October Social Enterprise Update: What Financial Help is Useful for Low Income Earners?

October Social Enterprise Update: What Financial Help is Useful for Low Income Earners?

I had a lovely conversation last week with an actor about the importance of access.

It’s an issue that you can chip away at from a hundred different starting points, and it’s an essential discussion point in the world of finance.

In my own little corner of the world, the fight I’ve chosen is on the low income front.

I want to help people who don’t earn a ton of income, to get access to one-on-one financial planning.

Here’s how I worked on that goal in October.

 

The work:

Last month R2R subsidized 7 hours of financial planning and coaching work to people for free.

5 hours of that came as an ongoing project with a Pay-What-You-Can client. We’re working on building a system to manage variable income and pay off debt.

The other 2 hours were a part of the OFFICE HOURS project. I only held one day of office hours this month, it was hard to schedule while on THEATRE TIME.

I’m also happy to announce that I’ll be starting work with a new PWYC client in the next few months!

 

The money:

This work is funded from two sources:

I donate 10% of all earnings from the site to this work
18 generous patrons through PATREON

In October R2R provided $560 worth of services.

 

Does financial advice mean as much to people who don’t earn a ton?

This side of my business is one grand experiment. I don’t know if it’s a model that will work long term, but I really love the work.

I think a lot about why this segment of the population has been ignored by financial businesses in the past. Sure, part of it is the fact that they can’t pay for the ‘luxury’ of one-on-one service, but another part is the theory that financial advice is less effective for people with lower capacity.

Does financial advice mean as much to people who don’t earn a ton?

I don’t know.

I think that different kinds of services have a different value for high earners vs the kind of people I’m working with.

What I’ve experienced is that simply having a consistent ally over a period of weeks and months seems to be extremely valuable.

Someone to talk to, or bounce ideas off of, or someone to help them shake off the stigmas of financial success and earning power.

It definitely matters, but it requires a rethinking of how and what financial services are delivered.

There is so much for me to learn.

 

A whole lot of gratitude

It is a privilege for me to be able to do this work.

I believe one long term sustainable help, and so I knew that simply donating large amounts of my time would be hard to keep going over months and years.

My time is paid for by those who can afford to pay: clients and PATRONS.

I’m really grateful that you trust me with your dollars, and I’ll keep doing my best to make you proud.

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 or by checking out my SERVICES page.

How R2R took $1,200 and did some financial good

How R2R took $1,200 and did some financial good

As some of you know, I’ve got a mission here at R2R to provide one-on-one financial help to everyone who needs it – no matter what their income is.

So I thought I’d let you know how that work has been going.

In August/September I was able to connect more than $1,200 worth of services to people who needed them.

That money came from the R2R fund which is supported by contributing 10% of every dollar I make through R2R and by a fabulous group of Patrons through PATREON.

Here’s how it all broke down:

Office Hours: 

In the last few months there has been an increasing flow of office hours, as we all transition from August to the insanity of fall.

I’ve managed to connect with 15 fantastic folks, some of them new faces and some of them old friends. We did 30 minute Skype sessions and talked about a ton of things, lots of which are hard to boil down into specific questions and point form.

But to give you a little bit of an idea, topics included:  

  • scheduling time for finances when your life is insanely different from day to day (theatre people… you know what I’m talking about).
  • strategies for saving (when you know that if you can see the money… you’ll spend the money).
  • behavioural finance – what it means and where are the best places to learn about it.
  • how to get back on track after dropping the ball for a little while.
  • best ways to use an inheritance
  • managing variable income… always a huge issue
  • and how to take advantage of a period of time when you’re making a regular paycheque.

One of most satisfying things is checking in with someone who’s been a regular office hours participant over a few months and is starting to feel differently about this whole money thing.

There was a moment in early September when someone looked at me and just beamed: “It doesn’t feel nearly so hopeless anymore.”

If you’re ever struggled with money you know how huge of a step it is to go from ‘hopeless’ to ‘not nearly so hopeless’.

Pay-what-you-can Financial Planning

In August I officially launched pay-what-you-can financial planning (even though it had been operating in a more less structured way all year). I got a few great applicants, and have started to work with the first one in September.

For those of you who haven’t heard about it … it works by allowing clients in lower income brackets to set what they can afford to pay, and the rest is subsided through the R2R fund (which is funded by a combination of PATREON and the R2R mission of donating 10% of every dollar made to this kind of work).

I’m sure there will be a lot more to share as this program grows, but I’m very excited about it.

If you know anyone who might benefit from either of these programs please spread the word!

I really have to give a massive shout out to the R2R patrons who are a HUGE part of funding this work. There are currently 18 of them giving every month, and that stable cashflow has allowed me to be able to commit to continuing these programs in the future and being able to do this work that I really love.

If you want to join them (no pressure of course)… you can learn everything you want to know over on my PATREON PAGE.

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 or by checking out my SERVICES page.

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