Tears, tantrums and a runaway groom are among the highlights of this special hour long episode. Host Gail Vaz-Oxlade works with three young couples, all in love, engaged to be married - and deep in debt. Dreaming of $50,000 weddings while living paycheque to paycheque, these couples are given a serious reality check in Gail's Court of Love. Catherine and Scott have the least amount of debt, but their bickering over bucks is a symptom of their deep communication problems and Scott is reluctant to walk down the aisle until those issues can be resolved. George and Shantelle are trapped in the buy now, pay later cycle, with thousands of dollars in payments coming due and a high interest loan for the engagement ring to pay off. Duane and Aisha owe $80,000 and have just bought a new home - will they even be able to move into it? With $15,000 up for grabs, these couples complete some of the biggest challenges ever in their quest to become financially solvent before their wedding day.
Bill and Tasia are sinking deeper into debt every month and they just can't figure out why. They agreed that Tasia would stay at home with their two small children. So the couple is living on Bill's part-time income while he tries to get his own business off the ground. To friends and family, they appear to be a couple perfectly in control. But Bill's health and their relationship are crumbling under the stress.
Rob is a family doctor who believes he deserves the finer things in life. His wife Yvonne is spinning with frustration because he refuses to stop the bleed or take responsibility for his spending. With hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal debt, five sons, university fees on the horizon and the tax man breathing down Rob’s neck, their happy home has become a battleground.
Wendy and Dan have been married less than a year and have a 6 month-old daughter. They also have significant debt, loans from family that have ruined relationships, and a baby who needs special formula that costs $200 a week. Dan is working all the time to make ends meet, and Wendy, a dance instructor, is contributing a little cash by teaching. But their tiny income, disgruntled creditors and their inability to meet their bills could be the curtain call on their relationship.
Mark brings in more than $100 thousand dollars a year. His wife Nicola, a teaching assistant, earns one quarter of that. She has Mark on an allowance of $100 a week for his gas and spending money and Mark is fed up. They also have 3 kids who play sports 5 nights each week, forcing them to eat fast food on the run. With absolutely no savings, if Mark loses his job this family of five would be living on less than they pay for sports every month. Can this couple make the sacrifices needed to make the save?
Roxanne is frustrated that her boyfriend Shawn is addicted to the buy now, pay later purchase plans. And even though they make good money, they have debt, no savings and Shawn is in the market for a big screen TV. They’re keen to take the next step with the ultimate buy now, pay later life choice…having a baby. But can they afford it?
Krystal and Chris both grew up poor and say they've never learned how to handle their money. Gail wholeheartedly agrees. These two love to spend cash on tanning salons, hair care and entertainment, and rack up $60 bills at convenience stores on cigarettes and candy. They're financing their lifestyle with credit card advances and payday loans, leaving them thousands of dollars in debt and bewildered about where to begin to fix things. Looking over their litany of bad habits, Gail is wondering the same thing.
Rick and Jennifer are constantly battling about money. Between them they make 90 thousand dollar a year. But Jennifer's impulsive spending and "consumeritis" have already led to two bankruptcies and they fear a third. Jennifer has trouble saying no to her teenage daughter and even keeps a separate bank account so Rick can't monitor her buying. Rick's sister, an accountant, has tried to put them on track. Can Gail succeed where family has failed?
Brian and Theresa are both irresponsible with money. They eat out at least five times a week, have $3,500 in unpaid parking tickets, a $2500 unpaid cell phone bill and take their daughter on weekend trips on a regular basis. Brian is putting his business expenses through their home income, and Theresa never knows how much money will be coming in. They agree that their relationship is crumbling. Can this couple salvage their finances and marriage for the sake of their 3 year-old daughter?
Bev and John are a fun couple who love to dance. But the vicious cycle of high interest payday loan advances and thousands of dollars in debt to family and friends have them dancing around disaster every time a bill arrives. This couple took some bad financial advice a few years ago, which began their spiral into the red and their disorganization has kept them there...to the point that they fear losing their home. Can Gail get them back in the black and on the way to financial freedom?
