Magic Time and Magic Money: The Danger of Goal Setting Without a Plan

When I was in Grade 10, my teachers made me a t-shirt that said “Sign Me Up!” with a picture of me in velvet pants prancing like a pony*. I have always had the bad habit of signing up for more than I can humanly do. I just love the excitement of saying “I can do it!” and seeing the relief in a person’s face. I also love planning grand and exciting adventures for myself. Last year, I decided I was going to spend December in India. “Great!” I thought. “This is important to me and a manageable goal.” The ...
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Making a Plan: With a Sketch and a Whole Lot of Stretch

I didn’t jump out of bed on January 1st 2019 excited to face a new year. It was mid afternoon when I decided I was putting off the new year for a few more days. “My new year starts on the 3rd” I told my wife. … it started on the 4th, and the stress hit the next day. I was sitting at my computer trying to wade through a pile of emails and tasks that I had secretly promised myself I would finish over the holidays with ‘all my free time’. After an hour I reached that place where ...
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Starting Some Financial Work? Be Gentle With Your Expectations

If there was one thing I would wish for every person trying to get from … well…. from rags to reasonable…. it would be this…. Be gentle with your expectations. There is nothing in this work that happens quickly. Despite all the ‘only 5 minute’ talk that is posted all over the internet (I’m pretty sure there’s even some of it on this site)…. that’s not how it works. You will find truths about your finances (and maybe yourself) that you won’t love. Maybe there’s more debt than you think…. Maybe you spend more every month than you ‘think ...
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Two Ways to Think About Making $30,000 a Year

When you don’t know a lot about health, ‘weight’ seems like a really good metric. And maybe in lots of cases it is (I don’t know a lot about health) What I find so interesting is that the same weight can feel so different in the body. The scale can show you the exact same number… but sometimes it can feel like a healthy version of you, and sometimes it does not. I’m pretty sure, with my terrible understanding of how the body works, that it has something to do with the things that are making up that weight. To ...
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‘Clipping Coupons’ Takes Time (Lots of Low Income Earners Don’t Have It)

There’s a real tone of distaste and disrespect that people who consider themselves financially literate use to describe people who are struggling, especially with their cashflow. Even in it’s best and most well meaning form - the ‘tough love’ approach - I really don’t like it. Now, part of that is about me and my problems with conflict, but part of it is the way we pretend to know everything about some else’s life. It’s funny how you can know something somewhere in your mind, but until you come face to face with it… you don’t really internalize it. That’s ...
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What I Believe About Money

I had a conversation last week that really sent my brain humming. It was about separating what we ‘believe’ about money from what we ‘know’. That might not sound exciting, but the more I thought about what I believed about money, the more I got into some really vulnerable places. It’s kind of crazy. As I was jotting them down today I had so much trouble actually putting them down in black and white. My hand didn't want to do it. My heart started beating fast I’m not sure what’s all going on, and maybe it’s just me. But there’s ...
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More Money is like More Talent, it Helps, but it Doesn’t Define Who Succeeds

Anybody that’s been in the creative world for a few years learns quickly that talent isn’t enough. Sure, it’s nice. But as you get older, you see more and more talented people get passed by people who have a host of other skills. Skills that might not have been as sexy as talent, but are helping them do some pretty cool things. It seems like in the arts, talent should reign supreme, but we all know that the people who work all the time aren’t always the most talented. They’re the people who have managed to take all the skills ...
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Doing What You Love is Payment Enough (and other crocks of shit)

This morning I’m scared of my work. It’s over there, in my computer, and I know as soon as I open it I’m going to have to face it. And that scares me. And so to distract myself from the fact that the only thing which will actually help is actually going to open the damn thing up, make a plan, and all that good stuff… my brain has decided to bring up the ever helpful voice that says things like: “If this was really what you loved to do, you’d love every minute of it.” or this one… “When ...
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A Budget is a Great Step One, But a Terrible Starting Place

I was doing a finance workshop for a group of musicians last week, and half way into a rant about cashflow basics and the importance of financial technique… I realized that I was doing this all wrong. It’s still frustrating to me when I think about it. The thought process was sound. I wanted to start at ‘step one’. I didn’t want to leave anyone behind. I wanted to give them the tools they needed to get started. The things is, that’s not how people usually start things, and since we were all musicians… that should have been abundantly clear ...
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October Social Enterprise Update: What Financial Help is Useful for Low Income Earners?

I had a lovely conversation last week with an actor about the importance of access. It’s an issue that you can chip away at from a hundred different starting points, and it’s an essential discussion point in the world of finance. In my own little corner of the world, the fight I’ve chosen is on the low income front. I want to help people who don’t earn a ton of income, to get access to one-on-one financial planning. Here’s how I worked on that goal in October. The work: Last month R2R subsidized 7 hours of financial planning and coaching ...
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I’m Chris. I’m an opera-singing financial planner, and I want to help you start getting control over your money. 

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Tools to try:

My favourite tool in THE STORE right now is this:

Even though I wrote it for music students, it’s a great guide for any artist who wants to start getting control over their money, their business, and their variable income.