applications get it on your phone or whatever.

Jessica Moorhouse: Yeah, Sound Cloud, Stitcher. I’m everywhere.

Doug Hoyes: It’s all there. And the format of your podcasts, they’re about half an hour and it’s generally you having a conversation exactly like we’ve done today and it’s I think your focus is more on the millennial generation obviously then seniors. But most of the things you talk about are universal financial principles.

Jessica Moorhouse: Absolutely.

Doug Hoyes: They apply to everyone.

Jessica Moorhouse: Yeah, it’s just exploring other people’s money stories and sometimes they’re bloggers that I know, sometimes they’re authors. But some of them are just people that are friends of friends and I’m like oh that’s cool, they started their own business or that’s cool they’re making extra money this way. I should probably talk to them. I think people would really get something out of that.

Doug Hoyes: Great and it’s been interesting for me to listen to it as well. Well, great, thanks very much for joining me today Jessica.

Jessica Moorhouse: Thank you so much for having me.

Let’s Get Started Segment

Doug Hoyes: It’s time for the Let’s Get Started segment here on Debt Free in 30. My guest today is Jessica Moorhouse, a personal finance blogger and a millennial – meaning she’s a young person – and she’s at that age where young married couples start thinking about buying a home. It’s a big decision, and Jessica having read your blog, I know buying a home is something that you and your husband are thinking about. So, what strategies would you share with our listeners to help them avoid taking on more debt than they can handle. What are your thoughts on buying a home?

Jessica Moorhouse: Yeah well, this past January me and my husband actually did start looking for a home to buy. We saved up for years, we have a pretty good nest egg and a pretty sizable down payment. We were looking on MLS and it seemed like there were a lot of houses that were reasonably prized, so we thought. But once we started getting out there with our realtor, we realized that houses that were listed for one price would go like $80,000 over asking price, every single time. And so, we kind of realized this is not a good market to buy in. This is a seller’s market, not a buyer’s market. And even though financially we could still afford one of those houses, it seems like in order to actually buy one and then afford the property taxes, the maintenance – most of these houses needed to be totally gutted – you know, we’re crunching the numbers and every time it’s like, it would be so much more expensive to hold a mortgage on this house, that yes, we would be owners of, than if we continued to rent in our tiny apartment in downtown Toronto.

So, because I never wanna be house poor, if you will, we decided, you know, this isn’t a good time to buy, we’re going to continue renting and we’re going to follow the market and see if it changes. But at this point, you know, obviously my blog name is Mo’ Money, Mo’ Houses, I would love to be a home owner, but I don’t know, just looking at what’s going on right now I don’t know if that’ll happen, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You know, lots of people say in lots of financial books that the whole renting is throwing your money away and, you know, buying a home is always a great investment. I think that was true maybe 20 years ago, but in this day and age I don’t think it’s the best use of your money. Especially for people my age that are just starting their careers, starting to save up money, starting to pay off their student loan debt, or consumer debt. I’d say focus on getting your debt paid off, saving as much money as you can and investing your money. You know, just because you can’t buy a house doesn’t mean that you can’t find ways to make more money off your money.

Doug Hoyes:  So do you consider a house an investment? Or I guess asking the question in another way, would a mortgage be considered good debt in your view, or bad debt?

Jessica Moorhouse: I’ve got to say, I mean personally, i don’t think any debt is good debt (including a house). Cause the thing with buying a house as an investment, well if you’re living in that house, that investment – it’s only an investment – you’re only making that much money if you sell your house. And it actually costs money to sell your house. So lots of people are like, oh no, I’ll buy a house and I’ll live in it for 20 years, well how much does it actually cost to maintain that house? Thousands of dollars that you probably don’t consider. And guess what, you’re only going to get that money if you sell that house, and then, you’re probably going to be renting after that. Or if you buy another house, then you know, you’re spending money. So, in my perspective right now, I don’t really consider it to be good debt or a good investment. That’s just my opinion though.

Doug Hoyes:  Well, I happen to agree with you 100%, but I think we’re the only two people in the world who believe that.

Jessica M:       Hey, I would love to own a house. I would love to have a big kitchen, with a dishwasher and en-suite laundry. There’s a lot of things I was desperate for when we were looking for a place and it was a really difficult decision to say, you know, we can’t do it, this isn’t good timing.

Doug Hoyes:  Yeah, but the real estate market – and we’re now more than halfway through 2015 – the market is still very frothy. Houses are not going to go up forever, they just never have, so I agree with you, you can’t lose money if you’re not invested in it. And you know, we have a dishwasher at our house and it’s currently making this funny sound and the thing doesn’t quite work and it’s going to have to be replaced, so that’s the downside of owning a house.

Jessica Moorhouse: The one good thing about being a renter; if something breaks, we don’t have to pay for it [laughter].

Doug Hoyes:  Well, and you’ve also got flexibility-

Jessica Moorhouse: It’s true, well that’s the thing.

