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On this web site we provide many tips for dealing with your debt. We have an interactive debt options calculator that tells you what it will cost to deal with your

Bookdebts, and we have an on-line support group so you can discuss your alternatives anonymously with others in your situation. These tools are great, but sometimes you want advice from an old-fashioned source: a book.s are great. You can carry them with you, and if you drop them, you don’t need to re-boot! So, occasionally over the the next few months, we will provide you with some book reviews of books that can help you deal with your debts, and save money.

Today we review The Smart Canadian’s Guide to Saving Money, Second Edition, written by Pat Foran of CTV’s Consumer Alert. I was first interviewed by Pat Foran for the first edition of the book a few years ago, and he interviewed me again prior to the release of this second edition. He also interviewed me for a story that ran on Canada AM back in 2008 about how to financially survive the holidays.

When I was interviewed on Canada AM I was very impressed by Pat Foran’s preparation and professionalism. We all think of television as very glamorous, but it isn’t. On the day of the interview is was Pat himself who met me at the reception desk at the CTV studio in Toronto, and he walked me back to the studio. While we walked we chatted about some of the questions he wanted to ask me. He had already done his research, so he knew what he wanted to ask. We got to the studio and the camera operator was ready. Pat showed me where to sit (he wanted a shot with a Christmas tree in the background), and he helped me put on my microphone. He then glanced at his notes, and then asked my seven or eight questions in rapid succession, with barely a glance down at his notes again.

The final interview was brief and concise, no doubt due to his skill as an editor, taking the five minutes of my answers and editing them down to a few brief comments. He used graphics to give viewers a very concise “to do” list of how to avoid money problems. I thought is was a great piece.

Mr. Foran’s greatest skill, in my view, is his ability to take difficult concepts and “boil them down” to simple, easy to understand tips that everyone can use in their every day life.

The first version of this book was called The Smart Canadian’s Guide to Building Wealth, and it was a good book. The Second Edition, in my view, is much better, because it focuses on Saving Money, which of course is the first step to building wealth.

Part 2 of this book is about saving money, and covers topics like a Tax Free Savings Account, understanding interest rates, and trimming the grocery bill.

Readers of this blog will be most interested in Part 1, where Pat Foran discusses Reducing Debt. He gives a great summary of all debt management options, including chapters on:

I appreciated the fact that Mr. Foran gave a very balanced view of the process, both good and bad, and he also took time to discuss alternatives to bankruptcy, including a consumer proposal.

Of course the book only has a few pages on bankruptcy; most of the book discusses ways to increase your wealth, so I recommend it as a book for both Canadians in financial trouble, and for those who have finished the bankruptcy process and are looking to start building their wealth.

Bankruptcy is supposed to give you a fresh start, and Pat Foran’s book The Smart Canadian’s Guide to Saving Money, Second Edition, written by Pat Foran is a great first step in that process.