The Personal Finance Show

The Personal Finance Show is a place for people to tell their personal finance stories. Everyone has a personal finance story.

20 - Jane Rooney

February 23rd, 2018


Did you know that Canada has a Financial Literacy Leader?

It's true.

Jane Rooney was appointed Canada's Financial Literacy Leader in 2014 within the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).

Yes, there is a government official whose main job is to make sure Canadians are financially literate.

Jane is awesome and she's joining me in the second half of this episode.

But first let’s talk about the only reason I even know Jane exists, and that’s because of the Conference Board of Canada.

Earlier this week, February 21st and 22nd, 2018, they hosted a conference called Financial Wellness and Retirement Readiness.

While preparing for the conference I found out the FCAC was a sponsor and they offered me an interview with Jane Rooney.

From the Conference Board I was offered an interview with their Vice-President of Industry, Strategy and Public Policy, Louis Thériault.

Louis gave a great presentation about the current state of financial wellness in the workplace.

After the presentation I sat down with Louis and asked him how he got into this world of economic and policy analysis.

As Louis says in the interview, there is a quadruple gain with financial wellness programs: The employee gets financial information and support to get out of financial trouble or to prevent them from getting into it in the first place; the employer benefits from less down time and more productivity; the insurers save money when overall health is improved; and, overall wellness is good for society as a whole.

So companies are making positive changes, what about the government?

When I started researching Jane Rooney for this interview, I was totally surprised by the commitment the government has made to strengthen the financial literacy of Canadians.

A common theme at the conference and in the discussion with Jane is the importance of overall wellness.

Whether you go through what I did and have mental health issues that caused addiction which led to financial problems, or whether you have unanticipated financial issues, which in turn may cause mental health issues, we now understand that one can’t be addressed without looking at the others.

And though we didn’t focus on it, physical wellness including healthy eating habits play a huge part in overall wellness as well.

I would like to thank Jane and Louis for taking the time to share their stories and insight. It’s comforting to know that there are people out there who are looking out for us and trying to improve the overall well-being of Canadians.

Here's the link to the FCAC hotline that Jane mentioned in the episode:


21 - Lindsay and Graham Plumb


19 - Allison Suter

February 14th, 2018


Allison Suter is a total tax nerd.

When someone mentions income taxes, do you get excited or are you filled with dread?

Do you wait until the last possible moment to file your taxes?

When you finally start the process, are you so on edge that if the slightest thing goes wrong you want to throw your laptop across the room?

And when it’s over, are you 100% sure that you messed it up somehow?

If this sounds like you, you should probably check out SimpleTax.

Allison Suter is a former tax lawyer.

One day she was doing her taxes online and started wondering: Why is preparing my tax return so complicated? Why is tax software so slow and expensive?

If a tax nerd like Allison thinks it’s complicated, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Luckily for us, Allison and her co-founders decided to build what they like to call “the best tax software in Canada”.

Allison joined me from Vancouver to talk about how she went from tax lawyer, to world traveller, to wedding photographer and finally to SimpleTax. 


20 - Jane Rooney


18 - Amélie Arras

February 8th, 2018


For the Money 20/20 Payments Race in October 2017, Amélie Arras chose bitcoin as her method of payment and made her way from Toronto to Las Vegas in a week.


Imagine you’re visiting Europe for the first time.

For some reason you didn’t think to buy any Euros before you left home. You are Canadian, so all you have is Canadian dollars on you.

You find out that things have changed recently in Europe and there is no longer a way to exchange your Canadian dollars for Euros.

Your only option is to try to find businesses and people who will accept your Canadian dollars.

You’ll need food so you start by asking at various restaurants, and each one says, sorry, we don’t accept Canadian dollars.

You have internet access so you’re able to search for the Canadian community in the city you are in. You eventually find someone who agrees to take your Canadian dollars in exchange for some food and transport to your hotel.

But not every city in Europe will be like this.

Luckily you have some hotels pre-booked, but for most everything else you’re going to have to figure it out along the way.

This is what it’s like to travel with only Bitcoin.


Somehow, using only bitcoin, Amélie won the payments race.

Amélie joined me from the UK to tell her bitcoin story.


19 - Allison Suter


17 - Jessica Moorhouse (Payments Race)

February 1st, 2018


Jessica Moorhouse travelled from Toronto to Las Vegas over one week using only a chip and pin credit card.

It’s October 2017 and I’m at the SIBOS global financial services conference in Toronto. I post something about the conference on Facebook and my friend Jessica Moorhouse comments that she’ll be at the conference tomorrow.

I had just found out that she would be participating in this payments race - think of it as the amazing race for money nerds.

It turned out the race was going to start the next day from the conference that I was already attending.

I was able to get an interview with all 5 contestants in the race, Jessica being the only Canadian.

All 5 racers had to make it from Toronto to Las Vegas in a week, using different methods of payment.

There was bitcoin, gold, contactless ring/apple pay, cash, and Jessica had to use a chip and pin credit card.

Maybe you’re thinking, that’s easy.

You can pay for everything with a chip and pin credit card in North America, right?

That’s what the race is all about.

The organizers didn’t do a trial run from Toronto to Vegas and try all of those methods to see if it was possible.

The race was created to find out if it is possible.

So Jessica and the other contestants headed out into the unknown to see whether it would be a breeze or if they would run into obstacles along the way.

Jessica joined me a few weeks after the race to tell her side of the story.


If you want all the details about Jessica’s payments race journey, you can find them here:

Personal finance bloggers who helped Jessica along the way:

Cait Flanders:

Michelle Jackson:

Barry Choi:


18 - Amélie Arras