How to Recover From a Period of No Income

I’m not sure if you’re in one of the variable income fields that rakes in the bucks during summer, but in the opera world things slow down quite a bit. So we have to survive…. whether we’ve prepared or not. And now that it’s October, and summer is long over…. you might still be recovering. Because it’s tough to bounce back after a long stretch of low (or no) income. So I wanna talk a bit about summer, even though it was awhile ago, as an example for how to bounce back after a long dry spell. Summer SUCKS if ...
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You Can’t Eat Like a Mennonite When You’re Not on the Farm

I grew up in a small Mennonite farming community in southern Manitoba. There are lots of things I could tell you about my formative years, but for now I’ll just stick to two. We worked hard. We ate a lot of butter, salt and lard. Now, I live a very different kind of life in Toronto, half of it on the stage, and half behind my desk helping people with their finances. And generally I eat less butter and lard… not zero… but less. I should have never opened the cookbook But this week I took a little culinary trip ...
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Debt isn’t a goal, it’s what’s standing in the way

Money isn’t about money. That’s what I wish I could communicate better to the legions of people who really don’t care about their finances. Paying back debt might not be exciting for them. Saving for retirement doesn’t give them a sense of Christmas morning level thrill. I want to tell them that I honestly understand where they’re coming from. Those things aren’t fireworks and puppies for me either. Financial practise is not fun for me because I love numbers… I love it because it’s a gateway to a whole bunch of other stuff that I care about way more (like ...
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How Being ‘Time Poor’ Can Keep You From Getting Control of Your Money

You know that thing where none of us seem to have enough money? Well, turns out that’s not the biggest issue when you’re trying to get control of your finances… I’ve been working with a bunch of people lately, both as clients and through office hours, and one thing keeps coming up over and over again… the first block in the process of gaining control is not a lack of money… it’s a lack of time.
How to find the time to track spending?
How to find the time to meet with a partner and chat about money?
How to ...
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Boston Cremes and daily financial practice

I tell all my clients that regular financial practise is the key to success. … it sounds good right? And I believe it too! But that didn’t stop me from barely opening my budgets or bank accounts this summer. I paid my bills, but mostly I ignored things. Does that make me a hypocrite? Probably… but I’m not too worried about it. I’ll be the first one to say to any client that this kind of thing happens. You go through periods of discipline, and then slip into parts of your life when you have other priorities. That’s life. The ...
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Diversify your income they said…. it will be great they said…

It’s so easy to throw around words that sound positive. Not only is it easy… but it makes you feel good. When I say a word like ‘diversification’ I feel great. Especially when I’m talking about finance to a bunch of creative people. It’s just such a good word. It’s such a good idea. And when you tell someone else to do it, you get all the good feelings with none of the complicated realities. … when you do it yourself…. cue complicated realities. Splitting myself between worlds After about 4 months of purely focusing on finance (and a little ...
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How R2R took $1,200 and did some financial good

As some of you know, I’ve got a mission here at R2R to provide one-on-one financial help to everyone who needs it - no matter what their income is. So I thought I’d let you know how that work has been going. In August/September I was able to connect more than $1,200 worth of services to people who needed them. That money came from the R2R fund which is supported by contributing 10% of every dollar I make through R2R and by a fabulous group of Patrons through PATREON. Here’s how it all broke down: Office Hours:  In the last ...
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More Money Won’t Solve Anything

I spent most of last week being disappointed in myself, and so it shouldn’t be a huge shock that come Saturday… I was so ready for the week to be over.  I just hadn’t done enough.  I told myself that next week I had to buckle down and do more.  But here’s the problem with that entire line of thought… ‘enough’ and ‘more’ are goals that are just begging for another Saturday of disappointment.  What is ‘enough’? How much ‘more’?  I can do ‘more’ but still have it not be nearly ‘enough’. That happens all the time.  I was talking ...
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It’s not too late to start fighting (even if you might not win)

I’ve never found the delivering ‘hard truth’ part of this job easy. I’m not really a tough love kind of guy. But it’s important.  And there’s nothing more difficult for me than sitting across from someone who’s just been hit with a heavy dose of financial truth… and who honestly believes it’s too late to do anything about it. “I’m almost 70, there’s nothing I can do about this now…” “I’ve made so many mistakes, the damage is done…” “I am so screwed.” It’s hard because they’re not necessarily wrong. The cold hard truth of the numbers One of the ...
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Can I be an artist AND be profitable?

I’m not a bad driver, at least… I don’t think I am. Turns out my family doesn’t agree. I always had my suspicions, but I found out just how wide spread this belief was last weekend when I DROVE my mom, brother and girlfriend up to a family cottage. When we got there (safe and ON TIME might I add) everyone waiting for us was shocked to find out that I had driven. They had been talking and I had been the least likely choice because... I was not a good driver. Everyone believed it, even people that had never ...
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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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