How you manage your money can make or break your success as an independent musician. At the end of the day, no matter how much you make, impulse buys, improper budgeting, and simply not knowing how to save your money could leave your pockets high and dry. Here are some of the best money management tips for independent musicians looking to make the most of their finances…
Money Management Tips for Independent Musicians
Your Music is Your Business. Treat is as such.
Really successful musicians treat their band like a business. That means you should have a separate bank account set up for your music income and you should be depositing any money you get from it in there. That way, you aren’t tempted to spend that income on random stuff before investing it into your business where it belongs.
- If you’re in a band, have set times of the month to disperse their share of the money.
- Whether it’s weekly or monthly, having a structured time will keep everything organized and easy to manage.
Save. Save. Save.
I know, I know. I sound like your worried dad right now… But he’s right. Yes, you have to pay for your bands expenses, as well as your own, but if you don’t learn to put some aside for the future, your funds will never actually grow past a certain point.
Every paycheck, take a little bit off the top and save it. If you’re just starting out and don’t make very much, that’s okay. Even a small percentage will add up over time. The important thing is to just get into the habit of saving something.
- Not sure what type of saving account is right for you? // Check out this post to learn more.
When you take the time to save your money, you’ll be ready to make moves when the time finally comes. When it comes time to book studio time or start planning your next tour, you can pull some money from your business account and be ready to roll. Financial security is everything.
Sharpen your skills…
Get Out of Debt.
Easier said than done, I know, but debt really can be crippling to your business. Being in a lot of debt not only affects your career as a musician, it affects your entire life. Stressing about debt takes a major toll on anyone’s well-being, and the debt itself severely limits your options as a business-person.
Right now, it’s about setting yourself up for greatness. You’ll have plenty of time to ball out in the future.
For example, if you’re currently driving a really nice car just to flex, consider a cheaper one for now. Biting the bullet now will seriously pay off down the line. In 10 years, when all your friends are still paying off their expensive car loan, you’ll be at the dealership buying something new with your amazing credit and money saved in the bank.
Reinvest in Yourself
Once you start racking up the dough, it’s important to not get too excited and blow it all on a party to celebrate. Reinvesting in your music career means being able to finally level up your gear, get better marketing, scale up your performances, etc. Doing so will open up more opportunities for better gigs, and in turn, more money in your pocket.
- Try investing in proper equipment for live streaming, consider doing ad campaigns on social platforms, anything to build your audience and increase engagement is always a good investment in your future.
To really make it in this industry, you have to be willing to bet on yourself.
Because if you won’t bet on yourself, who will?
Create Multiple Streams of Income
The more streams of income you have, the better. If you’ve got some extra time, use it to create some side hustles! That doesn’t have to mean getting a 9-5 office job, either. Try creating new merch, teach guitar online, get into sync licensing to get your music featured in TV shows, commercials, and movies. The world is your oyster.
Being able to diversify your musical skills into multiple streams of income is a great way to fund your main hustle while still doing shit you actually want to do. Get creative with it!
Being able to manage your money wisely is a skill that takes practice. It’s about making small changes and being consistent with your efforts. Over time, these best practices will become habits and will serve you and your career for years to come.