What I learned about money from eating a thousand peaches

Who is this for?

EVERYONE (but especially peach lovers the world over)

What’s the point? (the post in a nutshell)

Some metaphors to help you see money in a different way.. how saving isn’t just a responsibility but also a way of prolonging your enjoyment of something.. and a warning about financial tools… they aren’t always what they seem.

Includes: TWO FREE WORKSHEETS – one to help you start saving, and one to get you saving better than you already are.

I love peach season.

And this year has been a pleasure pandemonium (#fancywords).

The last few weeks I’ve been gorging myself on fresh peaches at nearly every meal.

And because my mind has no ability to structure itself, my peach fanaticism and my constant money thoughts have melded into two peach-related money metaphors I thought I’d share with y’all.

I hope you enjoy both of them, and the end of peach season.

What kind of peach lover are you? (and what does that say about your retirement?)

Are you a Brad… or a Taryn? 

When it comes to peaches… I’m totally a Brad… but when it comes to money I’ve become much more of a Taryn.

Here’s the thing… the word ‘retirement’ has so much bullshit language and financial marketing built around it that I don’t even want to use it… but the principle is pretty important: when you have lots, put away some for ‘future you’.

Sounds simple…

But you know it’s not.

Personally, I would love to be the person who cans fresh peaches, and makes big batches of jam, but every time I think about it here’s what my brain throws at me:

  1. I don’t know how

  2. I don’t have the tools 

  3. I don’t really have time

Sound familiar?

Those are the exact thoughts I had when people were telling me to save money for ‘retirement’.

And yes of course there are tons of websites and resources exploring the ‘how’. And yes it’s totally possible for me to learn about making jam….

But let’s not pretend it’s ‘simple’.

There’s a lot of pre-work to do before I can feast on those sweet sweet winter peaches.

So… if you want to make sure that ‘future you’ has jam (or money)… there’s no other way. It’s not about not enjoying money in the moment. Enjoy it! But also think about how much ‘future you’ would enjoy it.

Eat a few peaches. Spend a few bucks. And then get to work learning how to save that incredible feeling for a cold winter day.

Yes it will be hard.

But I guarantee you won’t regret it.

What to do next…

If you like the idea of saving some ‘peaches’ for future you, here are a few things you can do this week to get you on your way (and they’ll only take a few minutes). 

FOR SAVINGS NEWBIES: If you’re not saving yet, don’t worry too much about ‘making jam’… just focus on getting used to building a savings habit in the short term. Pick a goal, something that you need to spend money on in the next few months (but usually forget to set aside any cash for). Don’t make it too big, between $50 and $200. Take 5 minutes to fill out THIS WORKSHEET, and just focus on setting aside a few bucks for that one thing. It’s like cutting up a few peaches and freezing them in a ziploc, and I guarentee it will help start building the habit you need to be a savings pro.

FOR SAVINGS VETERANS: If you’re already a regular saver you’ve already got the habit part down. So, this week, I’m going to challenge you to take a hard look at your tools. Pick one account that you use to save. It could be an RRSP, a TFSA, or maybe just a regular savings account and do a little audit. You don’t need to be a finance expert, just follow along with THIS WORKSHEET, and make sure that your savings tool lines up with your savings goal.

Sometimes it looks like a peach… and it smells like a peach… but it’s really not a peach…

As most of you know, I live in Canada, and here in Canada we only get a few months of fresh awesome local vegetables before the snow comes and kills everything that’s worth loving to eat.

Hence my joy in peach season… those few weeks in a year when I can eat my favourite fruit.

But, you might say, surely I can buy them all year…

Yes, they are in my local grocery store all year… OR ARE THEY??????

Winter peaches are NOT peaches… but they’re kind of close. The consequences of being sucked into this lie are, luckily,  merely a few moments of sadness and disappointment.

The same is true for money….

A credit card can be useful… but it’s not actually money.

It’s debt.

So use it as a tool, like garnishing a cake with a few slices of a winter peach (and warning everyone not to actually eat it), but don’t get sucked into the lie.

