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Money tips from Jordan Heath-Rawlings: “Make sure you can afford a sudden expense”

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Jordan Heath-Rawlings shares your frustration. In November 2023, he launched In This Economy?!, a podcast that helps Canadians tackle financial challenges. Described as “Your guide to understanding an unpredictable economy,” the show explores topics such as inflation, employment, debt, home ownership and repaying CERB.

Logo for podcast In This Economy?!, shaped like a dollar sign

Heath-Rawlings, who lives in Toronto, is a long-time Canadian journalist—he was a newspaper reporter, a founding editor of Sportsnet, and director of special projects at Rogers Media, among other roles. In 2018, he started Frequency Podcast Network, along with Canada’s first daily news podcast, The Big Story, which he still hosts (he also oversees 30-plus other shows). Below, Heath-Rawlings shares what he thinks about credit, debt, real estate and more—plus why he’s now a “huge points guy.”

Check out In This Economy?!, available on these podcast players. New episodes are released on Thursdays.

Who are your finance heroes?

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So, In This Economy?! is designed to come from a curious person, not someone who has studied the financial industry extensively and has formed opinions about it. I don’t really have a finance hero. Except, I’ll say this: My career as a sports journalist, including a lot of time writing about fantasy sports and gambling, has made me keenly aware of the concept of the “mass market miss”—a player or investment that doesn’t seem to match stereotypical norms, so it’s overlooked compared to others, creating easy value for those willing to value results over aesthetics. So, can I say, like, baseball writer Bill James or baseball executive Billy Beane?

How do you like to spend your free time?

I’m a homebody for the most part, so hanging around the house, watching sports, being with family. My partner is a travel junkie, though, so we try to find the time—and money—to take a few trips a year.

If money were no object, what would you be doing right now?

Golfing—somewhere warm. With my wife and daughter on the beach waiting for me to meet them afterwards. We’ll be doing this in a few weeks from now, and I’m already dreaming about it.

What was your first memory about money?

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My first money memory—besides making like 25 cents per row weeding the garden for my grandfather—is my parents wisely not spending $200 to buy me Air Jordans that I would have wrecked in two weeks anyway. I grew up in the burgeoning sneaker era, when they were just becoming big-time status symbols, and I wanted what the cool kids had.

What’s the first thing you remember buying with your own money?

Oh, baseball cards. It is absolutely 100% baseball cards. And I still have them in a box in our basement. Sadly, I came of age during the absolute peak popularity for kids collecting cards, so they aren’t worth anything, save for the memories. But in 1988, I—and every other kid I knew—would have told you they’d have made me rich by now.

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