I Need to Make More is a Really Terrible Income Goal

For those of us that don’t love numbers we often use the same words over and over to describe what we want with our money: more, less, and enough. “I just want to have enough to live my life.”
“I need to make more money.”
“If only I could spend less, things would be much easier.” But those are really hard things to do, and they’re made even harder because you haven’t given yourself any tools to actually solve the problem. How much is enough? How do you know when you’ve gotten there? How much more money do you need ...
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You Need a Budget…And Maybe Some Donuts

My name is Dashon and I'm an opera singer just like Chris. We met after many years of hearing of each other, but, as it often works in the classical singing world, we didn't meet each other until we were eating meringues together in the heart of Paris. C'est la vie! I have known Chris' wife Mireille Asselin, another amazingly accomplished opera singer (seriously, you have got to listen to her amazing voice!) for many years, and she has told me about Chris many times. To meet up with friends, old and new, is always a joy! Between bites of ...
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How to Start Organizing Your Expenses … Just Like Marie Kondo

Just like everyone else with a Netflix subscription, I’ve been watching Marie Kondo’s show ‘Tidying Up’. And here’s the thing… a lot of the things that stress us out about having a messy house are the same things that stress us out about our finances. That feeling of having a stressful environment, the sense that there isn’t an order to how or why we do things can make it feel like we’re just surviving instead of living our lives the way we’d like to. If that feels remotely familiar, let’s steal a bunch of Marie Kondo’s ideas and see if ...
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Am I Spending Way Too Much?

Did you know that in Sweden all salaries are public? You can just login to a database and take a browse through what all your friends make for a living… which from a North American perspective is a pretty hard thing to imagine. What you make is something we tend to obsess about, whether we talk about it or not. I think everyone has a basic idea of what an average salary range seems to be (even though I’m sure if we adopted the database system there might be a lot of surprise). What we really don’t have much of ...
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What Artists Believe About Money: Infographic

Whenever Emily or I do financial workshops with a group of creatives one of the first questions we ask is what people believe about money. It might seem like a pretty hokey way to start a financial seminar, but it’s really important. The things that we believe about money have an immense amount of power. They can filter the way we hear information. They tell us what’s possible and what’s not. They shade everything. And sometimes, that’s a good thing, but other times those beliefs really aren’t helping. Those discussions are always really empowering for me. So many of the ...
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Magic Time and Magic Money: The Danger of Goal Setting Without a Plan

When I was in Grade 10, my teachers made me a t-shirt that said “Sign Me Up!” with a picture of me in velvet pants prancing like a pony*. I have always had the bad habit of signing up for more than I can humanly do. I just love the excitement of saying “I can do it!” and seeing the relief in a person’s face. I also love planning grand and exciting adventures for myself. Last year, I decided I was going to spend December in India. “Great!” I thought. “This is important to me and a manageable goal.” The ...
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Making a Plan: With a Sketch and a Whole Lot of Stretch

I didn’t jump out of bed on January 1st 2019 excited to face a new year. It was mid afternoon when I decided I was putting off the new year for a few more days. “My new year starts on the 3rd” I told my wife. … it started on the 4th, and the stress hit the next day. I was sitting at my computer trying to wade through a pile of emails and tasks that I had secretly promised myself I would finish over the holidays with ‘all my free time’. After an hour I reached that place where ...
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Starting Some Financial Work? Be Gentle With Your Expectations

If there was one thing I would wish for every person trying to get from … well…. from rags to reasonable…. it would be this…. Be gentle with your expectations. There is nothing in this work that happens quickly. Despite all the ‘only 5 minute’ talk that is posted all over the internet (I’m pretty sure there’s even some of it on this site)…. that’s not how it works. You will find truths about your finances (and maybe yourself) that you won’t love. Maybe there’s more debt than you think…. Maybe you spend more every month than you ‘think ...
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Two Ways to Think About Making $30,000 a Year

When you don’t know a lot about health, ‘weight’ seems like a really good metric. And maybe in lots of cases it is (I don’t know a lot about health) What I find so interesting is that the same weight can feel so different in the body. The scale can show you the exact same number… but sometimes it can feel like a healthy version of you, and sometimes it does not. I’m pretty sure, with my terrible understanding of how the body works, that it has something to do with the things that are making up that weight. To ...
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‘Clipping Coupons’ Takes Time (Lots of Low Income Earners Don’t Have It)

There’s a real tone of distaste and disrespect that people who consider themselves financially literate use to describe people who are struggling, especially with their cashflow. Even in it’s best and most well meaning form - the ‘tough love’ approach - I really don’t like it. Now, part of that is about me and my problems with conflict, but part of it is the way we pretend to know everything about some else’s life. It’s funny how you can know something somewhere in your mind, but until you come face to face with it… you don’t really internalize it. That’s ...
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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.