Because the consequences of mistaking it for actual money can be much higher than just a moment of sadness.

It can really be the pits.

What to do next…

If you have some trouble with credit cards here’s something to keep in mind this week:

 Whenever you see a sign that says something like “MasterCard/Visa accepted here” I want you to say to yourself (or out loud, if it doesn’t make you feel too crazy)… “Oh … they take debt here…”

And whenever you take out your credit card to pay for something, just say… “I am paying with debt.” 

It’s a small thing, but that’s what it is. It’s not about judging, or saying that you should or shouldn’t use it… it’s just about making deliberate decisions instead of default ones. 

A credit card is a great tool. It’s also debt. Try to remind yourself of that this week.

Don’t forget this week’s worksheets. Challenge yourself to get better with your money this week!

What’s your favourite peach recipe? … the correct answer is of course, pie… but I would love to have someone try to convince me otherwise…

Lindsay VS her debt: Part 4 – BUDGET AHOY!!!!

Budget Island

*The following is part 4 of a year-long series. If you want to start from the beginning, learn about who Lindsay is, and check out how much debt she started with…  check out PART 1.*

Well, friends, remember that time I was going to try and pay off over $1000 this month?

That didn’t even happen a little bit.

May ended up being a crazy busy month – it flew by before I realized it had even started. Along with it being busy work wise, I’ve found myself a bit, well… distracted as of late. So I didn’t budget. And then the month ended. And then I found out I only had $490 to pay towards my debt… so that’s where I’m at. UGH!

The amazing thing about failures is that they have the ability to become amazing learning experiences. The biggest thing I learned from last month, is that I seriously… SERIOUSLY! need to use a budget.

I’ve been using YNAB (à la Chris) for about 8 months or so now, and I use it fairly consistently. To be honest, I thought it was a good thing to have, but I didn’t really understand why it was important. (I’m on top of my finances because I use budgeting software! Look at me! Gold star!)

I basically never stick to my budget. I constantly adjust and move amounts and overspend – it’s pretty much always in flux. So if I was adjusting it all the time, it really didn’t matter that much, right?

WRONG!!!! read more…

A love letter to financial planning (from an opera singing farmboy)

Financial Planning Love Letter - From Rags to Reasonable

A few years ago I can honestly say I had given zero thought to what constituted a ‘financial planner’.

I honestly didn’t care.

 A financial planner seemed like something for other people. People with tons of money and complicated financial situations.

They were for people who actually used the other 90% of every bank, not just the teller window.

They were not for me.

And somehow now I spend most of my week learning about the tax implications of trusts, CPP survivor benefits, and of course how to rollover a DCPP into a LIRA.

What the shit?

Does financial planning really matter to people like me? (people who aren’t making a ton above the poverty line….)

Or are they just another way for the financial world to favour the rich, and sell those of us who are living on less a bunch of overpriced, high-fee ‘tools’ that make the rich richer and life for the rest of us just that much harder.. read more…

How I made a thousand dollars ‘on the internet’

Thousand Dollars on the Internet - From Rags to Reasonable

I haven’t been thinking much about making money these last two months.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ve abandoned my ‘turn R2R into a mega-income-making-machine’ plan (even though the ‘mega’ part of that has never really been the plan).

One of the big lessons that I learned during the first few months of trying out a few income methods was that I was most drawn to the idea of working with people one on one.

I’m less interested in making a product that helps thousands of people (although as I type that… it does sounds epically cool).

But I am fascinated by the challenge of helping someone figure out their own unique circumstance..

..how to help someone really connect to their money and turn it from a major stress to a major tool.

Thousand Dollars on the internet - From Rags to Reasonable

It might not sound as huge as it is, but knowing what kind of work I want to do is a MASSIVE piece of information in the process of building this business.

Turns out it’s hard to get what you want when you don’t actually know what you want….

….but it’s also a big indicator of how I want to be earning my income.

