What Artists Believe About Money: Infographic

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 beliefs people share are ones that I’ve struggled with and felt I was alone in.

So, we put a call in the creative community for the ‘things that people believe about money’ and put together a list for you below. While you’re reading through it keep an eye out for the ones that make you say “well that one is actually true”… that’s a tell tale sign that it might be a belief that you’re carrying around the world.

Remember, usually beliefs aren’t myths. Beliefs are often based off of true experiences. Building awareness around them isn’t about debunking them or exposing them as lies that we’ve built our lives around.

The question is… does this belief still serve me? Is it helping me build the life I want or is it holding me back?

And if it’s holding you back… how can you nudge it in a more helpful direction.

What do you think? Any of those jump out to you? Is there something that you believe that’s missing… leave a note in the comments!

Emily Nixon

Emily Nixon

Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator

Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.

She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.

Email Emily at emily@ragstoreasonable.com

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

Budgeting Bipolar: How to Manage Your Money When you Have Bigger Fish to Fry

Budgeting Bipolar: How to Manage Your Money When you Have Bigger Fish to Fry

This post was commissioned as part of a pilot program at Rags to Reasonable. In an effort to both support artists and gather financial resources and stories, R2R is offering money for content (written, visual, or video).

If you’re interested in pitching an idea fill out .

If you have any questions, email me at ragstoreasonable@gmail.com

Picture yourself at midnight. Your to-do list is just too long for you to successfully complete before bed.  Your bank balance is just thirty dollars under rent, and maybe you have that between your couch cushions, but you also have to buy food.

If you are anything like me, this might be when your alarm goes off to take your medicine. And here is where you learn two things about me: one, that I take a number of medications to keep me sane. And two, that on this particular night, I’m down to my last few. Time to stock up again.

So here’s a little background. I’m a full-time freelancer now, setting my own hours and working for hire on all kinds of music related work…and I’m also bipolar with a small sprinkling of anxiety issues. This means that on top of the regular struggles of being a freelancer I’m also balancing doctor’s appointments, sessions with a therapist, and the financial cost of medication, which adds up very quickly when you have multiple mental health issues.

So when you’re in this situation, what do you do? What happens when managing your money plays second fiddle to staying healthy?

I have a few strategies to manage this:

  • If you’re on expensive medications, ask your doctor about insurance options, or less expensive (generic) substitutions. In the province of Ontario, there’s a government drug subsidy that limits the amount you pay per year – your deductible – to 4% of your taxable income. And generic drugs, when available, are typically cheaper than their brand-name counterparts, but contain the same active ingredients. But don’t make those decisions until you consult a medical professional!

  • When budgeting/planning your spending, have strict priorities – and then have a category or two with no upper limits. When I look at my monthly income, the first gigs and contracts go directly towards my rent, and the next towards transportation. But after that, I have two categories where there is no limit – food, and medical expenses. I would rather go without just about everything else than go without food, and I need my medication to ensure that I’m sane enough to work, and that other people will still want to work with me. (This also helps me manage the manic spending impulses – buying all the snacks at the grocery store is still cheaper than buying too many clothes on a shopping spree!) So if you need to cut back in other areas, do it; make sure your essentials get taken care of first. No one cares if you wear the same clothes every day (well, unless you smell as well). But they will care if you’re a good person or not.
  • Preventative measures are smarter investments than damage control later. Staying physically active and eating healthy is essential. So, if that gym membership down the street or your yoga classes or the gear for your beer league is going to be money you’ll be happy spending, then invest in it. If you’re out a lot and healthier choices are a little more expensive, it’s probably still a better investment than that third latte. And if therapy is the answer you need: there are cost-accessible options out there. But putting the time into therapy and doctors and care you need means that you won’t end up in the hospital later.

  • Money is no substitute for time. If you need to take the time off to treat your mental health – even if it means taking a little less work – it is an investment in your future, both personally and professionally. Self-care is important!

