Podcast - October 17, 2023

Episode 86: Is FOMO Killing Your (financial) Mojo? | Avoid the Traps, Retire Better

In this episode of our financial services podcast, we delve into the art of adapting your budget to the ever-changing economic landscape without compromising your long-term financial objectives. We explore practical strategies, from overcoming the fear of missing out (FOMO) to discovering cost-free means of entertainment and embracing home-cooked meals. However, our central focus remains on the power of keeping your sights firmly fixed on your future financial goals, ensuring that you don’t feel deprived in the present. Tune in for actionable insights to navigate the economic climate with savvy financial planning and achieve lasting financial security.

Episode Transcript

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Announcer (00:00):

You are about to get lucky with the Bare Naked Money Podcast, the show that gives you the naked truth about personal finance with your hosts, Josh Sheluk and Colin White Portfolio Managers with Verecan Capital Management Inc.

Colin White (00:14):

Alright everybody, welcome to the next edition of Bare Naked Money. Colin, Josh coming at you and we’re kind of doing a follow-up podcast because there is one dominant topic. Well, there’s a couple of dominant topics. There’s one we’re going to choose to focus on right now. Is my mortgage just renewed? Oh my God, what do I do? So we covered off in broad strokes last time, but we’re going to stop and dig down a little bit and the least popular way to deal with this because that’s our style. We picked the least popular thing and we talk about it and hope to gain a following and we’ll let you know how that works out for us. But we’re going to talk about spending less money. But Josh, you as always did some great math to set the stage for the magnitude of the change that somebody might be facing right now.

Josh Sheluk (01:05):

Yeah, as I do, when I start to hear about, okay, this is something that is significant, I try to figure out, well, how significant is it actually? Give me some dollars and cents, give me some real data. So I did do a quick calculation here, and this is not going to be representative of your financial situation necessarily as a listener, but hopefully it gives you some point of reference that you can then apply to your financial situation. So I just looked at, okay, we have a 25 year mortgage, 25 year amortization, five year fixed rate

Colin White (01:43):

For a

Josh Sheluk (01:44):

$500,000 mortgage. What does that look like a few years ago versus today in terms of an interest rate? So if you were at a 2% interest rate on this 25 year, five year term fixed rate mortgage for 500,000, you’re looking at a monthly payment of about $2,100. If you’re at a 5% interest rate on that same mortgage, 500 k, 25 year amortization, you’re looking at about $2,900 per month. So

Announcer (02:17):


Josh Sheluk (02:18):

An $800 a month increase and that’s nearly $10,000 per year in extra expenses. So when I started looking at the yearly numbers, I started thinking,

Announcer (02:29):


Josh Sheluk (02:31):

Some people are in over their heads. There is no doubt because I know a lot of people do not have $10,000 a slap in their financial situation.

Colin White (02:42):

Let’s just make it that’s $10,000 after tax.

Josh Sheluk (02:46):

Yeah, that’s right.

Colin White (02:47):

So it’s even a more bigly problem.

Josh Sheluk (02:51):

You got it? Yeah. So you better be getting a second job and that second job better be paying pretty well.

Colin White (02:57):

Okay? So we are faced with having to potentially rejig maneuver our financial situation to deal with this new input. Now it’s very easy to play the victim and evil interest rates and everything else, but the end of the day math doesn’t sleep. Math is just going to keep on math and that’s what math does. And if you’re going to take $10,000 after tax out of the family budget, there’s going to have to be some give and take. And I’ll spoiler alert, rejigging, your cell phone plans probably not going to get you there. There’s probably some bigger change that needs to be made and for those who want to go look it up, there’s a fantastic sketch that was done on Saturday Night Live. Steve Martin did it a number of years ago, a lot of years ago actually, that basically would wipe out the entire financial industry if everybody listened to it. And it was a financial self-help book was based on if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Really? How does that work? Well, it’s all here on the first page. The book’s only one page long. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. So there’s a whole skit that revolves around that and that would wipe out 90% of the financial industry if people actually paid attention to it. Great news, it’s not going to happen. People aren’t going to pay attention to it.

Josh Sheluk (04:15):

Well, it’s not so much paying attention, it’s actually following through. Paying attention is half the battle, falling through is the other half. And since you’re talking about comedy and sketches, it reminds me of one that Seinfeld did where he talked about night guy versus morning guy and he said, when I’m night guy, I just like having fun. I just like eating whatever I want. I like staying up late and I don’t give a care about morning guy. And then morning guy comes around and he curses night guy because he’s going to get up early. So this is the dilemma. The conflict that people have is right now you’re spending your night guy, you don’t care about morning guy and we’re asking you to be morning guy, but it’s a really hard connection to make.

