The Story of YNAB - From Rags to Reasonable

THE STORY OF YNAB: THE BUDGET HERO EVERY ARTIST DESERVES

What's a YNAB?: If you READ MY STORY, you know that a huge teacher in the early part of my financial education was YNAB (You Need A Budget). It’s a budget software. It's really easy to use, and it looks great. But the truth is it’s more than just a software. It’s a budgeting philosophy, it’s a community, and it’s a bunch of fine people who will work with you and help you get back in control of your spending and saving. The Philosophy: In the YNAB world there are 4 rules RULE 1: GIVE EVERY DOLLAR A JOB RULE ...
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GETTING STARTED: HOW I TRACK MY SPENDING

It’s hard to know where to begin. It’s easy to ‘discuss’ it all in the abstract, but when it comes down to cold hard action where do you start? You have to find out where the money is going. Ignorance is bliss. It's also a really easy way to avoid changing anything. So if you’re looking for one resolution, try finding 5 minutes at the end of every day to write down everything that you spend money on. You don’t have to do anything but that. Just write it down. Don’t judge it. There’s no right or wrong way ...
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5 REASONS WHY ARTISTS (SHOULD) BE AMAZING AT PERSONAL FINANCE

Artists suck with their money. I know this to be true; A banker once told me so at a cocktail party. Well… you know what, random banker that I made up just 5 seconds ago?? You can go suck a lemon! Because I happen to know that artists have everything it takes to be amazing, not only at money, but at personal finance in general. A former teacher of mine would always remind me that before diving into all the things that you feel terrible at... you have to remember what makes you great. That way you always start the work from a place ...
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Chapter 1: Riches to Rags

So I’d finally made it. I’d moved out to Toronto a few years previously, survived Opera School, and was heading to a real job! Well... as real as a job wearing a costume and shouting Italian across a room will ever be. Not only was I going to be performing in a world class hall, and working with world class performers and teachers, I was going to get PAID! For being an artist. Living. The. Dream ...
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Chapter 2: Rags to Re-evaluation

Where do you turn to at a time like this? Well, like most of you, I turned to the one sure thing in my life. Google. “I need a budget”, I told it in faltering keystrokes. I had heard the word before and it seemed like a good place to start for a person in my situation. “You need a budget?”, it responded. YES! I clicked on its question and that led me to my first step. You Need a Budget (YNAB)! A wonderful website for people exactly in my situation. Right away, YNAB did wonders for me by bringing ...
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Chapter 3: Re-evaluation to RRSP

So. I finally figured out I have yet another thing in common with Murphy Brown. I want it all. All the variety of an artistic, self-employed life, with all the security of a regular salary and a retirement plan. Seems impossible. Well, it probably is. But let’s be honest, when every commencement address, every visiting lecturer, every professor's first class starts with “You will probably not make it” ... you learn to block out people telling you what’s possible and what isn’t. The budget was the first step for me. Like getting your hands in the dirt and realizing that’s ...
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How I picked my Values

In David Bach’s book Smart Couples Finish Rich he uses an exercise called the Value Circle. At first it sounded a little hokey, every personal finance book needs a hook, so they just find different ways to say the same thing (I’m ignoring what that statement means for this blog), but as I started to go through it I fell in love with it. He encourages you to define your values, a daunting thing. My values? What do they have to do with personal finance. It’s much easier to set clear goals. Pay off debt. Contribute to my RRSP. Spend ...
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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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