Money, for me, is always one of the biggest stressors in my life. And we need it to survive. But you only get one body and one mind, and you can’t take care of your money if there’s no you around to save or spend it!

Chelsea McBride

Chelsea McBride

Paid Contributor

Driven by an endless need for expressing herself creatively, young composer and multi-instrumentalist Chelsea McBride has burst onto the Toronto jazz scene. Whether it’s her big band (Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School), her jazz trio (Chelsea McBride Group), her pop-fusion band (Chelsea and the Cityscape), her Latin-soul nonet (The Achromatics) or her video game cover band (Koopa Troop), Chelsea is a diverse musician who refuses to stay in one creative box. Chelsea can be heard around Toronto playing several shows per month. She has released three albums with Chelsea and the Cityscape and two albums with her Socialist Night School.

You can find out more at www.crymmusic.com

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

How This Actress Saves 10% of Her Variable Income

How This Actress Saves 10% of Her Variable Income

This post was commissioned as part of a pilot program at Rags to Reasonable. In an effort to both support artists and gather financial resources and stories, R2R is offering money for content (written, visual, or video).

If you’re interested in pitching an idea fill out .

If you have any questions, email me at ragstoreasonable@gmail.com

Actress saves 10%

In 2009 I taught English conversation in Algeria earning $3/hour.

I hadn’t made that little since I babysat my cousin in 1992. This was my day job. I led conversation classes while my husband and I created a theater company that offered workshops and solo performances.

We were always paid in cash.

When we got married my husband had no savings. I had $2500. I also still owed $14,000 in student loans. Mohammed had always lived in his family home in Oran, Algeria. I had been living on my own for 4 years in Minneapolis. I hadn’t really figured out a good savings strategy.

I had opened up a ROTH IRA but no one told me I needed to contribute to it monthly. I thought somehow my $1000 would magically turn into $1,000,000 by the time I was 65 on its own.


Apparently it’s not for everyone. You have to have proof of income and they interview you. Luckily, I had a contract from an early education center where I was to offer three weeks of drama in the classroom workshops for preschool teachers. Every time we were paid we had to take the cash to the bank.

Once, my husband was paid about $500 with a cheque. He had to take it to the bank where the cheque was issued. They didn’t have enough cash on hand so he had to wait two hours until someone came in and made a cash deposit.

Our income came in fits and starts. Sometimes we’d travel around the country. Sometimes we’d work nearby. We didn’t pay money for rent—we lived with my mother-in-law, so I would say we paid rent in dish-washing.

Over the course of a month our income might have looked like this:

  • $60 (a week of teaching English conversation)
  • $300 (a performance for a cultural center)
  • $50 (a commercial for the national electric company)

In my mind I had one thing I was constantly focused on: how do I not get stuck here?

How do I have enough money to travel and take a break from the in-laws? How can I save enough so we can move to the US in two years?

I used to listen to podcasts while I cleaned, did all those dishes and took bus after bus after train around Algeria. The one I liked the best was Marketplace Money. At the time, Tess Vigeland hosted it and she often had David Lazarus answering listeners’ questions. I heard Tess interviewed by Joel Saul-Sehy a few years after she quit, saying that she had gotten tired of answering the same questions every show. But the weekly repetition of the same answers to the same questions was exactly what I needed. Over and over again I heard them say:

Save at least 10% of every paycheck.

Actress saves 10%

This is what getting paid with a bag of cash looks like


My husband would bring home a bag of cash (I’m not kidding. Sometimes it was a plastic bag of cash wrapped in newspaper) and I would take 10% off the top and put it in my special leather billfold.

Even if it was $20. $2 came off the top and into the billfold.

It didn’t matter.

10% of everything. It became a ritual.

Get paid, come home, hand me the cash and take 10%. When my billfold was hard to zip I took it to the bank. Sometimes even sooner because I worried about being tempted to touch it.