Colin White (05:00):

So does Seinfeld just rip off Tolstoy, the duality of man or something? Is this some deep philosophical thing that he ripped off and brought it forward for us to be able to consume today? That sounds like a really, really, really deep thing.

Josh Sheluk (05:13):

Well, you’d have to ask Seinfeld. I have no idea where you got it from,

Colin White (05:18):

But you raised an interesting point. So as everybody is doing now with their job or whatever they’re doing, Josh and I both went to chat G P T and asked for some fodder for this conversation and it spit out a nice round 15 item list for me. I’m not sure how many it kicked out for you, Josh, but I

Josh Sheluk (05:38):

Jumping, I got 20, so my question must’ve been better.

Colin White (05:43):

We’ll find out. We’ll judge by the answers that it gave. So again, this is my favorite one and it’s an expression I’ve used for years with clients justifying spending money by need. I need this. That seems to trump all rational thought and I’ve discovered something on my ears on the planet, my trips around the sun that if you’ve got money in your pocket, something you want, it becomes something you need. It’s a very short walk between something you want and something you need. But again, how you convince yourself you need it is completely a subjective thing. And as I pointed out earlier, I’m going to say at least 50 times during this podcast, math don’t care. Math don’t sleep math is just going to math and if you spend money on something you need, there is going to be a knock on effect because that money’s not going to be there to buy other things you need. And when you run out of money, you’re going to have to run out of needs.

Josh Sheluk (06:43):

Okay, so follow up question. How do I truly identify, how do I prove to myself that I truly need something and it’s not just something that I’ve walked over from the need, from the want pile to the need pile.

Colin White (06:57):

Here we go. And now you’re asking me to be Dr. Phil or Oprah Winfrey and have a changing moment. And listen, I should have prefaced this whole thing, but this is something specifically that I professionally will not talk to any client about one-on-one because it is not for me to get into that internal dialogue in your head about you deciding what you need and what you want. That’s a really super personal thing, but I will challenge everybody to go back and take a hard look at it and just ask yourself the question, do I really need, if I didn’t have this, if I didn’t has it, what would happen? Would I feel bad about myself or would I die? If the answer is, if I don’t have this, I literally will die. Okay, then you probably need it. Anything short of needing something and not dying, if you don’t have it, you probably don’t need it. It’s probably a nice to have.

Josh Sheluk (07:52):


Colin White (07:53):

Low bar. That a good enough

Josh Sheluk (07:54):

Answer? Sure. That’s a good starting point. Things that you actually require to live. Okay, we’re there?

Colin White (08:01):

Yeah. Yeah. Look, I need to stay warm. Great. Now that doesn’t mean that you need to keep the thermostat at 72 degrees year round in an 8,000 square foot house with no insulation in it. Yes, there’s a fact you need to stay warm. Do you need to spend money in that way to stay warm? No. There’s different ways to stay warm, buy a nice sweater. So there’s normally always an alternative, either short-term or long-term that you’re probably just don’t, you don’t want to face. So therefore you convince yourself I need this, therefore I must have this.

Josh Sheluk (08:40):

Okay, sure. So where did you go next? What else is on your list?

Colin White (08:44):

Well, this one’s kind of fun because this is another game we play with ourself. Rewarding yourself. I was particularly good this week, therefore I this, I accomplished something. I accomplished a goal. I didn’t do something, I didn’t spend other money, so therefore I need a reward for myself. Again, what do I say? Math, don’t sleep. Math, don’t care. Math is just good at math, so it doesn’t matter if you deserve it doesn’t matter if you’re rewarding yourself, it’s going to tick onto that little counter that’s going to go on your bank account and it’s going to come out. Funny story, a good buddy of mine tells the story because he has been loosely associated with those that are in the gambling world. And I was under a mistaken impression when I traveled to Vegas because I don’t gamble. So I was really a fish out of of water, but I was looking around and you can’t have enough money to be in Vegas.


If you want to spend $250,000 on a watch, there’s a place in the casino that will sell it to you with diamonds and everything. I thought it was for when people locked out and want something really big and give ’em a place to spend their money, but apparently no, people will spend more money when they lose money at the casino because here’s the logic, and this really confused me. If I lose $5,000 gambling and I walk out with nothing, I just lost $5,000. If I lost $5,000 gambling, bought a $5,000 watch, I now have a $10,000 watch. And that’s okay

Josh Sheluk (10:28):

Even than that.

Colin White (10:29):


Josh Sheluk (10:29):

Yeah, yeah. See, but

Colin White (10:32):

That’s how messed up the head is and math continues to math. So again, it’s not always about rewarding. Sometimes it’s making yourself feel better about losing in a really odd way that puts a lot of money in somebody else’s pocket.

Josh Sheluk (10:46):

Yeah, because when you’re explaining that, I was thinking, okay, so what are you rewarding yourself for? Rewarding yourself for losing money at the tables. Yeah, okay.

