2 Ways for Visual Learners to Draw Up their 2020 Plan

I’m a pretty visual person, so as much as I like scrawling a list onto a yellow legal pad there’s something about seeing things actually drawn out that can make them much clearer in my mind. Now, let me get something straight… I’m not a good drawer. I am an enthusiastic drawer… but not a good one. But luckily that’s not a prerequisite for either of these exercises. The goal is to get pen to paper and think through the next 12-month period of your life. Exercise 1: Design your Year (or your next 5) This exercise I stole from ...

Planning for Large Annual Expenses: AKA Oh Sh!t, How is it Christmas Again?!

I don’t know about you, but every year, my brain tricks me into forgetting about the holidays. My first alert to them is October 31, when the Dollarama workers are stuck working late to remove the plastic pumpkins and put up the Christmas kitsch. I get caught up in the indignation of hearing “Santa Baby” while there are still leaves on the trees, but I forget about the expense train that is rapidly approaching. I used to get stuck in a super stressful debt cycle around this time of year. It looked like this: scramble to cover the large expenses-->get ...

Dating Between Income Brackets

My partner and I have vastly different income levels. On average, he makes in 2 days what I make in a week. He’s also extremely generous, both with presents and with paying for outings. The presents are more clear-cut. They tend to be…how do I say this…gifts we will enjoy simultaneously. If we broke up, I think they would walk with him to be enjoyed with others. The more complicated part for me is the paying for experiences. We both love to go out and do fun things—food and travel are both big ones for us. And he usually pays ...

Debt Diaries #4: ‘Slash’ing Credit Card Debt

Current Debts:
Credit Card: $100.00
Bank Loan: $4,577.61 Current Debt Total: $4,677.61 Meedileeemeedileemeedileebowwww. That is the sound of my guitar solo of awesomeness since I crushed $1,000 of credit card debt since I last wrote. How? I sold my brand new iPad that I got as a present. Having just $100 on my credit card feels saweeet! Feeding the Dragon Once I decided to sell it, I had a tough time deciding what was the most responsible thing to do with that money. I’ve been reading this great book called Happy Go Money by Melissa Leong in which she talks ...

Emily’s Favourite Money Stories – July Edition

“The Latte Factor, Poor Shaming, and Economic Compassion” by Piggy at Bitches Get Riches Hell. Yes. Is all I have to say about this blog post. When I was reading it, I was basically a human version of the clapping hands emoji. Yes, this. All of this. The latte factor is a sneaky thing because it can work like a charm. But only if you have enough money to meet your basic needs.  Poverty may be something that you know well. I have been lucky enough to only be there in short periods, but I remember these vividly. A time ...

Talking to Your Parents About Money

A few months ago, I listened to the Because Money podcast episode called “The One Where We Talk About our Aging Parents” (Season 4, Episode 10). It was a mini wake-up call for me...maybe not an alarm clock that beeps really loud in your face, but more like one that wakes you up with cool Jazz jams. I thought to myself “Damn, yeah. I guess my parents are going to die at some point.”Obviously, that wasn’t a new thought to me, but I had never considered it from a financial perspective. It would be really stressful to have to scramble ...

Three Couples Talking About How They Manage Their Money

One thing that I’ve learned talking to lots of couples about money is that there isn’t one right way to manage your household finances. Some people like things to be all together in one big pot, some have only a vague sense of what’s in the other persons bank account. The one thing that the ones who are happy with their joint financial lives have in common is they talk about money a lot. It’s not a taboo topic of conversation, and it’s part of the regular discourse in the house. This week I wanted to share with you three ...

Debt Diaries #3: Riding the Waves of Variable Income

Current Debts: Credit Card: -994.25
Bank Loan: -4,892.45 Current Debt Total: -5,886.70 So…I kind of feel like I’m crushing it right now. Not really because of anything I’ve been doing, but mainly because it feels like I’ve been really damn lucky. Since the last entry, I have killed 2,042.93 in debt. It’s been just over a month. It’s been a wild ride. I know what you’re thinking: a variable income earner having ups and downs? No way! But seriously. I settled an Employment Standards Act case with a previous employer and used half that money to pay down my credit ...

How to Build an Account Structure for Self-Employed Creatives

If your self-employed (and even if you aren’t) here are some accounts you should think about having A tax account: If you make self-employed income you should have a savings account for your taxes. If you can’t afford to put away a lot, put a $1 in every time you make income, but have a space for it. Once money starts rolling in you’ll be grateful you’ve build this into your structureA business spending account: Having a separate place to spend from for your business makes things easier. If it’s a chequing account you’ll have your own business debit card ...

What Do You Use To Do Money?

When it comes to our basic money tools, most of us haven’t looked at them since we picked them. The majority of the people I talk to don’t really know what kind of bank account they have or what it costs. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but it means that lots of us aren’t really sure if we’re using the right tools. Defining the ‘right’ tools There is no ‘best’ bank account, and I don’t think you’re a terrible money person if you have fees on your account. The purpose of this exercise isn’t to change everything about ...

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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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.