Once, I deposited $5 in the bank. It wasn’t next door either. I had to take a bus from the suburb we lived in to a stop at the edge of Oran called “Les Amandiers.” Then I could take a taxi or a bus and get off three blocks from the bank. This took about 40 minutes if everything was running smoothly.

40 minutes on public transportation to deposit $5 into our savings account.

In 2009 we collectively earned $6000. In 2010 we earned $8000. In 2012 when we did Mohammed’s visa paperwork and bought two Algeria-Minneapolis plane tickets we had saved $3000.


Our routine was so different. We paid rent in dollars and not in dish-washing. We had some regular income and some random freelance income. Without the framework and the clear laser focused goal of moving to America pushing me along, I floundered. Until one day I looked at our bank account.

Almost year after living in Minnesota I panicked, “Mohammed we don’t have anything extra. What happened? This makes me so anxious. Where is all our money going?”

And he said, “remember when we used to take 10% of everything. That worked really well.”

I no longer had Tess Vigeland and David Lazarus in my ear every week driving the point home. But we started it again. We opened an online savings account with a higher interest rate.

10%. Without a goal it’s harder. So I made some goals and posted them on the fridge.

  • $15,000 emergency savings.
  • $10,000 to have a baby.
  • $30,000 to buy a house.

In 2016 we made close to $50,000 between theater work in Minneapolis and TV work in Algeria.  We’re on our way again.

It’s harder somehow with bigger numbers.

I have to construct the same urgency that I felt when I knew I didn’t want to live the rest of my life with in-laws. I had to reform the habit. But now it’s back.

I brush my teeth, I take out the trash, I meditate 10 minutes, and I save 10%. No matter how small the paycheck. $60 for writing this blog post? $6 into savings.

Except this time without a 40-minute bus ride.

Taous Claire Khazem

Taous Claire Khazem

Paid Contributor

Taous Claire Khazem is an actress, teaching artist and director based in Minneapolis, MN, USA. She also appears on the Algerian sit-com Sultan Achour 10. She is a recipient of the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowships.

For more information check out HER WEBSITE.

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

Lindsay VS her debt: 5 tips for getting your debt back on track

Lindsay VS her debt: 5 tips for getting your debt back on track

5 ways to get your debt back on track
Who’s it for: People who are paying off their debt.

What’s it about: Getting back on track when you lose focus.
This is Part 5 in a series. You can read PART 1 HERE.

It’s been a while since I’ve been back to school, but there’s still something about the fall that has that “back to reality” feel, even though I’ve been working all summer. Time to re-evaluate. Time to get down to business.

I’m going to be honest – the summer slipped away and so did my budget, my plans, and my goals. The summer was glorious – don’t get me wrong – but now that the fall reality has set in, I’m feeling a bit disappointed with myself. What happened to my plan of being debt-free by 30? I found myself living in a way that I was really trying to get away from – living too much in the moment without thinking about consequences. This is how we get ourselves into debt, friends. I always want to be as present as I can be, but I also need to live in my own reality. And my reality is that I’m loaded with debt, and I don’t want to live that way.

After some reflection, I knew it was time to take real action. So here it is: my not that fun debt crackdown.


Credit card goes away.

I clearly can’t handle having a credit card, because somehow during my debt-free challenge I ended up increasing my credit limit, and then maxing out the card. UGH! Some financial gurus suggest you cut up your card. I personally am just going to lock mine away – I’m not going to give up over 10 years of credit-building history, thank you very much. It’ll just be away.


Save $1000.

A Dave Ramsay special. Right now I don’t have any savings, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. $1000 will probably be enough to take care of me in any kind of minor emergency.


Save up one month of budget-necessary income.

Alright. I had a budget crack-down. I LOVE giving myself flexibility and room to enjoy my life, but one day I’m also going to love not having to make payments. I’ve made a minimalist budget of $1800/month, and I plan on sticking to it!


Suck it, subscriptions!

