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4 Pillars’ Paul Murphy Wrote a Book! Beating the Debt Game

By Paul Murphy

This post is written by 4 Pillars’ managing partner and financial literacy expert Paul Murphy. Paul has 20+ years of experience in the banking and financial service industry. 

I’m happy to report that my book, Beating the Debt Game, is complete! 

Thank you to all the readers that have emailed me over the years, sharing their debt stories.

Thank you to all of our clients who have encouraged me to keep writing and sharing advice.

Thank you to my agent and the great spirit in the sky!

Okay, it might be a bit too early to work on my Pulitzer acceptance speech. But I am happy to let you know: I’ve written a book. It’s called Beating the Debt Game: How to Slow Your Spending, Reduce Debt, and Win Back Control. 

Most of the knowledge you’ll read in this book has only been shared in our client consultations, phone calls with Canadians facing insolvency, and by our offices around the country.

I wanted to write a book so that a wider audience can see how the debt industry works and gain some new tools to better manage their financial future.

This book is a short guide to tipping the debt scales back in your favour.

This book will be your weapon against debt, your financial education that should have been taught in high school, and hopefully a cold dose of common sense to help you avoid falling deeper into those financial traps that attempt to reduce our ability to build long-term wealth and divert our paychecks to the banks, credit cards, and high-interest lenders.

I know that most people don’t have much interest in learning about financial topics. They can be boring. And if you’re stressed out about paying rent, the last thing you want to hear is some financial writer yammering on about the power of compound interest.

But I hope that you take an hour or so to read this book. I’ve tried to make it as short as possible and I think, as you’ll see, that this small investment will pay you back for years in return.

As I might have told you, I worked for large commercial banks for over 2 decades. It’s fair to say I’ve spent my time in the belly of the beast. The credit industry—made up of banks, subprime lenders, online lenders, collection agencies right through to insolvency trustees, and non-profit credit counsellors —it is a complex, bewildering machine all wired, set, and intricately worded in impenetrable legal gibberish designed to confuse and ensnare the average person who knows little about finances.

At the end of the day—whether the mainstream financial world admits it or not—the high street banks exist to realize one simple, never-changing goal: squeeze the average Canadian with interest, while making a small group of shareholders unthinkably rich.

As you know, our company 4 Pillars started with former finance and business people pooling specialized knowledge of this hidden world to help small businesses and friends struggling in debt.

We were able to show tiny businesses how to use things like corporate debt restructuring (a fancy term for reorganizing and agreeing to new payment arrangements on debt) to keep their lights on, make payroll, and stay in business. Tactics that big business had been using for decades.

Since then 4 Pillars have taken the tactics that the world of high finance uses every day and started making this knowledge accessible to everyone—from school teachers to contractors to students deep in debt.

The word spread. And now we have over 60 offices and help Canadians navigate very tough financial situations while helping average Canadians restructure over 360 million dollars of debt every year.

In this book, I reveal the secret world of the credit industry. You get very specialized knowledge that 4 Pillars has been using to help guide Canadians through complex, crushing debt crises. It’s all very easy to understand and contains lots of useful tips to help you build a better financial future for yourself.

You can download a free digital copy here.

Table of contents 

Here’s a little preview of what’s inside my new book:


  • Win back control with proper money management
  • Use the 40% rule to manage debt and spending
  • How to calculate your total debt


  • How to run a rock-solid financial household
  • Habit #1: Track all spending, income, and expenses
  • Habit #2: Pay yourself first
  • Habit #3: Build and stick to a budget with the 50/30/20 rule
  • Habit #4: Save for the unexpected
  • Habit #5: Set target behaviors, not spending numbers.
  • Habit #6: Calculate the long-term costs of debt with the Rule of 72


  • Know the sharks, beat the game
  • Meet the players in the debt game
  • The pros and cons of a secured debt consolidation loan
  • The pros and cons of unsecured debt consolidation loans
  • Consumer proposals
  • How to beat the credit card companies
  • How to negotiate with credit card companies
  • How to quickly boost your credit score
  • How to deal with debt collection calls


  • Technical knowledge to manage your money
  • How is debt treated in a divorce?
  • Should you pay down debt or invest?
  • Can you declare bankruptcy more than once?
  • Does my small business need to go bankrupt?
  • Student loans: Investing in your future or setting yourself up for financial failure?
  • What is secured debt?
  • Should I sell assets to pay off my debt?
  • How does bankruptcy impact taxes and my income?
  • Can I get a mortgage after bankruptcy?
  • How does a bankruptcy report on my credit rating?

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