Nell and Darrell have $60 thousand dollars in personal debt, which is no laughing matter. But Darrell refuses to let this stress him out and constantly jokes about their situation to avoid reality. That leaves Nell suffering through sleepless nights alone. And it’s starting to take its toll on their 9 year-old daughter who has offered up her piggybank to help in tough times. When the numbers are crunched, is bankruptcy the only option for this couple?
Rosyln and Kevin are a couple on the edge. Roslyn has a hard time denying their precious 2 year- old daughter ANYTHING, and recently spent $1500 on her birthday party. They have 10 credit cards, thousands of dollars in debt, hide purchases from each other and have family living with them who don't pay rent. Rosyln and Kevin have filed for divorce in the past, but reconciled a week before it was finalized. The process cost them $3000 in legal fees. Can Gail turn this couple around for a storybook ending?
They’ve been married 12 years and have had two children. But Rebecca and Mike still haven’t made the time to sit down and discuss their finances…ever! Their communication is limited to fights triggered by creditor calls or ‘forgotten’ bills. This couple is completely disorganized with their finances. They’ve just taken out a third consolidation loan, and are still shopping an average of three times a day! Can Gail help this couple lay the brickwork for a solid financial future?
Fiona and Alister make good money…almost $100 thousand dollars a year. But a hundred grand is also the amount of debt they’re carrying thanks to the money pit - the home they’ve been renovating for the past 6 years, and emotional overspending on instant gratification. In one month alone, Fiona spent $800 on lingerie over the internet and Alister is still paying for a dirt bike he no longer even owns. Now, they’ve found out they’re pregnant…
When Elizabeth lost her job, this family of five felt the crunch. But Elizabeth didn't stop spending, so Wojtek began juggling their growing debt between 16 credit cards with low introductory rates. Now, the cards are about to jump to full interest and these two are preparing for the worst.
Tom and Lisa have creditors lining up at the door. But as a supply teacher, Lisa hasn't made the effort to work more than a day or two per week. Tom has a good job, but ends up throwing out bills because he says they just can't pay them. Will these two grow up, face up to their debt and take charge of their future?
Gerry is a financial analyst but the books at home just don't balance. This is a second marriage for both Kelley and Gerry and they're both trying hard to avoid control issues they faced in past relationships. But, with three kids and seven years of uncontrolled spending under their belts, they're sinking fast.
Show cars are at the center of Gail and Tony's social lives.
Alina's privileged upbringing hasn't prepared her to stand on her own two feet. Dan is a man who loves to play and likes a good deal. He has a $250/month gym membership he's never used. Their parents seem determined to step into this couple's struggle, but it's time for them to go it alone. Can Gail show them how?
Corrina and Jay have had a $1,500 pay advance loan for the past four years, racking up thousands of dollars in interest. It's a cycle they just haven't been able to break. Jay has resigned himself to living in constant debt, but Corrina is losing sleep. Can Gail pull them out and show them a different way?
Lori and Greg have had two babies very close together. When their first child was born, they weren't prepared for the hit Lori's maternity leave would have on their income. Now Baby #2 has left them financially breathless. Greg can't understand why they're in debt and blames Lori. With a newborn and toddler at home, a fresh start is critical. That's where Gail comes in...
Ronald and Vivian were on the verge of calling it quits. Vivian's gambling at the casino and Ronald's frequent fleeing to a hotel was driving them into crushing debt. With four children at home, this house of cards was on the verge of collapsing. Then, just days before Gail arrives to help, they get the notice of foreclosure on their house. Can this family be saved?
A young family's money leaves as soon as it comes in.
Nicole and Russell are new parents who are trapped in a quagmire of spiraling credit card debt. Russell's $40K income at a big box store barely covers rent and the credit card minimums. As a small business owner, Nicole can't even venture a guess how much she makes a year. They hope that Gail will be able to help them figure out how to create a viable business that allows Russell to join Nicole in the design business full time. Her business is at stake - and so is their relationship.
Kristy and Dean are newly-weds with two kids who are completely stressed about their cash-strapped situation. They're sinking fast - as soon as their pay comes in, it goes straight out again. This young couple is down-trodden and exhausted. They need Gail to give them a road-map to help get them out of this mess.
Newlyweds Natalie and Matt have accumulated $25,000 in consumer debt, and they haven't even celebrated their first anniversary. Natalie's so stressed out, she's taken a leave of absence from work. Meanwhile, Matt's an overgrown teenager who spends more time playing sports and drinking beer with buddies than he does working. Gail needs to show these two how to grow up.
