Til Debt Do Us Part

Til Debt Do Us Part is a semi-Reality show made in Canada, and follows a relatively straightforward formula. Each episode, Host and Financial Expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade receives a call for help from a couple that's gotten themselves deep into debt. Over the course of a Month we follow the family as Gail lays down the law and challenges them to get their act together. If they show a sincere effort to turn their lives around, she will award them up to five thousand dollars to give their continued march to financial freedom a boost. If they don't try hard enough, she can award less, or none at all if she so wishes.

Currently in its eighth season on Slice, it is the inspiration for its sister show Prince$$ (about individuals, mostly young females, with similar issues toward finances).

This show provides examples of:

  • Apron Matron: A few couples on the show have had relatives (Usually parents) cosign for mortgages or even bail them out in the past, and yet they are still in debt. See also Never Lend to a Friend
  • Big Fancy House: Some couples have one, and SHOULDN'T.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: Okay, just 5000 dollars. But when you're in trouble like the couples on the show, any windfall is good!
  • Catch Phrase: More like Catch Monologues. The Show has two, played every show:
    Gail: This month, I'll help this couple move from red, to black. I've been solving money problems for over 20 years, tackling everything from high finance to low income. I help people understand money and debt, which is still a HUGE mystery for most folks. And it's the number one reason couples split up. So now, I'm making house calls.
    Gail: For the next month, this couple will learn to live on a strict cash budget. No more credit cards. They'll complete weekly challenges to tackle their money and relationship issues, and if they're willing to change, I'll reward them with thousands of dollars to help pay down their debt. No changes, no money.
  • Improbable Food Budget: Some couples eat out with alarming frequency!
  • Never Lend to a Friend: Some couples are not just in the hole with banks and creditors, but with family as well! Subverted in that they are expected to square up, and that debt is factored into their problems.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: A summary of the situation in the couple's own words kicks off each show. Gail also makes them promise to do whatever she suggests for the month before she kicks off her financial bootcamp.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: A few couples rake in six-digit annual incomes combined, and are still living beyond their means.
  • Work Off the Debt: Pretty much the whole premise of the show. Also, Couples are often challenged to find ways to bring in a few hundred more dollars a month as part of their recovery program.