The number one factor that deters artists from sustaining a career is the lack of financial stability. But as Stefanie says, you don’t need to be an “expert” to make smart financial decisions. Truly being smart with your money comes down to knowing where your money is going and being very intentional about your choices about your money.
Artists tend to have inconsistent sources of income and that can lead to a feeling that money is “happening to you” as opposed to you being in control and determining how and what happens with your money. Stefanie suggests starting with what you do know about your money rather than fearing about what you don’t know. You do know how much your rent costs. You do know how much you spend on food in a month. You do know what your car payment is. And if you don’t, take action to get those solid numbers, because once you know you can start to make more savvy choices around how to plan for them.
Knowing your consistent expenses will allow you make intelligent decisions around them so that you can decide whether you need to work an extra shift or if you can afford to take that out of town contract that only pays $150. Putting yourself into debt hoping that “the next gig” will solve your problems is not plan, and will end your career faster than you might want.
“THE BEST WAY TO NOT HAVE TO THINK ABOUT YOUR MONEY, IS TO PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MONEY.”
Artists tend to get stuck, and we accept these tropes often, with the stereotype that we are “bad at math” and therefore bad with money. As long as you’ve mastered enough addition and subtraction to know that you’re spending less than you earn, then you’re set. No genius level here, just practical attention to your most important details.
Additionally, artists tend to glamorize “the struggle.” Doing it for arts sake and not for the money is a story that sounds nice until you can’t afford to continue doing your art for any sake…Don’t dismiss money. Realize that it is a tool that can provide you more flexibility and allow you the opportunities to take artistic chances. Make sure you take advantage of the many tools out there to manage you money like MINT, that helps you track your money, or Acorn, that helps you invest your money. You can also use one of the many platforms like Care.com or TaskRabbit to find ways to make extra money when you need it. Not to mention using your creative talents to be working remotely in design, voice over, virtual assistants, or many, many more and serving the needs of countless businesses out there that gives you the freedom to not be forced into working that shift until 2am just before an audition.
I’m so glad Stefanie joined me on the podcast and shared so many practical tips that will help so many actors and artists change their mindset when it comes to money. I want to help more actors take control of their careers and money management is absolutely one of the keys. Enjoy the show.
Resources In this Episode:
The Broke and Beautiful Life
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