How to Start Investing in Your Canadian Actors’ Equity Group RRSP

The following is a guest post by Dr. John Robertson Having access to a group RRSP plan can be confusing: so many forms and options and none of it looks optimal. But it’s often automatic and the contributions come off your pay invisibly (like taxes), which makes them a great way to get over behavioural hurdles and get investing for the future. Chris asked me to look specifically at the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association group RRSP plan. The Association will take at least 6% of your performance earnings and ensure that it gets put away in the group RRSP plan: ...
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Budgeting Bipolar: How to Manage Your Money When you Have Bigger Fish to Fry

This post was commissioned as part of a pilot program at Rags to Reasonable. In an effort to both support artists and gather financial resources and stories, R2R is offering money for content (written, visual, or video). If you’re interested in pitching an idea fill out . If you have any questions, email me at Picture yourself at midnight. Your to-do list is just too long for you to successfully complete before bed.  Your bank balance is just thirty dollars under rent, and maybe you have that between your couch cushions, but you also have to buy ...
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Actress saves 10%

How This Actress Saves 10% of Her Variable Income

This post was commissioned as part of a pilot program at Rags to Reasonable. In an effort to both support artists and gather financial resources and stories, R2R is offering money for content (written, visual, or video). If you're interested in pitching an idea fill out . If you have any questions, email me at In 2009 I taught English conversation in Algeria earning $3/hour. I hadn’t made that little since I babysat my cousin in 1992. This was my day job. I led conversation classes while my husband and I created a theater company that offered ...
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How to start controlling your variable income

There’s a trap in the challenge of controlling variable income, and it’s baked right into the term itself. The key to managing ‘variable income’… doesn’t lie in your income at all. Over my years of living with and managing variable income I’ve learned that the first focus has to be on the flip side of the coin: In the murky world of expenses. The concept of ‘enough’ It is impossible (or at least I think it is…) to control variable income without first being able to answer the question “How much do I need?” Now, that question has a bunch ...
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I way overspent in December… now what?

Listen up (this is really important). I need you to know something about this whole 'getting good at your money thing'.... you're still gonna make mistakes. If you're anything like me... you're going to make a lot of them. Also crazy expensive things are going to happen to you that are only partially your fault. But, that doesn't change when you understand how an RRSP works. What changes is that AFTER you spend half your rent on something shiny... you have the tools to deal with it... you can make adjustments, you can get back on track, you can figure ...
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You're not a useless piece of shit if you can't figure out how to budget - From Rags to Reasonable

You’re not a useless piece of shit if you can’t figure out how to budget – it’s hard

Can we please stop pretending that budgeting is easy? Especially budgeting for artists! Can we stop pretending it’s simple and anyone who isn’t a lazy sack of shit should be able to make one in an evening? Because that’s not how it is at all. Sure it can feel easy… once you’re already doing it. Sure it can feel easy … if you’ve always been good with your money and you just need to sketch out something that your brain already understands. But if I stood up in front of you and sang an opera aria in your face, and ...
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How to save money at Christmas

If I had a nickel for every time I hear or see the word ‘savings’ around Christmas time…. I would have a lot of nickels. But … riddle me this… If there are so many ‘savings’ to be had, why do I always end up spending way more than I can afford at Christmas? CHECKMATE, CHRISTMAS SAVINGS PROMISES!!!! That’s what I was thinking about this week as I managed to get most of my shopping done more than a week before Christmas (which is a week ahead of normal). And suddenly I stumbled on a thought… Retailers at Christmas keep using ...
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The smaller the focus, the larger the voice

“You can do it all!! You don’t have to choose!!!” “Just buckle down! Stop watching Netflix! Cut back on sleep! Eliminate food. Don’t cheat yourself… DO EVERYTHING.” I’ve got a voice in my head that sounds like that. The voice in my head wants me to be a brilliant actor, an incredible singer, the best blogger, a life changing financial planner, and everyone’s favourite friend. I want all the things. You see… I’m not the kind of guy who can do just ‘one thing’. I like having multiple focuses… focusi? And so I’m constantly in conflict with my want to ...
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A letter to the newly self-employed: 3 things to do when you want to quit

Today I stumbled upon a letter I wrote, but never sent, to a friend of mine who recently made the plunge into self-employment We had just had a conversation over a glass of wine celebrating her last day at her job. She was so full of hope and excitement, but also fear for this new challenge in front of her. She wanted know what she would expect…. I can’t remember if I managed to answer that question in any kind of eloquent way, but it’s definitely one that stuck with me over the next week. And I wrote this. My ...
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Budgeting doesn’t mean fewer cupcakes

One fateful Sunday, in a fit of boredom I baked 2 dozen cupcakes. I really didn't need those cupcakes, and after the copious amount of batter and icing I ate while making them... I didn't really want them. But from that experience was born this tasty little budgeting infographic. I hope you enjoy it, eat a bunch of cupcakes, and remember that budgeting doesn't mean you get less stuff... it just means that you don't have to feel bad about the stuff you do get. If you're interested in reading a bit more about the combined subject of budgets and ...
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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.