Michael and Laural don't see eye-to-eye on anything - except they both agree they're very deep in debt. Laural blames Michael's huge student loan, but ignores the impact of her shopping addiction. Gail is going to teach them to stop pointing fingers at each other and start building a better life for their son.
A couple cannot afford the condo they bought.
Sharon and Dennis are two young adults on their own for the first time with bigger financial dreams than their reality.
Jared and Christina have a traditional marriage, and Jared's in charge of the money. But he's dug the family into a hole and now he needs his wife's help to get out of it. Gail tells it to them straight - Christina's been a mushroom princess, living in the dark and feeding of the crap Jared tells her. It's time for Christina to take the reigns, if Jared can let go.
A hardworking couple cannot manage to reduce their outstanding debt.
A married couple contend with rising debt and looming home repairs.
Headstrong grandparents stand to lose their retirement savings.
Gail suggests changes for a newlywed couple struggling with debt and a new mortgage.
A married couple avoid discussing money matters.
A married couple are overwhelmed by three years of rapidly increasing expenses.
A 35-year-old single mother acts like a spoiled teen in matters of money.
High-school sweethearts struggle with marriage and money management.
Mounting debts and unpaid taxes shake up a couple's marriage.
Family finances dwindle as a stay-at-home mother shops and spends.
Andrea and Terry are raising three kids in a house packed full of stuff. Because Andrea would rather buy fun stuff than pay the bills, they're in danger of losing their home.
New parents Brandon and Tamara moved in with his parents to save money and pay off bills. But living rent-free in a cushy suburban house complete with a pool hasn't given them much motivation to become financially independent.
Simone is a champion shopper who manages to make 53 shopping trips in a single month. Even though she's on maternity leave, a luxury car is next on her list.
Before boyfriend Curtis came into the picture, Andrea already had a long term relationship – with her horse "Stink." Now that she and Curtis are living together, the amount of time and money that goes to maintaining her horse is a huge issue.
Michelle and Ken got engaged and wanted an island wedding. They realize they need to save for their wedding when Gail arrives on their doorstep.
Evan and Jay moved back in with their parents after Evan lost his job. Instead of getting back on their feet financially, they've created a "man cave" in the basement and are furnishing it with expensive electronic toys.
Between them, Paula and Jermaine earn over $100,000 a year. While their toddler son is babysat, Paula and Jermaine fill the hole left by his absence with shopping.
Mike and Maud are a happy, go-lucky couple whose laughter covers up their increasing financial problems. Televisions, appliances and pets crowd their home while the bills pile up.
Motorcycle mama Laura and her new husband Craig have been on a spending spree for the past year. New bikes, barbecues and hot tubs have been put on credit. Now the bills are in and it's an ugly $90,000.
Rob thinks that Sharon's volunteer dog rescue operation only costs them about $100 a month. The real numbers are just two of the secrets this couple keeps when it comes to finances.
Stephanie and Malcolm spend over $1000 a month on their dogs.
Newly-weds Tim and Tonya haven't been able to enjoy their first year of marriage because they're so worried about their massive consumer debt.
Mick works in film which means he's either working all the time and making money, or he's not working. Bonnie knows they have to make changes but Mick needs to be on board.
Michelle and Zack have only been married for three months and they've already reached a crisis point when it comes to their finances. Zack's decision to become a full time student has left Michelle holding the bag when it comes to their debt.
High school sweethearts Trish and Tony have three children – and a pile of debt. Tony's parents bailed them out once before, but only two years later, their debt is bigger than ever.
Single mom Favel thought she'd found her knight in shining armour when she met new husband Twain. Twain hates debt as much as Favel does and together, they plan to buy a house for them and their three children. Before they can get there, they need to start cleaning up the mistakes in their pasts.
Jacqueline and Grant are both huge fans of the band Queen. That's where their similarities end. To get their finances in tune, Gail has to slash their spending and step up the debt repayments.
Beth and Steve are struggling with a modern reality. Beth out-earns Steve and it makes them both uncomfortable. They're so busy keep track of who owes what that their relationship is suffering.
