The Cost of Stability & The Hidden Life of Trees

I’ve been reading a lovely book The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. Apart from being a fascinating and romantic look at how forests work, there are sooo many amazing financial metaphors. … now… you know I love a metaphor… I LOVE IT SO MUCH… and as I was reading today there was one that I had to share. It has to do with what happens when a young tree loses the support of “a mighty mother tree”. These giants offer support in a hundred different ways including sending nutrients to the smaller trees as well as literal physical ...

Emily’s Favourite Stories from the Interweb

Podcast Series: Nancy-Queer Money Matters series It’s easy to feel like we’re screwing up because other people “get money” in a way that we don’t, but remember that not all people face the same financial challenges. When I was a kid, a lot of the models of people “doing money right” were straight cis able-bodied white men with conventional jobs. They were the ones who were “succeeding.” As a queer artist with an anxiety disorder, money was never going to work the same way for me. It would be unfair to hold up my experiences to their metrics. Take a ...

Debt Diaries #2:If You Don’t Have Any Grain, You’re Not Making Any Flour

Current Debts:

My partner: $130.00 for picking up my boots from the cobbler
Credit Card: -2,278.96
Overdraft on chequing account: $327.19
Bank Loan: $5,193.48 I like to think of financial literacy as a flour mill... You pour the grain in the top, and flour comes out the bottom (I think that’s how a flour mill works). I say to myself that becoming more financially savvy isn’t necessarily about finding more grain to put in the top, it’s about improving the machine itself, so that whether you are putting in a small amount of grain or a lot of it, ...

Artist Debt Diaries #1: Having Debt Doesn’t Make Me Any Less of a Badass

I’ve recently taken on some debt. I was on EI for a while, supplementing with my savings. Lemme tell you, trying to live off 60% of your pre-tip server income is not cute. They want you to pay taxes on your tips but are not willing to insure them. Oyyy, don’t get me started. The only way to make it through this period was to use my savings. And woah mama, was it a hard to convince myself to touch that money. But, ya know, eating, so I did. I decided to use this period to shift to making all ...

I Felt Like I Had Screwed Up My Financial Life Entirely… That I Was Destined to Constantly be Broke and Insecure.

*This was written by a client of mine (Chris) to help you understand a little more about what working with a financial coach/planner is like and so you can better decide if it's something that interests you.  I think until the time I started working with Chris, I was just nervous and ashamed about money in every way, and had an extremely hard time talking about it to anyone. I felt like I could never get it right with money; I never had enough of it, I was always behind my bills in some way, and I could never trust ...

How Much Tax Should I be Saving?

Take 25% of every dollar and put it into a separate savings account for your taxes. It’s good advice right? But how do you know whether 25% is enough (or way too much)? Honestly, it’s a tricky thing to figure out especially when you have no real idea of what your income is going to be in the coming year. I don't know how much you should be saving... but here are few ways to think about it: 1. Use last year as a guide A good place to start is with what you already know. Look at your tax ...

I Don’t Want to do my Taxes Either

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH. That’s how I feel about doing my own taxes. Now you might think… Chris… you must love doing taxes, don’t you like money? Don’t you write about taxes and stuff all the time? Sure. But they’re not MY taxes, and somehow that makes all the difference. Like so many of you, it usually takes the emergence of something else that I really don’t want to do before I finally haul out the receipts and fill out the spreadsheet that my accountant needs. Usually the motivation for taxes is more ‘stick’ than ‘carrot’ so this week I wanted to highlight ...

Office Hours Roundup: How do I Talk to My Partner/Family About Money (and Other Questions)

We hold office hours once a month. People sign up for free and we talk about money. We wanted to start highlighting a few of the many great questions people ask so that we can all learn from them and weigh in as a community. The questions have been changed slightly and generalized to make sure to protect the privacy of these sessions. Question #1: How do you help a partner or family member who isn’t as engaged in their finances as you’d like? This is such a tough one and every situation is very different but I feel ...

Choosing Between Income and Safety: How Having an Oh Shit! Fund Helped Me Get Out of a Shitty Situation

Note: Because this story is about male-female gender dynamics, I will be gendering people. This past Autumn, I was interviewed for a serving position. I liked the restaurant’s food, I thought I liked their ethos, and the price point was such that I expected tips would be good. I’m not new to the rodeo, so when the (male) GM said “do you have any questions for me?” I replied “Yes. As you know it’s coming increasingly to light that the restaurant industry is rife with sexual harassment. I would like to know the steps that you have personally taken to ...

I’m Afraid to Budget Because Then I Might Have to Change

It’s Monday. On Monday’s I sit down and work out my schedule for the week. it’s a new thing, but I’m really trying to get control of my time… and I’ve found this to be really helpful. …. when I do it. The funny thing is that every Monday I find myself actively resisting doing this thing. Actively doing anything else in order to avoid doing a thing I know for a fact has been really valuable for me. And I had a thought about that which relates to both money and time that I wanted to share with you ...

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:

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