Colin White (10:56):

Yeah. Well, no, you’re hiding the fact. I guess that would be more of a hiding the fact, losing the money to the table if you get nothing to show for it, that’s a loss. Well, at least I guess something to show for it is kind of logic. So it’s kind of maybe it belongs under a hiding category, maybe I’ve mischaracterized it.

Josh Sheluk (11:12):

Yeah. Okay. So I think we’re going to add, I don’t think this was on either of our lists, but we’ll add to it based on our conversation. Don’t go to Vegas would be one of the recommendations.

Colin White (11:22):

You don’t need to go to Vegas. We’ll go back to that one.

Josh Sheluk (11:25):

Yeah, so one of the themes that came up in the list that I saw was the idea of tracking and doing a little bit more to be aware. I guess awareness is as part of the battle, I think here, what are you spending money on? I think if you ask most people itemize your budget or even just give us a budget, I don’t think, oh, I know, because we do the financial planning side of things, and I know that people most of the time cannot give me a budget when I ask for one to do a financial plan, and I think you’re in the same boat, right?

Colin White (12:03):

Oh, absolutely.

Josh Sheluk (12:04):

Yeah. So part of understanding how you can spend less is understanding how you spend today, and part of that is just tracking and understanding. So simple things like making a shopping list or a grocery list when you go to the store so you don’t end up there and think, oh, well, here’s some things that again, I need I this. Well, maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But also at a higher level, just tracking everything I think would be worthwhile. And there’s some good apps out there for that. Now, one of the ones that seems to be most popular is Mint, the budgeting app. So just tracking will probably help you uncover some ideas and areas where you can cut back and might give you a bit of a slap in the face for, oh, I’m spending how much doing what? That’s kind of crazy.

Colin White (12:58):

Yeah, there’s an old accounting adage, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. And that’s the whole accounting profession’s kind of founded on that. Most people don’t like accountants because they spend emotionally, and again, I’ve challenged you before, Josh, you bring logic to an emotional fight. You need to be really, really, really heavily outgunned to make any kind of progress because emotions tend to rule today, and there’s been lots of studies about even with your grocery lists, because you go to the grocery store and they’re experts, so they’re going to put the packaging on the right level on the shelf, and it’s going to be the right color, and they’re going to give you three choices on size, and it’s going to, the architecture of the decision-making is going to drive you towards the one that’s in their best interest. And you’re fighting with both arms tied behind your back when you’re doing those kinds of things.


Emotionally can be swayed. But for those who are so disposed and somebody saying to them, Hey, look, just write down what you spend, the people who are willing to do that, those people, that’s a great idea. Absolutely wonderful idea. Because there’s also the problem, and I forget there’s a real fancy scientific term for it, but changing something by measuring it, the act of having to write down everything you do is going to change what you do because you don’t want to write, I’m not going to stop for that copy of Starbucks because that’s going to make me look bad and I don’t want to write it down. So you don’t write it down, you make a plan. Then next week you’re not writing shit down, you go back to Starbucks. So that’s also a game that gets played. But no, absolutely, and there’s different ways to do it.


You don’t have to be super dogmatic about it. You don’t need to round it to four decimal points and balance it with your checkbook like some people may do. But if broad categories, and I believe Mint, I’m not sure if mint is there, but some of them actually will just basically simply go through your bank account and categorize things for, so you don’t even have to do the categorization. Now it gets a bit murky if you spend in a clump, that’s a number of different things, but there’s some automation out there for you, and once you’re aware of it, what you choose to do with that knowledge is kind of between you and your God.

Josh Sheluk (15:09):

Yeah. You talk about the world is not really on your side when you’re trying to spend less, unfortunately, and just the grocery store is really simple. What’s the first thing that you see when you walk into every grocery store?

Colin White (15:24):

All the fresh fruit and vegetables.

Josh Sheluk (15:26):

Exactly. Exactly. And there’s a reason for that. It’s just not coincidental that every grocery store on the planet has decided to put the produce first and foremost in your visit. They do that because they know that if you buy some fresh stuff at the start and healthy stuff at the start, you know that by the end when you get to the candy aisle, you’re more likely to pull the candy or the ice cream off the shelf or whatever. It’s that is done by design. So that’s why you need to be aware and be tracking this stuff and go in with a plan, help you fight back against the world, which is not acting in your best interest.