Netflix stays, but everything else has gone. I’ve cut my phone bill from what once was $103 per month to about $45 per month. Some things I’ve been lucky enough to save on via family share. Thanks mom & dad!


Track EVERYTHING the old fashioned way.

No more apps. No more automation. Just me, paper, pen, and (let’s be honest), the calculator on my phone.

STEP 6: (bonus step?)

Read all the books and blogs.

I’ve found that I’m having a really difficult time staying focused and motivated on debt payment this time around. I was wondering why, until something hit me like a ton of bricks. What I realized is that by just living day to day, we’re constantly being pulled to consume. Waking up and going to work and coming home is filled with temptations and pressures to spend. Last time I was paying off debt, I was constantly reading through debt payment blogs and books. This time, not so much. I’ve realized that for me, I need for debt payment to be a stronger message in my life than the message to consume, and that takes work. By reading books, blogs, and scrolling through debt-payment Pinterest pages, I can try and counteract the spending pressures with messages of saving, and improve my chances of success.


So where am I at today? My total debt iiiissss: $10,470.29

Am I going to pay off all of that in 3 months? Unlikely. But am I going to make a solid effort? YOU BETCHYA! Wish me luck!

5 ways to get your debt back on track

Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?

Chris Enns

Chris Enns

Financial Planner/Opera Singer

Money never came naturally to me. In fact… I was a bit of a disaster. I remember (very clearly) what it feels like to be ‘financially out of control’.

And honestly, I still get stressed about money… that doesn’t stop… the difference is that now I have the tools to deal with that stress.

And those tools are what’s made it possible for me to build a life full of the things I want: art, creativity, travel, family and more.

If you want to start getting control of your money I’d love to help. You can start with THIS QUIZ, visiting my GETTING STARTED PAGE by checking out my SERVICES page.

Lindsay VS her debt: Part 4 – BUDGET AHOY!!!!

Lindsay VS her debt: Part 4 – BUDGET AHOY!!!!

Budget Island

*The following is part 4 of a year-long series. If you want to start from the beginning, learn about who Lindsay is, and check out how much debt she started with…  check out PART 1.*

Well, friends, remember that time I was going to try and pay off over $1000 this month?

That didn’t even happen a little bit.

May ended up being a crazy busy month – it flew by before I realized it had even started. Along with it being busy work wise, I’ve found myself a bit, well… distracted as of late. So I didn’t budget. And then the month ended. And then I found out I only had $490 to pay towards my debt… so that’s where I’m at. UGH!

The amazing thing about failures is that they have the ability to become amazing learning experiences. The biggest thing I learned from last month, is that I seriously… SERIOUSLY! need to use a budget.

I’ve been using YNAB (à la Chris) for about 8 months or so now, and I use it fairly consistently. To be honest, I thought it was a good thing to have, but I didn’t really understand why it was important. (I’m on top of my finances because I use budgeting software! Look at me! Gold star!)

I basically never stick to my budget. I constantly adjust and move amounts and overspend – it’s pretty much always in flux. So if I was adjusting it all the time, it really didn’t matter that much, right?

WRONG!!!! (more…)

Lindsay vs Her Debt: Part 3 – Breaking all the Rules

Lindsay vs Her Debt: Part 3 – Breaking all the Rules

Lindsay vs Her Debt - From Rags to Reasonable

*The following is part 3 of a year-long series. If you want to start from the beginning, learn about who Lindsay is, and check out how much debt she started with…  check out PART 1.

Hello again, friends! I can’t believe two whole months have gone by since I started. Time flies!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about my debt paying strategy, why personal finance is personal, and why I’m breaking the rules. I feel like a bit of a debt paying bandit!

Somewhere out there, Dave Ramsey just had a chill up his spine, but has no idea why…

Anyway! Let’s start from way back at the beginning, because to me it’s extremely important that if you ARE going to break rules, you need to know:

  • that you’re breaking them, and
  • why you’re breaking them.

Why I’m breaking the rules:  (more…)