From realization … to laying the ground work read more…

Who’s buying homes in Canada – Infographic

Last week I stumbled across a survey about homes in Canada…

It talked about first time buyers and the main challenges people had with the house buying process, as well as some other really cool information, but alas… who wants to read survey results?


So rather than let those delightful stats wallow away in the internet’s equivalent of a basement…. I made you a fun infographic.

I hope you enjoy!

Lindsay vs Her Debt: Part 3 – Breaking all the Rules

Lindsay vs Her Debt - From Rags to Reasonable

*The following is part 3 of a year-long series. If you want to start from the beginning, learn about who Lindsay is, and check out how much debt she started with…  check out PART 1.

Hello again, friends! I can’t believe two whole months have gone by since I started. Time flies!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about my debt paying strategy, why personal finance is personal, and why I’m breaking the rules. I feel like a bit of a debt paying bandit!

Somewhere out there, Dave Ramsey just had a chill up his spine, but has no idea why…

Anyway! Let’s start from way back at the beginning, because to me it’s extremely important that if you ARE going to break rules, you need to know:

  • that you’re breaking them, and
  • why you’re breaking them.

Why I’m breaking the rules:  read more…

6 reasons you still haven’t done your taxes

Reasons you haven't done taxes - From Rags to Reasonable

I have been reading a really great book called “The Productivity Project”.. in an effort to be less of an organizational disaster.

It may not be ‘working’ yet… but I’m still really digging it, and I stumbled across something that I just had to share with you… especially those of you who haven’t managed to start their taxes yet… #nojudgement

It has to do with ‘procrastination’ … something that I’m really really good at. The author Chris Bailey (henceforth known as ‘other Chris’) talks about the 6 triggers of Procrastination.

In his research he stumbled across a study that stated that you’re more likely to procrastinate if the task at hand is one or more of these things: read more…

Freelancer Taxes: How to make your travel tax deductible

Travel Deduction - From Rags to Reasonable

*I am not a tax professional. This is meant to be an educational tool and NOT a recommendation. Each personal situation is different and there’s a lot of grey area in self-employed deductions. If you have questions (even just little ones) … talk to a tax expert.*

Travel is the one of the best parts of being an opera singer.

Sure, there are the weeks when it’s really not that fun… the non-descript hotel rooms, the 12th meal in a row at Applebees… but at the end of the day, I really like it.

And the only thing that makes it better is that all of that travel is tax-deductible!

Or is it? read more…

Freelancer Taxes: What counts as ‘professional development’ for artists?

Professional Development - From Rags to Reasonable

*I am not a tax professional. This is meant to be an educational tool and NOT a recommendation. Each personal situation is different and there’s a lot of grey area in self-employed deductions. If you have questions (even just little ones) … talk to a tax expert.*

One of the coolest things about life as an artist is that you’re forced to always be learning.

Something you won’t hear very often…

“Today I learned all the Art… I guess that’s done with…”

Actors, dancers, musicians… are constantly studying not matter what level they’re at. Working with teachers, private coachings, doing classes and looking for anything to help them grow as an artist.

What a beautiful thing.

But how do we translate that really nice thought into black and white numbers at tax time?

How to find your ‘professional development deduction’ when everything you do seems like professional development…. read more…

Freelancer Taxes: How to deduct your mileage

*I am not a tax professional. This is meant to be an educational tool and NOT a recommendation. Each personal situation is different and there’s a lot of grey area in self-employed deductions. If you have questions (even just little ones) … talk to a tax expert.*

Ever since moving to the big ole city of Toronto I haven’t had a car, but it wasn’t long ago that I called the prairies home… and getting around without a car was just plain impossible.

So for all of you who are using some kind of motorized vehicle to get from place to place here’s how to deduct your business mileage. read more…

I’m Chris, I’m a Canadian actor and singer based in Toronto. As an artist it’s often hard to make sense of how the regular rules of planning, saving, and spending apply to a fairly.... unique... lifestyle. Enjoy these stories of my fumblings in the world of personal finance. Rags to .....hopefully ... a reasonably comfortable lifestyle.

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