Colin White (16:05):

This was going to be by big finish. My hope is that only the few hundred people that listen to this podcast actually listen to us because we need everybody to overspend in order to keep the economy going. So in order for the economy to keep roaring ahead and markets to keep going and investing to go well, we need most people living beyond their means. Actually, we’re all heavily invested in that paradigm, so we don’t want to disturb it too much. We don’t want to disturb the Gulf Stream current carrying heat from the equator up into the North Atlantic because it would cause a climate shift. If this goes viral, then all of a sudden everybody listens to us and stops overspending. We’re going to go into a recession. And that’s not our intention. Hopefully we’re not that influential, Josh,

Josh Sheluk (16:46):

Can’t we just spend at our means and have a nice consistent, steady economy and not one that overheats or gets into recession and things like that,

Colin White (16:56):

Maybe in your lifetime, son, maybe in your lifetime,

Josh Sheluk (17:00):

Not counting on it. So what, talking about sort of making a list and how the world’s against us when we’re trying to make these decisions, but one of the other things that Chad g b t suggest said for me was limit impulse purchases. Well, that’s awesome. It makes a ton of sense, but how do you do that?

Colin White (17:21):

The definition of an impulse purchase is you don’t have any self-control. So that’s like saying the answer to not having self-control is having self-control. Well, thank you, genius.

Josh Sheluk (17:33):

I feel

Colin White (17:33):

So much better prepared to go into the world.

Josh Sheluk (17:35):

Yeah, so look, that’s the type of thing. It’s tough to combat making a list, checking in it twice, building these types of habits. For me, I’m a habit guy, so anytime I can build habits, and then you’re laughing because I know you’ve seen my habits and it borders on religion, some of my stuff, and that works for me. I’m not going to say that everybody’s going to have that work for ’em, but building habits will help, I think if you’re building them in a positive way.

Colin White (18:09):

Well, no, absolutely. Life is about momentum. And I mean, I take a lot from my years of coaching and playing sports. When I’m coaching a basketball team, when you have momentum, the hoop looks like it’s the size of a bathtub and you’re moving two steps faster than everybody around you. It’s just easy when you, you’re in rhythm and when you don’t have momentum, that’s all you’re trying to do is find it because you can’t do anything, right? Everything takes a lot of effort. Everything takes a lot of work. And the same thing goes for your financial health. When you get in a good pattern, it just happens. It’s not an effort. It doesn’t feel bad because you have a fully formed loop that is sustainable and gratifying and satisfying your needs and all the rest of it. And when you don’t have that, when it’s somehow at a kilter, everything’s an effort because everything’s a decision.


Because the other thing is you cannot go out and do groceries. This is a great example. And if you’re going to buy 50 items, you cannot do not have the time to properly research each of those 50 individual items and make the absolute optimal decision on each of them in the amount of time you have to do groceries, you’re going to take shortcuts. This is one I always buy. This is what I’m comfortable with. And because again, oh wait, look, if I get this other size packaging, it’s going to save me 10 cents per gram. And no, we can’t. Our wines won’t let us spend that much energy on it because frankly, we’d run out of decisions at the end of the day because there’s a limited number of decisions you make in a day. So if you spend it all there, you may not remember where your house is or you may forget to eat or something. So there’s limitations on how much effort we can put into things as well. So that’s why the patterns you’re talking about and routines properly formed can be a really super powerful force when it comes to fiscal decision-making. Get in a good pattern that you can sustain, that satisfies what you’re looking for that is sustainable, that you know that the math works. See, well, there we go. We can end on that. Get in a good pattern. Tap, tap. Next case.

Josh Sheluk (20:10):

Well, somewhat of this pattern thing is just about goal setting as well. That’s how you kind of get into these patterns. And I don’t know if your mortgage has gone up by $800 a month, I don’t know that you’re going to be able to find $800 a month right off the bat. It’s not going to be that easy. So I know most of the time when you’re setting goals, you want to make it progressive. So start by saying, okay, well where can we find $50 a week? Where can we find $150 a week? Where can we find $200 a week? And if you’re sort of progressing on that next thing, you know, do get closer to that goal of saving or spending less, I guess suppose saving enough money that you can cover that extra mortgage cost.

Colin White (20:59):

Yeah, well, that’s Tony Robbins thing, right? So that’s the whole, if you want to make change, if you want to change your decision-making, what you need to do is create a goal for yourself or a state that you want to attain that’s really meaningful. I super, super, super want to go to Europe next year on vacation. Great. How important is it to you? Well, it’s super important, most important thing in my life. Great. Well, walk me through it. Where are you going to go? What do you hope? You turn it into something real and then you use all that energy to come back in the present state and try to change your patterns to be able to get there in the future. So there’s a whole bunch of psychology around goal setting and making it vivid and trying to use it because again, left to our own devices, we’re all going to do what makes us feel good right now. That’s the present state. So there has to be a real meaningful power inside of us to guide us towards chasing something else. But you’re right, when you’re looking at the magnitude of a $10,000 after tax expense in a year, that’s going to cause some hard choices. Like I said, you’re not going to make that up on your cell phone bill, so it’s going to put a lot of stuff on the table. And when you do that, there’s all kinds of things get in the way. Can I go onto my other list?

