Continued from: College, Money & Hope: Part 1 College
First I must say that I think too much focus is placed on making money and not enough is placed on how it is that we will spend the precious hours of our ONE life. The reality is that the more we spend our time doing what we love, the less we are concerned about $. An enriched person, and family for that matter, can live off of very little. I’m going to address how we relate to money and work in hopes that looking at money from a different perspective will help to alleviate some concerns we have about it. Also I think it’s important to address how it is that we “treat” ourselves as we learn to reevaluate what is worth opening our wallets for.
Personal Spending Experiment:
If you are concerned about not having enough money try this for two weeks. Stick to it and then reevaluate:
- #1: Eliminate non-experiential spending (ex. clothes, shoes, bags)
- #2: Dine out only once or twice a week maximum. Eliminate coffee & snacks while out
In this two week time period you will see if you can become more satisfied while spending less. Obviously we do occasionally need to buy clothes, shoes and accessories. What’s important is to have this type of spending in it’s proper place.
Begin to think of money as energy and start setting some aside. You need to build up your energy to begin something new. If you begin to save a little up you will feel even better about yourself and even more hopeful about your future.
Treat yourself: Anytime you do feel depleted and need a treat, do something good for yourself that is free. There is so much we can do for ourselves that does not cost money. Begin to find what those things are for you. Some home pampering is always a nice treat, and singing a song or listening to music can quickly change our state. Be sure to fill your mind with uplifting things. I recommend getting a library card and using it to check out books that help to keep your mind in a good place. As creative people we owe it to ourselves to seek hope and inspiration. Make frequent plans to go experience something inspiring (this is where any extra $ can and should go).
Working to Make Ends Meet: Take a look at this phrase “make ends meet”. The idea here is that our string of spending will equal our string of earnings. Again, money can be thought of as energy. You spend energy at work in exchange for money. When opening our wallet it’s important to weigh out whether or not our purchases are worth the energy exchanged to buy them. Seek a balance that allows you to enjoy the extra money you have to spend without wasting it. Focus on getting maximum results with your money.
Obviously we all have bills and responsibilities and many artists do have to spend time at jobs that are not centered on their artistic passion. This is normal and okay. Working different jobs exposes us to different people and different experiences all of which can influence our artistic endeavors. Once the spending of our money is in proper balance, we will find that we may not have to work full time at our ends meet job, which will allow us more time with our loved ones and our creative life.
There will always be work out there to make ends meet. Some artists work in their field as an administrator or as a teacher. Others prefer a separation and actually prefer to see their art as completely separate from money. Jobs in service can be great because you can leave your work at the door. Bar tending, for example, is a perfectly legitimate way to make $, especially for someone who has a great personality and can really develop a clientele. Anything we do in life we can do well and with integrity – even just to pay the bills.
There truly is an art to any profession. I know an amazing bar tender. His name is Kevin. His ability to talk to people and help clients who don’t know each other strike up conversation is incredible. He always has customers! In my life I spent many years in service. I became a fantastic waiter and developed a profound respect for the art of great service. If you need an ends meet job, just pick one where you like the people you work with and can make a consistent amount of money.
Your creative art will always be a part of your life even if you need to supplement your income in other ways. This will be true whether or not you choose to formally study in a Bachelor’s program. Continue to spend as much time as you can on what you love. The more energy we spend on what we love to do, the more likely we will someday make a living doing that (if that’s our goal)…AND…most importantly, the more time we spend with what we love, the more likely we will find our life fulfilling.
Part 3 will cover HOPE. How to seek it & tools to maintain it. …Continue to CMH Part 3 – Hope
Money is part 2 of a 4 part series addressing this question:
How many ways can I utilize a degree in music? I am finishing my AA, and desperately want to get a BA in some kind of musical training. I love to sing and perform but can’t decide if I should go for what I love, or what will “pay”? Please give me some hope!