Almost 30 years old, divorced dad Innis has spent the last year dodging creditors and crashing on his mother's couch. Gail is just the gal to give Innis the push he needs.
Only 21 years old, Kristine wants the best of the best. Adam spends right along with her and between them, they've racked up $20,000 of debt in only a year. Gail needs to bring them both back down to reality.
Allison is a smart girl, studying for her PhD and wondering how she’s ended up in such a stupid situation. Her husband, Chris, had a secret gambling addiction that’s landed them both in debt.
Marissa loves to spoil her mother, her brother and her mother in law with lavish dinners out and trips to the spa. David is beginning to see that all these treats are taking a huge toll on their finances.
Steve admits that money problems played a part in the breakup of his first marriage. But that hasn't stopped him from racking up almost $70,000 in debt with his fiancé Bobbi Jo.
After a long distance romance, Shauna left her home in St. Louis to move in with Nick. They spend more time fighting about their mounting debt than they do enjoying their beautiful home. Gail has to get these two playing on the same team.
Rainer didn't change a thing after his parents bailed him out of $30,000 of credit card debt. Only a year later he and fiancé Faith owe even more. Gail has to show these two that denial isn't the only route to a debt-free life.
Newlyweds Robyn and Paul are freaked out by their mounting debt. What’s worse is that they haven’t had any fun since buying their home. Gail has a plan to get them back in the black in only one year.
Musicians Valerey and Alex make more than just music together – they've also orchestrated a financial disaster. Unemployed, Valerey recently declared bankruptcy but she's going back to school leaving Alex with all the bills.
Mike and Sheila met in a rehab facility and triumphed over their addictions together. But to make up for lost time, they bought everything they've ever wanted. Their dreams for the future are totally out of touch with their finances.
Amy and Paul are learning about home ownership the expensive way. Surprises during renovations forced them into a line of credit – and there's still much work to be done. Now they want to add a puppy to the household but haven't yet figured out if they can even afford it. It's time to get their priorities straight if they ever want to sleep peacefully.
Ted is a paramedic, Melissa a cop. Working opposite shifts in high-stress jobs, and caring for two young kids, has left them with no energy to track their money. So they spend, spend, spend. Their healthy joint income is more than enough to comfortably support the family, so Gail's first question is: "Where's the money going?"
Owning a house is just a dream for family-minded Jill and Orson. Stuck with their children in a cramped apartment, they live a life where overdraft protection is not a safeguard but a necessity. Jill's financial management is misguided while Orson stays willfully ignorant. Can Gail free them and turn their hopes and dreams into ways and means?
Commercial pilot Ed and chic fiancée Brandi live with their heads in the clouds. But a globe-trotting lifestyle of fine wines and the latest fashions has left them with financial jet lag. With marriage fast approaching, they'll need to change course or prepare for a turbulent ride.
Gord has always been happy to let his fiancée Angela take the lead while he plays the clown. Now these expectant parents are up to their eyeballs in debt and Angela is counting on family support to rescue her once again. Can Gail help this couple?
After 18 years together, Paula and David's relationship is at the breaking point, and it's all due to finances. Paula feels exhausted by the stress of trying to manage their money on her own, and David's in debt denial. Once Gail gives David a wake up call, this couple makes money the focus of their vows when they decide to finally take a walk down the aisle.
Newlyweds Karissa and Karl have everything – a new home, two vehicles and a new baby. Because they make their minimum payments on time every month, they're perfect credit clients and they have the massive credit limits to prove it. Will Gail be able to help this couple find the balance between their income and their debt?
Andy and Evelyn's impulsive decision making has led them from one end of the country to the other. Along the way, they've had to sell their dream house and still ended up with a whack of debt. Gail tries to balance the scales by putting Evelyn in charge of the family's finances.
Dina and Bill have turned to their mortgage to cover up some of their money mistakes. They even used their home equity to finance their car purchase. Now they're going to spend the next 25 years paying for a vehicle that will likely only last a fraction of that time. Gail gets the kids involved in her family-focused challenges.
Ivy and Carson haven't stopped to add up the cost of their family-focused lifestyle. Having a stay at home mom and buying organic are important to them, but are they spending too much time thinking about the wrong kind of green? Gail faces an uphill battle trying to get these two to change their ways – no ifs, ands or buts.
