8000 reasons you should go see your dentist … right now

8000 reasons you should go see your dentist … right now

8000 reasons for the dentist

I celebrated an anniversary two weeks ago… The anniversary of last year’s disastrous American thanksgiving, when a slightly sensitive tooth flared up into a full-blown infection leading to the first of what would be many dental procedures over the next 12 months.

You see, for the 10 years before that date I had been avoiding the dentist.

Some of my favourite excuses were:

I know there’s stuff that needs to be done, but I don’t have the money.
It doesn’t really hurt that badly.
I don’t really need my teeth… I can just live off of milkshakes… they’re good…

But the truth was, I was just pretty scared of the dentist. Ever since I was a little kid, I hated it there. The sounds, the smells, they just made my muscles tense up.

Plus…there was the money thing…

So it was an occasion worth celebrating when, a year after that first root canal, I was CAVITY FREE for the first time in years. I had bitten the bullet, gotten the work done… and doggone it… it was worth it.

Well done, past Chris, you’re finally growing up into an adult.

And the very next morning after my joyous anniversary I woke up with a terrible toothache… (more…)

Give a little… get a lot

Give a little… get a lot

Give a little - From Rags to Reasonable

So, apparently ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a thing now… I’m not sure when that started, but I will say that somehow it loses a little bit of its authenticity when it comes right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which I had also never heard of until this year).

Nonetheless, there was some pretty spectacular giving going on. I love how many great causes people were posting about. It was an amazing burst of positivity on my newsfeed. But I think we can all agree the winner has to be Mr. Facebook himself who pledged 99% of his Facebook shares to charity. Billions of dollars.

That’s a whole lot of giving.

It’s pretty easy as an artist living on less to not think about ‘giving’ all that often. In fact, in the arts, we often are the ones people are ‘giving’ to. And so, too often, the conversations artists have about charity and donations are about how people aren’t giving us enough.

I think it’s easy to become a little selfish when you’re having trouble making ends meet. At least, it’s easy for me. It’s easy to forget exactly how lucky I am, and how many things I have.

And it’s really easy to assume that because I can’t give billions of dollars away… the few dollars that I could afford couldn’t possibly matter. (more…)

Being broke doesn’t mean you’re broken

Being broke doesn’t mean you’re broken

Broke not Broken - From Rags to Reasonable

In the personal finance sphere it seems like there’s no greater fate than being broke. NO MONEY??? That must be absolutely terrible, you must be doing everything wrong.

The thing is, having no money doesn’t mean you’re broken. In fact there are lots of people who don’t mind living with no money (and some of them are even… gasp… happy).

On the other hand, broke can also be a really shitty place to be. The stress, the sense of shame (whether it’s deserved or not), the desperation.

But that feeling is shitty not necessarily because you don’t have any money, it’s because you don’t have enough money to do what ever it is you want to do.

Recently, a friend posted a video of a guy who swore he had hit rock bottom. Things had gotten so low that he had to buy a Ford Focus.

Yikes. (more…)



Treat or Habit - From Rags to Reasonable

I deserve a treat.”

Do you know how easy it is for my brain to justify that sentence??

So. Easy.

I just ate two donuts because I felt that I deserved a treat (ya.. that’s right… TWO… cause one donut isn’t treat enough!).

The personal finance handbook comes down pretty hard on ‘treats’. It’s not so much in favour of them. I should be investing that money in a low MER ETF with a half-way decent dividend yield instead!

But… um….donuts… (more…)



I don't have enough money

“I don’t have enough money”

Sometimes it boils down to something that simple. You have bills. You have things you ‘need’ to do. And you just plain can’t pay for them.

I’ve been there. Lots of us have been there.

It’s a problem that always brought me to the great and powerful Google, desperately searching for something I hadn’t yet thought of… and if that’s what brought you here, I’m really sorry. I know it’s rough.

I’m not going to offer a magic pill, or a 5-minutes-a-day solution. I have searched the world and come to the conclusion that there are only two things that actually ‘solve’ broke:

 Spend less
– Make more

Mind blown? No? Of course you’ve thought of that… maybe you’ve even tried it a little.

I’m here to tell you that that’s pretty much all there is…


Spending less. Seems like good advice, right? Just cut down on all those frills…

But if you’re broke, you might feel like you’re already hardly spending at all.

So what are you supposed to do? Cut out everything that isn’t a roof over your head and the noodles that keep you alive??? Do you not deserve any kind of fun?