Josh Sheluk (22:17):

Yeah, let’s do it.

Colin White (22:19):

We’ll concurrently go through three lists. So I pulled up something that wasn’t Chad G P t. I can take credit for finding this on a different website that makes me sound better or not. Does that make me sound better, Josh?

Josh Sheluk (22:31):

Better researched. Okay. Better researched.

Colin White (22:35):

And this is something that absolutely, I think is at the foundation of the actual problem that most people suffer from, and it’s opportunity, cost neglect. It’s our ability to ignore everything else when we’re making a decision like we’re buying a car and we talk ourselves into a more expensive car that’s going to be another 200, $300 a month say, and we lose track of the fact that money’s no longer available to pay for our dream house, which is going to be important later than at later decision making. So we sometimes forget and justify a decision in the moment, not understanding the amount of pressure that’s going to put on the overall system. I’m going to make a decision about my transportation, and you put it in its site and it’s going to be this car. Great. I’m going to spend more on this car because of X, Y, and Z.


It’s going to save this yada yada, yada, and it’s going to make me feel good. And we neglect to in that moment, consider what that’s going to do to our travel plans and our diet and the kids’ activities and the house. We make it kind of in a silo and we neglect to put the proper weight on what the opportunity cost is going to be of that, because it’s very difficult to conceive of the fact of the importance of having a nicer car versus taking that vacation. That’s really important, and this is why I stay out of this field specifically in talking to people, because that’s a truly personal thing. You should consider those two things, and you should be honest with yourself and not lie to yourself. Otherwise, you’re just going to piss yourself off later as to which is more important, because again, math never sleeps. Math keeps math, and so you spend a little bit more on a

Josh Sheluk (24:24):


Colin White (24:26):

That means it’s not there for your vacation. That means it’s not there for your kid’s education. That means it’s not there for all the other important things in your world. There’s an opportunity cost to it.

Josh Sheluk (24:35):

Yeah, it’s basically like a cost benefit analysis is like what extra joy or night out or entertainment am I getting from this thing and what am I losing because of it?

Colin White (24:49):

How much additional marginal utility could this money provide for me in another area of my life?

Josh Sheluk (24:54):

I just blacked out and went back to the first year economics.

Colin White (24:58):

Oh, second year for me.

Josh Sheluk (24:59):

Okay, well, yeah, everything, if you look at this and are looking to optimize your experience, everything should be a cost benefit analysis. But again, the practical nature of that is everybody can’t think of every decision in that way. So for me, the way that I’ve kind of phrased it or thought about it is if something gives you immense joy, it’s probably not worth trying to cut it out of your budget. And for example, if getting that $5 latte every morning from Starbucks is giving you immense joy, that’s probably not the spot where you want to try to cut. It’s those things like, Hey, this B M W might be a little bit better, but it’s still just a car than my Toyota. Then maybe that’s where you can cut. And to your point, everybody’s going to have a different opinion on what this is, where those areas are that are giving them the immense joy and the areas that maybe I don’t get quite as much joy out of something like that. So if I cut it, it’s not such a cost to my lifestyle or my enjoyment of my day-to-day life.

Colin White (26:21):

As long as you take that exercise all the way through to the end and you do cut something, because if you go through, it’s like my daughter, when she was in, this is one of my favorite stories about my daughter, she wouldn’t pick a favorite color because she didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the other colors. So they were all her favorite colors. So whenever you talk to her, she would refuse to cut any color loose. So in a world where you’re only allowed to have eight colors, not every color can be on the boat. So when it comes to, and you’re absolutely right, maybe that latte is not what to cut, but you still have to go back to the math because math is going to keep math, and I’m keeping that and I’ve got a really good reason. Yeah, yeah. Whatever your reason is, fine, tick, you’re keeping it great.


Let’s go through the list. And if you get all the way to the bottom of the list and you didn’t change anything, you failed. You can have all the best words, you can have all the best intentions, you can have all the best. I don’t care what else you have, if the math don’t work, the math don’t work. So go back again and redo the exercise. You’ve started to go down the road. And I think for you, it was a step outside because for you to admit that a $5 Starbucks latte every morning can give enough joy that makes it worthwhile is just you’re stepping so far outside of your skin. Josh, that was a big stretch for you to go there. And I get that right.

Josh Sheluk (27:45):

This is from a guy who’s never had a real coffee in his life. Yes. See,

Colin White (27:51):

This is you trying to relate to people and I love it. So for you, that was a big step. Some people are going to go, yeah, I do that all the time. Certainly not giving that up. And they do that with everything all the way through. So you have to be honest with yourself.