Doug Hoyes:  So, if you decide you want to move back to Vancouver –

Jessica Moorhouse: We can afford to do it!

Doug Hoyes:  Yeah. If you decide you want to move to a different section of town, you don’t want to live downtown anymore, you want to have four kids, whatever. Well, Okay, we don’t have to worry about when the house sells. We go rent a different place. So there are some big advantages.

And that’s the point. There are advantages and disadvantages to owning a home. It’s nice to have a place that’s your own, with your own dishwasher and laundry room, but you also have all of the expenses and the risk. You can’t just pick up and move if you own a home, you’ve got the hassle and worry of selling the house. In today’s overheated real estate markets in places like Toronto and Vancouver, it’s probably a lot less risky to keep on renting.

I’ll be back in a minute to wrap up the show. That was the Let’s Get Started segment, here on Debt Free in 30.

Doug Hoyes: Welcome back, it’s time for the 30 second recap of what we discussed today.

On today’s show, Jessica Moorhouse shared her strategies for making big life changes, like moving to a new city or going back to school. Her advice is to have a plan, crunch the numbers and save up money in advance. That’s the 30 second recap of what we discussed today.

I agree with Jessica’s approach. Big changes are often difficult, but for Jessica, moving to a new city – halfway across the country – and going back to school was worth it. If you’re considering big life changes, calculate the costs, but also calculate the future benefits. Then do what Jessica did, crunch the numbers and make a plan.

That’s our show for today. Full show notes are available on our website, including links to Jessica’s website, so please go to our website at, that’s, for more information. Thanks for listening, until next week, I’m Doug Hoyes, that was Debt Free in 30.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to the radio broadcast segment of Debt Free in 30, where every week your host, Doug Hoyes, talks to experts about debt, money and personal finance. Please stay tuned for the podcast only bonus content on Debt Free in 30.

Podcast Only Bonus Segment

Doug Hoyes: I covered a lot of topics with Jessica Moorhouse on the radio show, but there was one more topic where Jessica had some great insight that we couldn’t fit into the main show. So, for this podcast only bonus segment, we’ve got one more topic and here it is:

Weddings. ‘Cause you’ve written about this as well. I got married 20 years ago and I wasn’t the bride so I didn’t really have a whole lot of organizational –

Jessica Moorhouse: You just showed up [laughter].

Doug Hoyes: I Did show up; I was there. Obviously a wedding, it’s a big life change, planning for the big day is exciting and all that, but obviously, there’s a lot of financial stress involved as well –

Jessica Moorhouse: Oh yeah!

Doug Hoyes: And on your blog you’ve talked a lot about budgeting for your wedding, how you managed to keep your costs down. So, I mean the wedding industry obviously makes tons of money, it’s very lucrative, people spend a lot of money on it. So, for someone who’s facing debt, planning a wedding, what advice would you give people to keep those costs under control and not make it a huge financial problem, getting married?

Jessica Moorhouse: I’d say – and I tell this to everyone that is engaged that I know – I’m like, you know what, if you can, elope. Cause not only will it save you a ton of money that you can do so much more with, but it’ll be so much more intimate. I love my wedding and I don’t regret my wedding, but it was a big wedding and there were a lot of people there and it was a lot of chaos, a lot of organization. It was a year and a half of planning and when the day came, I was just exhausted. And I don’t even remember half of it, you know. And lots of people say that; when you, you know, are in the midst of your wedding day, you won’t remember most of it anyway, but you sunk like $16,000 into the day. And that was a cheap wedding, mind you, because I think most weddings cost $25,000 – $30,000 these days. It’s insane. So, elope if you can. If you can’t and you want to have a wedding with family and friends, keeping the guest count low is very helpful because when it comes down to it, usually, the more people you have, the more expensive the whole thing is. Especially if your feeding them dinner and have an open bar or whatever, it can get really pricey. And then it’s leaving yourself a lot of time so you can look for those deals. I did a lot of that trying to find the best venue. We had our reception up at this restaurant on [unintelligible] near SFU and because I was an alumni, we got a discount. So, little things like that can help you; you just have to leave yourself plenty of time and do some research. And ask anyone you know if they have any tips, if they have anything used that they can lend you; you’ll probably end of crafting more than you think you will.

Doug Hoyes: So, elope is the answer, there you go. That’s pretty awesome.

Jessica Moorhouse: Ya that’s my short answer. Just go to Vegas or wherever. My ideal, if I could do it again – again I love my wedding – but if I could kind of have a second go round, I would do, on the beach with a minister and that’s it.

Doug Hoyes:  So, there you go. Jessica Moorhouse’s thoughts on the financial aspects of planning a wedding. That was the bonus podcast only segment of Debt Free in 30, thanks for listening.

Announcer:      Thanks for listening to the podcast only segment of Debt Free in 30. For more information on today’s show, please go to, that’s h-o-y-e-s-dot-com, and type the word “podcast” into the search box for more information on every episode of Debt Free in 30. Until next week, this was Debt Free in 30.

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