It’s not how big it is, it’s how you use it!

People-I’m talking about salaries and wages today. Get your minds out of the gutter! In all seriousness though, I want to introduce two scenarios to you:

Person A makes $50,000 a year. They have several thousand dollars of credit card debt, and live alone because they really wanted a bachelor/bachelorette pad. They spend almost all of their paycheck each month, and are making little to no headway in eliminating their debt.

Person B makes $30,000 a year. They’re debt free. They live with several roomates, and attempt to make mostly frugal choices. Person B saves $250/month from their significantly smaller paycheck.

At the end of the day, person B is going to be better off. That extra $20,000? It disappears very quickly if you’re not paying attention. I’m not saying that making little or no money is they way to go. Clearly, the more resources you have available to you, the more you’ll have to work with- and a lawyer making $200,000 a year will school us all in terms of retirement savings and the like.But time and time again, I see people with moderate incomes squandering their earnings in ways that make them worse off than people with truly meager artistic/non-profit sized incomes who manage their salaries meticulously.

Oh, and here’s the kicker- person A used to be an actor but took a day job because “they just couldn’t make ends meet”, while person B is still pursuing their performance career. Person A didn’t want to be an actor, they wanted to live alone and ride around in taxis. And that’s fine, but we should always recognize actions for what they are.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this- you have the choice to use your money wisely, and to use your money to pursue your goals, at almost any income level. If your true, top, number one priority is to find success as an artist, then it might be time to ask yourself some difficult questions about your habits and spending patterns. Really take a look at your budget, and ask yourself, “are my purchases and bills actually allowing me to meet both my short and long term goals to the best of my abilities”?. Future you will be thankful.

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