■ CANADIAN stand up and award-winning Edinburgh Festival performer Phil Nichol, 53, starts his Your Wrong tour in September.
What was your first job?
Mowing lawns in Toronto when I was 13. My friend and I would go around with his dad’s new lawn mower charging 50 cents a lawn — the same price as getting into the local outdoor pool. We did it so we could go to the pool. Then I ran over the cable and we had to buy a replacement mower. All the money we’d earned went on that.
What’s been your best investment?
A guitar bought when I was a teenager. It was screwed into my friend’s basement wall as a decoration but I bought it from him and learned how to play. I’ve played guitar every day since. It’s my best investment because I’m now a musical standup comedian and have recorded five comedy albums.
What would be your money no object purchase?
A house in Vancouver. Property prices are really out of control there. The housing market is actually worse there than in London and the mayor has introduced a price cap to deter Japanese and Russian investors from buying properties and leaving them all empty.
What luxury wouldn’t you give up?
Air travel. I live in London and comedy takes me all over the world. I go to South America, Canada and Australia quite often.
What’s been your biggest financial regret?
I won an Edinburgh comedy award in 2006 and signed a DVD deal. I got a lump sum of money and burned a lot of it making a short film which never saw the light of day. It was an art house comedy film set in my living room. It never got finished. I took on too much myself. I wrote it, was starring in it and directing it. It’s virtually impossible to do all that and I didn’t realise at the time.
Are you a spender or a saver?
A spender all the way. I’ll buy everyone’s dinner when we go out. But I believe if you give it away it’ll come back to you. Time will tell if that theory is correct. I’m in the arts world and we all help each other out when we need it. I don’t chase money. I live well, hand to mouth.
Do you consider yourself savvy with personal finances?
I work to do interesting projects and if there’s money involved I’ll take it. Only time will tell if I’ve been savvy. I don’t have things such as pensions. I live near a funeral home so I’m reminded the end is coming. My father worked two jobs and saved every penny so we argue about this quite often, but his pension was wiped out after the financial crash.
Your last impulse purchase?
A guitar. I went into a guitar shop to buy strings and when I was there I played a Takamine they had, which is the sort of guitar Bruce Springsteen played. I went back a few weeks later and they offered it to me for half price so I bought it.
Cash or card?
Card. It sounds like I’m not financially sound but I pay with cards as it’s an easy way to keep an eye on expenses for when I do my taxes. Comedians always used to get paid in cash but that’s virtually unheard of now.
■ Phil Nichol’s Your Wrong tour starts on September 28, philnichol.com