Despite a healthy family income, Lucy and Dave have never been debt free. Lucy manages all of the family's finances and she spends it as fast as it comes in. To get this couple back in the black, Gail has to open up the lines of communication.
Perpetual student Chris lives in his parents' basement with his pregnant wife and has crushing education loans.
Karla has been trying to help her fiancé Greg curb his spending and eliminate his debt.
Melanie and Kevin's relationship is suffering because of their silly spending and unstable incomes.
Leanne's spending secrets has been hurting her financially and also her relationship with her husband.
Sisters Maggie and Janice are trapped and frustrated and need to break their habits.
Alexandria and Andrew's relationship is cracking under the strain of their mounting debt.
Michelle and Stephen need to stop living a financial fantasy.
Sherry and David are deep in debt with maxed out credit cards and a down payment on a house due.
Gail teaches Jodi and Adrien that budgeting is easy as baking a loaf of bread.
Dionne and Shannon need to confront their bad spending habits and make some tough decisions.
Gail tries to keep Caroline and Jason together after she repossesses everything they purchased on credit.
Even with Sean's three jobs and Amanda's bookkeeping skills, these DJ's are deep in debt.
Melanie worries that her relationship will end because of the couples' financial affairs.
Julia is sick and tired of being married to a man-teen and the bitterness simmers.
A family who owe $31,000 are helped.
A couple with a 10-month-old baby need help erasing $31,000 of debt.
An overspending couple are counseled about their overindulgent lifestyle.
A couple who are $80,000 in debt get help.
A couple who owe $90,000 get counseling.
A couple with six children are counseled about their $57,000 in debt.
A couple who owe $28,000 are counseled.
A couple struggling with four children and $61,000 in debt are helped.
A couple who owe $26,000 are helped.
Dawn and Kelly, a massage therapist/acupuncturist and a farmhand respectively, recently bought a $500,000 house - their supposed dream home in the country as Kelly in particular is a country boy at heart - with a $100,000 down payment, some of which they had to borrow. They decided to build Dawn an office in the house so that she could work from home. However, because of the rural location, her income has dropped by about half from its previous $90,000 per annum when she was working in the city, leaving their combined income now at $86,000. In addition to Dawn buying new stuff for the house which they could already not afford, the house ended up being a fixer upper, which they did not anticipate. The maintenance and operating costs of the house are eating up their money, placing them in a catch-22 situation as they don't have the money to make the necessary house upgrades to save on those operating costs. Dawn handles all the household finances, Kelly not totally aware of how bad the situation is, it being so bad that unless things change, they could lose the house. Beyond the nuts and bolts of the financial plan, Gail has to get Dawn and Kelly to look at the house from a more critical standpoint, namely to get their brains out from their hearts, and what the costs and benefits are of that house compared to alternate housing.
Thirty year old Adam, who has an annual income of $35,000, four years ago "inherited" a house from his mother, and along with it a $300,000 mortgage. He went into the situation with his eyes wide shut. Twenty-five year old Tara, who has an annual income of $38,000, felt that one of the attractive aspects of Adam was that he did own a house at his age. When she moved in with him, they decided to share the debt of the house, which is currently $1,800 per month for the mortgage. Tara also changed the "face" of the household, cleaning and tidying, which included spending to do so. She was not aware when she bought into the dream that Adam was in arrears on both the mortgage and property tax. They are on the verge of breaking up because of the house, which they would both lose if they split since there is no way one of them could afford it alone. On top of these costs, they each are spending more than they can afford on lifestyle choices, such as on adult toys, luxuries and entertainment
Late twenty-somethings Shelly and Luke, who have a combined income of $120,000 annually, are addicted to buying rental income properties. They currently own three properties, including their own house with a rental unit, with a combined mortgage of $870,000. They are trying to juggle not only the money in their lives, but their time, both who need to do maintenance, renovations and other business on the rentals in addition to their respective full time jobs and taking care of their infant daughter, McKenna. Although they also work on their own house, it is generally on the bottom of their priority list as they work on the dream of wealth at an early age, which doesn't seem to be coming as easily as they thought. They have no clue what their expenses are or how much income they are generating from those properties. In reality, they are on the edge as one unforeseen major expense or loss of their employment income or longtime loss of rental income would bankrupt them since they are
