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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Mar 9, 2023

Debt can play an essential role in financial planning in several ways, such as financing large purchases, building credit, managing cash flow, and leveraging investments. However, it's important to remember that taking on too much debt can also have negative consequences that could impact your financial future. Therefore, it's vital to carefully consider your options and ensure that any debt you take on is manageable and aligns with your overall financial goals. In this episode, we talk about the essential aspects of debt and the role of debt in financial planning, and we unpack the two major forms of debt. Learn about debt in financial planning, consumption smoothing, the mindset and psychology behind debt, the risk that comes with debt, how credit cards impact how people interact with their money, integrated financial planning, and important aspects of mortgages. We also review a past episode with guest Dan Solin and the book, The Five Most Important Questions, which provides readers with a tool for self-assessment and transformation concerning productivity in the workplace.


Key Points From This Episode:


•   The role of debt in financial planning and the distinction between good and bad debt. (0:08:16)

•   A brief overview of mortgages, credit cards, and their associated risks. (0:11:31)

•   Consequences of borrowing money at a high-interest rate, and how financial literacy impacts effective debt management. (0:13:20)

•   The psychological aspects related to debt and consumer spending. (0:16:10)

•   Outlining the psychological interactions of established debt on mental well-being. (0:18:15)

•   Credit cards, what they offer, and their psychological effect on paying. (0:22:10)

•   Costs associated with not using a credit card. (0:28:45)

•   Why mortgage debt is considered good debt for the borrower and the different facets of mortgages to consider. (0:32:48)

•   The difference between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates and which is better. (0:37:25)

•   Highlights and key takeaways from a past episode with Dan Solin. (0:46:06)

•   A review of the book, The Five Most Important Questions and why we recommend it. (0:47:47)

•   How the questions from the book relate to household decision-making. (0:51:18)

•   A testament to Dan Wheeler and his contribution to the field of finance. (0:52:55)

•   Recent interviews with Ben, upcoming guests, other interesting financial content, and our book recommendations. (0:56:33)

•   A 23 in 23 book challenge update, feedback on the show, and upcoming meetups. (01:01:35)




Participate in our 23 in 23 Reading Challenge:

23 in 23 Reading Challenge —

23 in 23 Reading Challenge on Beanstalk —


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Links From Today’s Episode:

Rational Reminder on iTunes —

Rational Reminder Website —

Shop Merch —

Join the Community —

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Benjamin on Twitter —

Cameron on Twitter —


Extra References:

The role of debt

'Life Cycle, Individual Thrift, and the Wealth of Nations' —

'Diversification Across Time' —

'Debt literacy, financial experiences, and over indebtedness' —

'Restoring Rational Choice: The Challenge of Consumer Financial Regulation' —

'Attitudes towards Debt and Debt Behavior' —

'Expenditure Cascades' —

'Consumer debt and satisfaction in life' —

'Good credit, bad credit: The differential role of the sources of debt in life satisfaction' —

'Debt and Overindebtedness: Psychological Evidence and its Policy Implications' —

'Winning the Battle but Losing the War: The Psychology of Debt Management' —

'Reducing debt improves psychological functioning and changes decision-making in the poor' —


Credit cards

'The Effect of Payment Transparency on Consumption: Quasi-Experiments from the Field' —

'Always Leave Home Without It: A Further Investigation of the Credit-Card Effect on Willingness to Pay' —

'Present-Biased Preferences and Credit Card Borrowing' —

'How Credit Card Payments Increase Unhealthy Food Purchases: Visceral Regulation of Vices' —

'Distributional Effects of Payment Card Pricing and Merchant Cost Pass-through in the United States and Canada' —

'Popular Personal Financial Advice versus the Professors' —

'Buy Now, Pay Later Credit: User Characteristics and Effects on Spending Patterns' —



'Report of the Household Finance Committee' —

'Household Risk Management and Optimal Mortgage Choice' —

'Failure to refinance' —

'A Model of Mortgage Default' —