Josh Sheluk (28:03):

Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s a problem for sure. If you look through your entire budget and decide that there’s nothing that you can cut, guess what? This is probably going to offend some people, but you’re wrong. There are areas where you can cut. I guarantee it. And this is coming from somebody who’s seen a wide range of different budgets that are out there from people that are living comfortably off 20 grand a year to those that can’t live off 200. So I guarantee you, as tight as your budget, you think you are, you can get tighter. There are some ways where you can cut, and you don’t want to do this because it’s against our nature to want to give up some of the things that we love and some of the things that we enjoy and the instant gratification of spending. But guess what? You can find a way to do this. You can find a way to make it work.

Colin White (28:50):

And trashy. You make a perfect point because I have too seen people. I’ve seen families living on 40 grand a year, just tickety boo and the happiest, most content, wonderful people on the planet. They do not feel in any way, shape or form underserved or underutilized. They’re tickety boo. They’re very proud of themselves. And I’ve seen families, well, north of $200,000 a year, completely money stressed, completely money stressed to the point of distraction and medication. And when you’re looking at those people going, well, these people over here are happy on 25% of what you’re making or less, it can be done. No, it’s impossible. Improbable, maybe, but not impossible.

Josh Sheluk (29:35):

It’s not improbable. If you make 200 grand a year, you should be able to live comfortably. I’m sorry.

Colin White (29:41):

Yeah. We’ll see. I don’t like getting that judgey about it, but yeah, inside, that’s the voice that’s screaming. There’s a way to make this work. Well, this,

Josh Sheluk (29:52):

Do you think this has got worse, this feeling that there’s no hope to cut spending, do you think has gotten worse in this social media area that we live in?

Colin White (30:03):

I don’t think so. I mean, the keeping up from the Joneses expression I think comes from the fifties. So this concept has always been out there, and I can’t say that I’m seeing, I don’t haven’t perceived of a shift for people how it’s manifesting itself in social media is new, but there’s always been this, the car you drive, the closure wear, where you go, the restaurants, all that kind of stuff, that’s always been a thing. And people are always, it’s almost like water. It just seeks the lowest possible level. I had the experience of going, picking up a trailer for the first time, I dunno, 10, 15 years ago. And I walked on and I’m ready to buy a trailer, and the guy says, do you want to finance it? And I said, well, just for shits and giggles, what’s your rate? It was like 2.9%.


It’s like, really? He goes, yeah, no, I can’t amortize this over 30 years it’s used. I can only do it over 20. Like you’re going to amortize a trailer over 20 years. You’re going to what? It was like, even I went, sign me up. Sure, I’ll take that bet. But I wasn’t going to go buy a trailer twice as big because of this is how it was, and I was already making a buying decision based on the fact I had the money to do it. But I can absolutely see how somebody would walk in and go, Ooh, I’m getting the big one, and stretch themselves so thin. And this guy actually, when I was talking to him, I had this conversation with him, he goes, yeah, we’ve had a limit. You can’t have more than five separate credit lines for recreational vehicles because people were coming in and picking up a four wheeler, a jet ski, a trailer, another four wheeler. They had to cut them off at five because they thought six was too many.

Josh Sheluk (31:54):

Oh, no. Oh no. Well, we see the same thing with houses over the last few years, right? Because everybody was looking at buying a house and prices keep going up, and the mortgage lenders say, well, with a fixed, I can get you this, but with a variable, I can get you an extra $150,000 of buying power. How does that sound to you? $150,000 of buying power more awesome. I can bid a little bit more for that house that I probably can’t afford already. And guess what’s happened now that stretching yourself for a larger place, not only is the value of that place probably down, but the interest rate on your mortgage is up by whatever, four or five times from what it was. So this is, I totally see how this could be problematic, and maybe this is why there’s so many boats out there for sale right now based on your example.

Colin White (32:47):

Oh, no, no, absolutely. I mean, again, it’s no more obvious example of the math, kept math and eventually the math’s going to catch up. And right now, people who extended themselves last, call it three years during the real peak of things and paid really obscene prices, maybe four years who are facing renewals, those people really are on the horns of a radical shift, and that’s why it’s particularly painful right now. So I think that the conversation about making sure you’re making an informed decision on how to deal with this and trying to avoid some of the pitfalls is super important. It could be that you need to sell the host and take a small loss to reduce your costs in order to get back inside of something. You can actually maintain your life because look, I don’t care who you are, financial stress can wreck you if you think that you’re doing this for your kids. What your kids need are a couple of well-adjusted stress-free parents. They don’t need an extra trip to Disney that you guys are going to fight over for the rest of the year because you don’t have the money to do it. And everybody completely undervalues that side of the equation, and that’s been something that I’ve seen consistently over the last 20 or 30 years.