Early-thirtysomething married couple Leona and Mohamad are relatively well off, earning a combined income of $150,000 annually. They generally like material possessions that have character, which in a house means older. They purchased their dream home, which required some maintenance work to bring it up to a standard where they could be insured, some of that work which has not yet been done. Instead, they did some cosmetic renovations, bought some expensive items to furnish the house, and took an $8,500 vacation to the Middle East and southeast Asia, when and where they bought some expensive Persian rugs and silk curtains. Everything was paid on credit. Mohamad handles all the household finances, he shielding their money situation from more emotional Leona, who does however know they have a money problem. They know that selling the house is a solution but one they don't want to do. Mohamad has started to pay off their debt, but he still supports their spending to live their dream life
Married for six years with three children, Susie and Alan bought a detached house three months ago so that all the children could have their own bedroom, upgrading from the three bedroom condo in which they were previously living. They have spent money on some new cosmetic items for the house, such as appliances and television sets. They were determined to buy the house that they did, despite the home inspection identifying some deficiencies which they have done nothing about yet, hoping those problems would magically go away, especially as they don't possess the DIY skills to fix any of the problems themselves and as they don't have the money to pay for big jobs. One of those problems has become more of an issue, they dealing with the symptom of the leak rather than deal with the leak's root cause or the consequences of the leak. They were unprepared for the additional costs of detached home ownership compared to their condo, and have not set aside any moneys for those additional
Married couple Karyn and Mark bought a $230,000 fixer upper four years ago to turn into their dream home. Mark, earning about $65,000 a year as a machinist, works seven days a week to provide for the family, and does not have the energy to do any of the renovations when he comes home, despite Karyn's want for him to do so. The renovation work thus far has been piecemeal, resulting in very few quality completed living spaces in the house. Beyond the shopping for the interior decoration parts of the renovations, Karyn does not herself do any of the work since it is in her mind a "boy's" job. Karyn, the stay at home mom, has a side catering business. One of the few fully completed spaces in the house is a catering kitchen in the basement, which cost them $40,000. Karyn, however, has only made a few hundred dollars on the business so far. Karyn, who handles all the household finances, is constantly smiling to hide the problems. Although Mark is aware of their financial difficulties, Karyn
Shannon and Pete, who earn a combined income of $78,000 annually, have been together for three years. Before getting together, Shannon already owned a house, where they now live and to which Pete is now an equal contributor. The problem is is that both are financially irresponsible, individually and as a couple. Although they knew they dealt with money poorly, their financial mismanagement became a problem when they tried to renew the mortgage. Shannon belonged to a buyers club which was only worthwhile if spending was in the thousands per year. Because of all the stress, Shannon quit her job, despite knowing the reduced income would make their financial problems even worse. Pete, on the other hand, had previous debt, his creditors now affecting his current financial viability. They include a student loan, thousands in unpaid parking tickets, and twelve years of non-filed income taxes (for which the government has begun to garnish a percentage of his wages). He had just avoided all
Twenty-somethings Lisa and Sean have a young family of three sons, six year old Liam, the eldest, who is her biological offspring but not his. As such, Lisa spoils Liam to make sure he feels more a part of the entire family, and to compensate for what Lisa and Sean see as his difficult life with Lisa and Liam's dad splitting when Liam was young. Lisa also sees herself more a mother than anything, wanting at least one more child, preferably a girl. Lisa and Sean have a combined income of $73,000, which takes a major hit every time Lisa goes on maternity leave, which in the last few years has been more often than not. Lisa also feels somewhat isolated as she moved away from family and friends to be with Sean. Although they say they focus their spending on the children, they focus on short term impulses, which has resulted in a houseful of toys, rather than longer term needs or wants. They also have conflicts over individual spending by each on their own wants, which in combination has
Courtney and Chad were $30,000 in debt before they started their family, but found that having twin daughters, now fourteen months old, an additional burden over just having one child as they had to buy two of everything for the girls, which resulted in $20,000 in spending the first year. Their $120,000 annual joint income was also reduced when Courtney was on maternity leave, they making the decision to hire a live-in nanny as Courtney went back to work. Although they in general do not live lavishly beyond indulging in clothes for the children, they rely on their line of credit to finance whatever their spending. Beyond Chad's nicotine habit however, Gail points out that they do indulge on more "stuff" than they realized. The easiest thing that they can do financially is manage their cash flow better simply by requesting a lower tax deduction from work as they know they have a tax deduction for child care. Gail has to make them focus their spending on debt repayment to get themselves
