For all you performers out there, you know the feeling. It’s opening night and you really want to kill it.
Tonight you’ll raise the bar. Tonight you’ll be the performer that you always knew you could be. You’ll be better than your best.
… the thing is usually you’ll just end up you.
Which isn’t a bad thing, but the more shows I do the more I realize you can’t really expect more out of a performance than what you’ve been practising in the weeks before.
You perform what you rehearse, and it’s the same thing in your financial life.
The ridiculous things we hope for our future selves:
Here are a few things that I’ve believed at different points in my life:
I’ll learn how to manage money when I start making money…
I’ll figure out investing when I’ve got extra money lying around….
I’m sure I’ll figure something out if I can’t work for awhile…
Why do we always think that when things get harder that we’re going to become better people. When there are a thousand things to stress about… somehow we’ll find the mental bandwidth to come up with innovative solutions.
The truth is, nothing magical changed when I started making more money. I was the same person doing the same things I was before… and so I just spent it all… without really thinking about it.
It wasn’t until I started to practice better financial habits that I performed better when the chips were down.
Working on financial problems BEFORE they happen
This is what the heart of planning is all about, and it’s the reason why I really fell in love with it.
It’s staging. It’s rehearsal. It’s thinking about what we want to do when the curtain comes up.
And then we can execute.
Instead of some vague imperative to ‘be better at money’ (ya… I know you’ve made that new years resolution… I have too). You have to figure out what it is you really want to do, and then PRACTISE DOING IT.
If you’re worried about low income months… play around with spending as little as possible for a month, figure out what your floor is.
If you’re worried about the future and how you haven’t saved anything yet… practise saving … even just a little bit can help you form the habit.
Something to think about this week
What are you waiting for?
I don’t mean that in a confrontational douchey way. I’m honestly curious. What is the thing that you think will really help your financial situation?
Is it more money? Or just getting rid of a debt? Or if you could just land one more gig?
How can you prepare for that future world?
What skills and technique can you practise that would help you use that ‘more money’ better or really leverage that extra gig?
I’m telling you from a lot of experience that you can’t will yourself to immediately change when your financial situation does.
Most of us are just ourselves, with the same habits … both the bad and good ones.
And our performance will seldom be anything more than what we rehearse every day.
Rags to Reasonable Community Outreach Coordinator
Emily Nixon is an actor/writer/director/filmmaking Swiss Army Knife. She is also a big money nerd and Community Outreach Coordinator for Rags to Reasonable.
She came to this work after becoming completely fed up with living paycheque-to-paycheque and being too afraid to look in her chequing account. She is passionate about empowering other artists and variable income earners to keep doing what they love and feel confident about their finances.
Email Emily at email@example.com