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Ditch the dog walker and sell the house: Couple with too much debt must learn to live within means

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Spending $2,400 a year to walk the dog is far too much for this couple to be spending.National Post illustration

Situation: Spending exceeds income, debt service takes 44 per cent of budget, savings inadequate

Solution: Sell house and rent, direct discretionary income to paying down debt, cut spending

A couple we’ll call Sam and Susie, both 50, live in Ontario with their two children, who are in university. The parents work in high tech and bring home $7,068 per month, but they are in trouble. They owe $550,630 including their $496,591 home mortgage. They are also spending all their income and then some, with their monthly allocations topping $7,500, including meager $100 contributions to their RRSPs.

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Family Finance asked Guy Anderson, a financial planner with Parkview Financial Inc. in Toronto, to work with Sam and Susie. “Overspending will cripple their way of life,” Anderson says. “They need to slash debt.”

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