Dancers & Monthly Budgets: Why It's Time to Prepare for Life Post-Pandemic
The last few years have been difficult for anyone working in the performing arts industry — just ask anyone who works on Broadway. But if there's anything that 2020 and beyond has taught us is that a budget is important to staying on track when it comes to finances. Many performers have seen a shift in their income, so it's important to prepare for any unexpected events in the future.
A few dancers found success on TikTok and have seen a major uptick in their earning power, thanks to the Creator Fund and brand deals. Other artists may be still feeling the squeeze with fewer performing opportunities when it comes to live events. No matter which situation you find yourself in, it's important to remember that every dollar counts when that income is flowing, and when that income is tight. Just as we often think about wellness when it comes to our health — the same consideration should be given to financial wellness.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by starting a budget or revisiting your budget, don't worry, we have got you covered. Here are five easy steps to taking on a new challenge with your financial health.
1. Determine your monthly income:
For those dancers with a steady gig like a company position or a Broadway show, this should be an easy step. If you are a freelance performer, this number could fluctuate each month, so a budget is crucial to gathering through tighter income months.
2. Track your monthly spending:
Some of these items will be consistent like rent, utilities, car insurance, etc., but the important part of this step is to track those nights out on the town, movies, Starbucks and that Postmates addiction.
3. Review your spending habits:
After tracking your monthly spending, it will be apparent where there are categories you can cut back on. Cooking at home even one or two nights more a week makes a big difference on your budget — and any leftovers can be used for lunch the next day. Or take a closer look at all the streaming services you subscribe to; if you aren't watching Netflix too often, maybe it's time to cancel your subscription.
4. Take action:
Develop a plan and write out that budget. If you need help with credit card debt, think about utilizing a service that can help you consolidate those bills into one payment each month to help get you back on track — for more info, view more here. It's a great feeling to see marked improvements in your credit score as that debt amount ticks down.
5. Track your progress:
Don't beat yourself up if you get off-track — it can happen to the best of us when an unexpected car repair comes up. But by continuing to monitor what you are spending; you will be better prepared when those emergencies do come up. And celebrate those wins when you do have a good month or pay down a bill — it's OK to treat yourself occasionally, because that is also a part of financial wellness as a performer.