“I don’t have enough money”
Sometimes it boils down to something that simple. You have bills. You have things you ‘need’ to do. And you just plain can’t pay for them.
I’ve been there. Lots of us have been there.
It’s a problem that always brought me to the great and powerful Google, desperately searching for something I hadn’t yet thought of… and if that’s what brought you here, I’m really sorry. I know it’s rough.
I’m not going to offer a magic pill, or a 5-minutes-a-day solution. I have searched the world and come to the conclusion that there are only two things that actually ‘solve’ broke:
– Spend less
– Make more
Mind blown? No? Of course you’ve thought of that… maybe you’ve even tried it a little.
I’m here to tell you that that’s pretty much all there is…
STEP/OPTION 1: SPEND LESS MONEY!
Spending less. Seems like good advice, right? Just cut down on all those frills…
But if you’re broke, you might feel like you’re already hardly spending at all.
So what are you supposed to do? Cut out everything that isn’t a roof over your head and the noodles that keep you alive??? Do you not deserve any kind of fun?
Look. I’m not here to say you can’t have anything fun or pleasurable in your life.
I’m here to say that if you want to … you know… not be broke anymore, you need to make sure that you’re only spending on the things that you really want and need to be spending on.
For example, ten bucks a month spent on Netflix can deliver the gift of sanity better than 10 dollars spent on anything else might. That, in my mind, is money well spent.
But you’ve got to take a really good look at the whole picture. It’s not about spending less necessarily, it’s about spending better.
Once you’re equipped with the sweet juice of knowledge, then you make the tough decisions.
Are you milking every bit out of every dollar? Can you spend less, better, … differently? Is there anything that you think you could cut back on?
No? Then you’re gonna have to…
how much do you spend? download this free worksheet
STEP/OPTION 2: EARN MORE
More money pleeeeeeese!! If only it were that simple right?
But maybe it is…
Broke doesn’t mean you’re not busy. I know so many people who are working their asses off but are still having trouble making ends meet. If you’re busy every second of the day… why not see if the things you’re already doing can make you a little extra scratch??
That’s going to mean something different for everyone. Maybe it means asking for a raise. Or maybe it means looking at something that you’re already doing for free, and brainstorming ways you can market that skill to bring in something extra.
People always suggest that you sell your stuff to earn some money. That’s fine, if you want. But while you’re turning the cupboard upside down looking for things to sell, why not do the same with your skill set! What can you do that might be worth money to people? Get creative! Something that might seem really easy to you… might be worth 50 bucks a week to someone else.
Or maybe there’s no chance of that. Then, my friend, you’ll need to pick up a side job, or heck… even a day job.
And before you listen to the voice in your head that says that’s selling out, or that means you failed (I have one of those voices in my head too) stop to think for a second. That voice would rather have you sit at home miserable, feeling completely shitty about your situation while not changing a thing… rather than actually facing the situation head on… rather than finding a way, ANY WAY, to pick up some more resources. Not just so you can make better art, but so you can be a happier human being.
Which of those options sounds more like selling out to you..?
A job doesn’t need to drain your soul, but it does need to pay you… because you need some freaking money.
And here’s the thing, if after cutting down your spending as much as you can, and picking up as much side income as you can possibly handle you still just can’t seem to make ends meet, here’s a bit of hard truth for you…
IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD YOUR LIFE, YOU MAY BE LIVING THE WRONG LIFE
I firmly believe that you can live a rich and wonderful life on not a lot of money. But I also believe that that kind of frugally fulfilling life isn’t for everyone. If you’re constantly finding that your needs and wants just can’t be supported by the life that you’re living…
… then you’re probably living the wrong life.
You can spend your time complaining about how that’s super unfair, how you wish it were different, but at the end of the day all the pretending, and overspending, and ignoring the facts… are just going to end you up debt creek without a paddle.
And the worst part of it is, living the wrong life is keeping you from getting awesome at living the right one.
Because there’s nothing wrong with wanting to have nice things, and a stable income, and a defined pension plan. It doesn’t mean you’re selling out, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. REAL ARTISTS HAVE DAY JOBS! They really do.
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IF IT’S BROKE … FIX IT.
You might not need a lot to be happy. Heck you might even be happy having nothing these days. But if you’re not happy. If you’re struggling. If being broke is breaking your spirit.
Fix it. Change something.
Art may be subjective. Money is not.
You only have what you have. No more. No less. If the math doesn’t add up…
….something has to change. What’s it going to be?
Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?
Financial Planner/Opera Singer
Money never came naturally to me. In fact… I was a bit of a disaster. I remember (very clearly) what it feels like to be ‘financially out of control’.
And honestly, I still get stressed about money… that doesn’t stop… the difference is that now I have the tools to deal with that stress.
And those tools are what’s made it possible for me to build a life full of the things I want: art, creativity, travel, family and more.