Look. I’m not here to say you can’t have anything fun or pleasurable in your life.

I’m here to say that if you want to … you know… not be broke anymore, you need to make sure that you’re only spending on the things that you really want and need to be spending on.

I don't have enough money - From Rags to ReasonableAnd yes, I said want. Your wants matter, but you’ve got to be real honest about what those wants are getting you.

For example, ten bucks a month spent on Netflix can deliver the gift of sanity better than 10 dollars spent on anything else might. That, in my mind, is money well spent.

But you’ve got to take a really good look at the whole picture. It’s not about spending less necessarily, it’s about spending better.

And you can’t cut back, or spend better until you know how you’re spending now. There are lots of ways to TRACK YOUR SPENDING. You can even get a sense of it HERE by doing a little worksheet.

Once you’re equipped with the sweet juice of knowledge, then you make the tough decisions.

Are you milking every bit out of every dollar? Can you spend less, better, … differently? Is there anything that you think you could cut back on?

No? Then you’re gonna have to…

how much do you spend? download this free worksheet


More money pleeeeeeese!! If only it were that simple right?

But maybe it is…

Broke doesn’t mean you’re not busy.  I know so many people who are working their asses off but are still having trouble making ends meet. If you’re busy every second of the day… why not see if the things you’re already doing can make you a little extra scratch??

That’s going to mean something different for everyone. Maybe it means asking for a raise. Or maybe it means looking at something that you’re already doing for free, and brainstorming ways you can market that skill to bring in something extra.

People always suggest that you sell your stuff to earn some money. That’s fine, if you want. But while you’re turning the cupboard upside down looking for things to sell, why not do the same with your skill set! What can you do that might be worth money to people? Get creative! Something that might seem really easy to you… might be worth 50 bucks a week to someone else.I don't have enough money - From Rags to Reasonable

Or maybe there’s no chance of that. Then, my friend, you’ll need to pick up a side job, or heck… even a day job.

And before you listen to the voice in your head that says that’s selling out, or that means you failed (I have one of those voices in my head too) stop to think for a second. That voice would rather have you sit at home miserable, feeling completely shitty about your situation while not changing a thing… rather than actually facing the situation head on… rather than finding a way, ANY WAY, to pick up some more resources. Not just so you can make better art, but so you can be a happier human being.


Which of those options sounds more like selling out to you..?

A job doesn’t need to drain your soul, but it does need to pay you… because you need some freaking money.

And here’s the thing, if after cutting down your spending as much as you can, and picking up as much side income as you can possibly handle you still just can’t seem to make ends meet, here’s a bit of hard truth for you…


I firmly believe that you can live a rich and wonderful life on not a lot of money. But I also believe that that kind of frugally fulfilling life isn’t for everyone. If you’re constantly finding that your needs and wants just can’t be supported by the life that you’re living…

… then you’re probably living the wrong life.

You can spend your time complaining about how that’s super unfair, how you wish it were different, but at the end of the day all the pretending, and overspending, and ignoring the facts… are just going to end you up debt creek without a paddle.

And the worst part of it is, living the wrong life is keeping you from getting awesome at living the right one.

Because there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have nice things, and a stable income, and a defined pension plan. It doesn’t mean you’re selling out, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. REAL ARTISTS HAVE DAY JOBS! They really do.

feel like your money is out of control? Start with this free 10 day email guide


You might not need a lot to be happy. Heck you might even be happy having nothing these days. But if you’re not happy. If you’re struggling. If being broke is breaking your spirit.

Fix it. Change something.

Art may be subjective. Money is not.

You only have what you have. No more. No less. If the math doesn’t add up…

….something has to change. What’s it going to be?

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.



Disciplined pursuit of less

I’m really good at losing focus!

Both in the little things and the big picture stuff.

And do you know what’s really incredible?…  I’m so good at it, it doesn’t even look like I’m losing focus at all.

I’ll sit down at my desk in the morning, start with some studying, and then be reminded of an email I need to send. Half-way through that I get a good idea for a blog post … then an interesting aria idea that I should try.

I call it hyper productive time wasting.

I’m getting things done… Without really accomplishing anything.

*pause for applause*

It’s not that I mean to be a time waster, but it’s really easy to convince myself that I’m working hard while completely losing focus on what I’m working towards.

On the surface, it’s all good work, but is it the right work? (more…)