Josh Sheluk (34:03):

Yeah, we’ve been a little bit direct and blunt on this podcast because I think that’s what people need to hear right now, but we’re not losing sight of the fact that things are tight and things are tough and inflation is rampant in just about everything, including some of those, what we will call true needs, putting food on the table and things like that, heating your home and things like that. So we’re not losing sight of the fact that there’s a lot of things that are really tough right now financially and inflation is a real thing. It’s been a real thing for a few years now in a more dramatic way than we’ve been accustomed to over the last couple decades. And you’re probably naturally in a position where you’re spending more, whether you’ve extended yourself or not. And unfortunately, ultimately if you’re tight, you still are going to need to tighten the belt somewhere.

Colin White (34:55):

But I guess what we’re getting at, and this is probably going to turn into two podcasts because we’re only on four of my 15, so we could probably keep going a little bit on this topic, but the whole idea is that either you face the pain now, you choose your battle now and you win, or you keep playing defense and kicking the can down the road and one day you wake up and they take your house or they take your car or they seize your bank account. So you have a choice to do something uncomfortable and pick which discomfort you like. The risk is that you don’t, and at some point your hand gets forced and you absolutely have to. And at that point, you’ve lived with another 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 years of stress before you fail, rather than making a change, getting to a sustainable spot and starting to build forward. But that’s hard to choose to do because you can.


Great university professor of mine, I went to a few, actually went to a few of his lectures, and that was odd for me back when I was going to school. He said it was an entrepreneurship course, and he was talking about not thyself. You can con the bankers, you can con everybody, but at the end of the night in the dark, when you’re sitting there with yourself, don’t lie to yourself. Be real with yourself. Don’t delude yourself into this is going to be okay that you owe yourself, and that’s the place you need to get to make the hard decisions to avoid hard decisions getting made for you later.

Josh Sheluk (36:29):

Do you want to rapid fire some of the things that we have remaining on our lists?

Colin White (36:33):

Sure. Let’s go for it.

Josh Sheluk (36:34):

All right. Cook at home. Cook at home. Can you do that? Can you change your eating habits a little bit so you’re eating outlast and cook more to home? That seems like a pretty easy one

Colin White (36:47):

On the weekend. Just cook up a whole mess or rice and veg and a protein and a pot and it scoop it at once. Scoop at a time. I’ve done that before.

Josh Sheluk (36:59):

We’re a bad para to be recommending this type of thing too. I know me and you can probably both eat chicken, rice and broccoli for five straight days during the week. Not everyone’s like us in that regard.

Colin White (37:11):

Yeah, this is true. Fomo.

Josh Sheluk (37:17):

Yeah. Well, that’s a thing. Instagram, here you come.

Colin White (37:21):

Yeah, that drives everybody. You’re missing out. That’s the thing. Stop it. That’s bad. If you feel fomo, stop it.

Josh Sheluk (37:29):

Cut your own unnecessary subscriptions. Do you really need Netflix? Disney plus Prime, paramount Plus and H B O Max? Maybe not, right?

Colin White (37:42):

Yeah. See, I can agree and disagree with you all at the same time. Yes, that’s stupid. But nine bucks a month’s not going to get you to your 800 bucks. So

Josh Sheluk (37:51):

Hey, one step at a time, right? We’re talking about baby steps here, Colin.

Colin White (37:55):

Yeah, no, we’re talking about making the math work, baby step, big step. I don’t care what kind of step it is, just get it to work.

Josh Sheluk (38:01):

Lots of baby steps are a couple of big steps. You take your choice,

Colin White (38:04):

Limited time offer, Hey, today only.

Josh Sheluk (38:08):

Yeah, don’t do it. Move on to the next.

Colin White (38:11):

Yeah, stop that.

Josh Sheluk (38:12):

Yeah, buy secondhand.

Colin White (38:17):

Well, there’s some things you can’t buy secondhand, but yeah, I get it.

Josh Sheluk (38:20):

There are some things you probably shouldn’t buy secondhand.

Colin White (38:24):

Easy, easy there.

Josh Sheluk (38:26):


Colin White (38:26):

Warning. Warning. Don’t go down this road. Yeah.

Josh Sheluk (38:28):

Hey, used car. There’s definitely a lot of used furniture out there that’s in amazingly good shape. I know here when we moved offices, I sold a ton of stuff for dirt cheap, just because we needed people to pick it up. There are all those people out there, so it’s a decent option.

Colin White (38:46):

Emotional comfort. Ooh, I need a food hug. Or during the pandemic, I get stuck someplace. I want it to be home really, really badly. So I went out and spent a lot of money on a really fancy coffee pot just because I needed a hug and I bought myself a hug. I went to a store and bought a hug, and it was in the form of a coffee pot. So that’s the thing,

Josh Sheluk (39:07):

Finding free costs or low cost entertainment, this is probably one that gets overlooked, I think. Well, firsthand being in Halifax, it is not hard to find good free or low cost entertainment, right? Cost of beer. You can be entertained all night. So that is something that probably overlooked a little bit too often. There’s all kind, especially during summer, all kinds of festivals and things like that where there’s entertainment for pretty cheap.

