“Spend your money on experiences, not things”

Kyne gets real about financial wellness. Made popular by Canada’s Drag Race, Kyne is a world class drag queen, influencer, and wait for it – math genius.

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Born in the Philippines, Kyne Santos grew up in Kitchener, Ontario where he moved with his family in 2003. He graduated high school with the prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship to study at the University of Waterloo, graduating with a Bachelor of Mathematics with a major in Mathematical Finance. 

The drag superstar – who goes by the stage name Kyne – has a presence on various social media platforms, but creates the largest impact on YouTube and TikTok. Kyne’s content ranges from drag tutorials and lipsyncing like a pro to making short-form math videos where she tells riddles, talks about history’s greatest mathematicians, and teaches her followers the nuances of finance, all while dressed in high-glamour drag. What did her personal journey towards financial wellness look like? Hear it from the math queen herself. 

Q. How has your life changed since Canada’s Drag Race?

A. It’s certainly given me a bigger platform which has allowed me to pursue drag as a full time job, and that’s been my dream for a while!

Q. We know from your background that you’re passionate about finance, but could you tell us why financial literacy is important to you?

A. My parents raised me to understand the value of a dollar, and my dad in particular was very open to talking about money and debt. He told me that some of the biggest celebrities who I thought were rich were actually deep in debt, and that the biggest form of wealth is financial freedom. He taught me to save as much as I can and to never live beyond my means. I continue to remind myself of that and I think it’s a message lots of us need to hear!

Q. How/why do you connect the world of drag to finance?

A. My passion for drag developed separately from my connection to finance. I started doing drag while I was in university getting my Bachelors degree in Math and majoring in math 

finance. I thought I would graduate and get a corporate job somewhere and continue to do drag on the weekends — that orrrrr I’d become a famous drag queen and put my degree in my closet to collect dust. One day, one of my followers suggested I put my drag tutorials on TikTok, and when I started using the app I was so inspired by everyone’s uniqueness and humour, so I thought to myself, what can I do that’s funny? So I started telling math riddles in my drag costumes like I was the Troll from Dora the Explorer. And people really loved it! I found out I could fuse both of my passions and share my love for math while not having to give up my creative outlet. My message is threefold: 

1. Math is fun and beautiful. 

2. Math is for everyone, not just straight boys. 

3. Math is important, it’s in the media and in your finances, so don’t think it doesn’t apply to you!

Q. What interests you the most about blockchain? (crypto, NFTs, DeFi, alternative finance)?

A. As a math lover I’m amazed at how far cryptography has come, from sending secret codes to now stripping out big banks and governments. Personally I’m skeptical on whether crypto will really overtake traditional currency (and I’m extra skeptical about NFTs) but I’m optimistic. I hold Bitcoin and Ethereum in my portfolio, and a tiny bit of Dogecoin as a joke lol.

Q. Finally, what financial self-care tips would you like to share with your audience?

A: Spend your money on experiences, not things. Never live beyond your means. Save what you can and invest with your TFSA and RRSP. Think about it like paying your future self first!

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