As a freelance musician, we have a limited amount of income we can make from just performing. And most of us know this when we signed up for it. The freedom, independence, and creative lifestyle are usually worth the trade off. But, that doesn’t mean that we are immune to the feelings of wanting more of the nice things that everybody else has.
In our last episode, we talked about some ways you could make more money, and today we look at how we can save money without ending up in a crying ball on the floor because we’re only eating rice and beans. Robert Kiyosaki said it best, “it’s not about how much money you make, but how much money you keep.”
This is the Per Service Podcast, the place where working musicians talk about the challenges of living a life in the arts.
If you are new to the show, you can read more about who we are by visiting PerService.co, we are the freelancing side of OrchestraExcerpts.com, a free resource I started to help musicians prepare for orchestra auditions, but if you need a quick guide on who we are:
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Which of these spending categories do you prioritize higher quality?
Tech & Gadgets
Traveling (or vacations)
Self Care (Hair, gym, nails, massage)
“You are making a choice consciously or unconsciously to prioritize these areas of spending.” -Anna
-Cook for yourself
-When you eat out, you are employing an army of workers to shop, cook, and carry it to you.
-As freelancers, we have more time than those with 8-5 jobs, so spending more for convenience is a slippery slope.
-Make a list and stick to it, no impulse purchasing
-Consider quality vs. quantity. Maybe spending more will make you appreciate it more, and not consume it mindlessly.
-Consider eliminating the mid-level restaurants so casually. And instead make it count by going to a really nice restaurant once in a while. It is probably still cheaper and more memorable than multiple “pretty good” meals.
-Roast and brew your own coffee. Starbucks can’t even compete with that!
-Having a roommate can be a great way to save money, but musicians don’t always make the best roommates. Also, most of us prioritize having our own space nowadays.
-Location, Location, Location. You pay for what you get, and where you get.
Tech and Gadgets
– Just buy things used. Do some scratches really matter? You will probably scratch it up anyways.
-Everything deteriorates eventually. Don’t get caught up in having the newest and best, because it will not last.
-Recycle or resell you old gadgets while you can still get some money back from them.
-If you travel for gigs, consider putting your travel expenses on a credit card to get points. They add up. But don’t get to
-Running around outside is always free
http://darebee.com/ A website with lots of free workout resources.
-Dye your own hair?
-Consider asking your salon if they do “half cuts” or just trims in between a full cut.
-Do you qualify for health insurance through the AFM?
-Check your coverage before renewing…do you still need full coverage.
-Check to see if your health provider has an app that will reward healthy behavior.
-Do you need Cable? (probably not)
-Use an antennae to pick up the local networks.
-It makes HGTV and other channels more special when you are staying in a hotel
-There is endless entertainment on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime for a fraction of the cost of cable
“I am far too poor to buy cheap things”
-Online Consignment: https://www.thredup.com/
-Perhaps a higher quality (and more expensive) item will last longer than 2 or 3 replacements of cheaper options.
For Violinists, Violists, and Cellists:
-Stop getting the leather wrap on your bow replaced. It’s at least $50, when you could just use grips off of mechanical pencils. I recommend Zebra Z-Grips Mechanical Pencils. You can rotate it when you wear it out and after 3 or 4 turns, throw it out and put a new one on.
“Consider taking out 20% of your paycheck out immediately to save and pay your future self. If you start thinking that you need to pay yourself first, then any money left over can pay for your other bills. If you can do that, you’ll be in good shape” -Michael
-Be cautious of buying things just because they are on sale.
-If you wouldn’t buy it for full price, maybe you shouldn’t buy it just because it’s on sale.
-Consider waiting 24 hrs before buying something to make sure you really need it.
-Consider monitoring your expenses to really see where your money is going, and adjust as needed.
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How have you found ways to save money?
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