Together for ten years, thirty-somethings Celine and Ron still have the same mentality when they first met, spending money solely to have fun. This spending includes always eating out, and frequently vacationing, at resorts only four star or higher. They have not incurred much debt as their respective families have often paid for their needs, but neither have they made any effort to pay off whatever debt they have. Celine is now seven months pregnant with their first child. The pregnancy was unplanned, they have done nothing yet for the baby including not finding a place bigger than their current one bedroom apartment to house the baby, and they have no idea how much a baby costs or on what their money for the baby should be spent. Gail not only has to get them to prioritize their lives so that baby comes first, which first and foremost entails giving them life skills such as knowing how to cook, she has to give them the tools to learn how to budget for their lives plus baby in the
With a combined income of $74,000 annually, Darlene and Scott, in a common law marriage, live with their three children, the eldest two, Abigail and Nathan, who are biologically hers from a previous relationship, and the infant, Braiden, who is theirs together. Darlene's $18,000 per annum income is from a home daycare business, on which she spends more than she takes in. She also uses any excuse to buy Braiden whatever she feels he wants. Scott seems to resent not only the uncontrolled spending, which he feels he has no say about since she will buy things anyway when he's not around, but that Darlene doesn't drive, meaning that he has to put his life on hold to drive her where ever she wants, including on her shopping trips. She has also told her two oldest to lie to Scott about anything she spends behind his back. Darlene believes she is spending only the money she is bringing in, but Gail has to show her that she is spending far more than she is personally bringing in, which is
At age thirty-eight, single Melanie has become a mom for the first time, through artificial insemination. She has decided to take one year maternity leave, which cuts her annual income from $80,000 to $20,000. She planned the pregnancy, but has done no planning otherwise, even since baby Jude's arrival three months ago. She has pretty much kept to her pre-baby lifestyle, which includes spending on her own wants, such as maintaining a motorcycle, having recently purchased a cute but expensive small car, vacationing, and eating out all the time, these on top of her buying whatever she wants for baby Jude. Her reduced income is insufficient to pay her monthly mortgage and car payments, let alone anything else. Through Gail's visit, Melanie's dad, Bob, and Melanie's friend, Christi, will be her support, although Christi admits she has been enabling Melanie's bad habits by being her dining partner. Gail has to get Melanie to make a long term plan, including: budgeting money for debt
Richard, a paramedic, and Jaci, a high school teacher, are parents of five month old McLean, who they conceived by going to a fertility clinic. Jaci is now off on maternity leave, and after that has concluded and she goes back to work, Richard will take paternity leave as it is important for them for one or the other to stay at home during McLean's formative years. They as parents are finding that McLean is costing more than they expected, and that they should have paid off their small debts, such as the fertility treatments, when they were able. Richard admits that he is an impulse shopper for himself and for the family, but they are both guilty of dreaming big, wanting to have it all, while one or the other stays at home, resulting in a far reduced income not capable of affording those dreams, which includes more children. Worrying about money has caused Jaci anxiety, and has caused problems within their marriage. Gail not only has to get them to curb their spending and stop using
Tracey and Dan were determined to have a baby, which they are unable to do by natural means. Seven month old Senta is the result. But in having Senta, they racked up $80,000 in in vitro fertilization treatments (which failed), and another $65,000 for surrogacy, neither of which were guarantees of having that baby. During the process, Dan lost one of his three jobs, reducing their household income, and they incurred some "rainy day" costs in their lives. In addition, Tracey and Dan see their next big ticket item as trying to have another baby, which requires that IVF or surrogacy once again. Their biggest fear is not having a sibling for Senta. Although they do not in general live lavishly, they are financing a vacation property in addition to their primary residence, combined which account for over half their monthly spending, resulting in them neglecting their other debt. Beyond making them look at their overall finances, Gail has to show them that they can't have their cake and eat