Colin White (39:35):

Well, that’s what people want to tell the story about going to see Taylor Swift, or they want to tell the story about going to see Bill Burr. They want to tell a story about something big and yeah, just stop it. Oh, boosting. I can buy my way to better. There is no less true idea in the entire history of ideas. You cannot buy your self-esteem.

Josh Sheluk (40:00):

We definitely need to have a psychologist as a guest, I think, because you’ve definitely gone down the path with these of things that are more psychologically influential.

Colin White (40:11):

Yes. Well, emotions are what people spend money on, right?

Josh Sheluk (40:14):


Colin White (40:14):


Josh Sheluk (40:15):

Sure. Yep.

Colin White (40:21):

I want to jump into the next one here, because it’s an investment. No, you don’t know what that word means. You don’t know what that word means.

Josh Sheluk (40:37):

I’m looking forward to a list of which type of investments people have justified investments, things that people have justified this way in the past, and just laughing at them because unless it’s in an R S P or A T F S A, and even if it is, it doesn’t mean it’s an investment.

Colin White (40:54):

Oh, my favorite right now is because the pandemic, what caused a big price dislocation in recreational vehicles for sure, and cars and everything else. So there are people walking around telling legit stories. Their math may be a little bit off where they bought something, used it for a few years, and then sold it at a profit, and wow, you can sell those at a profit. I should buy one now. Wait, wait, wait. That was a time and place to draw that forward and say, I’ll be able to do that forever is wrong.

Josh Sheluk (41:25):

Not only did I sell it at a profit, but I can use it for a few years and then sell it at a profit. That sounds awesome.

Colin White (41:32):

Yeah. So everybody should have a four-wheeler. Everybody should have a trailer.

Josh Sheluk (41:36):

I’m exhausted here, Colin, I don’t know about you.

Colin White (41:39):

Okay. Peer pressure.

Josh Sheluk (41:42):

All this stuff goes together, right? Self-esteem, fomo, peer pressure, emotional hug, that all goes together and it’s all an emotional response. It’s all a social response really. I think pretty much all this stuff is a social response.

Colin White (41:57):

We are social

Josh Sheluk (41:58):

Animals. Yeah, and if your peers are pressuring you to spend whatever it is on a new four wheeler, you maybe need some new peers.

Colin White (42:09):

You’re hanging with the wrong people. Yeah. Listen, I have another 30, so we can cut it off here, but I want to leave everybody with math is going to math. I don’t care what other words you put around it, I don’t care how good, how proud you are of yourself, how good you feel about what you’ve done. Math is going to math, and if you ignore it, eventually it’s going to beat you to death. So you ignore it at your own peril. You can get in front of it a little bit. You can try to control a little bit, but it will not be beaten. It is going to be there. So if you want to reach out and have a conversation with how to wrestle math to the ground in your situation, this is a great time to, I think, and again, in my entire career, things are more fluid for people with mortgages right now than they’ve ever been.

Josh Sheluk (43:01):

And if you’re looking for your math, going to math bumper sticker, get in touch with us. We’re here for you.

Colin White (43:08):

There you go. We need merch. That’s what we need, Josh. We need some merch

Josh Sheluk (43:11):

Math and a math baby. If you’re breaking a sweat trying to figure out what your financial advisor’s talking about, you’re not getting the service you need. You probably hate trying to get an answer from them, but you also think moving your accounts will be a headache and it might be, but working with don’t rock the boat. Wealth planning.com or AU isn’t exactly stress free, is it? Call us. We will demystify the world for you.

Announcer (43:43):

Verecan Capital Management Inc. Is a registered portfolio manager in all of Canada except Manitoba. So sorry, Manitoba. Nothing in this podcast should be considered as a solicitation or recommendation to buy or sell. A particular security statements made by the portfolio. Managers are intended to illustrate their approach and are meant for information and entertainment purposes only. This should not be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. This podcast has been prepared for information purposes only. The tax information provided in this podcast is general and nature, and each client should consult with their own tax advisor, accountant, and lawyer before pursuing any strategy described. As each client’s individual’s circumstances are unique. We’ve endeavored to ensure the accuracy of the information provided at the time that it was written. However, should the information in this podcast be incorrect or incomplete, or should the law or its interpretation change after the date of this document feedback is provided may be incorrect or inappropriate. There should be no expectation that the information will be updated, supplemented, or revised, whether as a result of new information, changing circumstances, future events, or otherwise, you’re not responsible for errors contained in this podcast or to anyone who relies on the information contained in this podcast, please consult your own legal and tax advisor.