If you are feverishly going hard in the paint hanging onto that bull as long as humanly possible then you are probably burning through a truck load of coin forever stalkling success & glory. From the start, acceptance that your music career or any entrepreneuership is a money pit is a necessary evil in pursuing your elusive white whale.
This post is not about selling your music, merchandise, video lessons, Patreon, licensing or any of the more traditional means of making money. Furtheremore, this post will not be addressing possibly setting up yourself as a business entity in order to reduce income using expenses and assets. Please consult a practicing accounting professional and research the IRS classifying your entity as either a hobby or business.
This post and future posts takes a step back and offers an approach on how to exploit numerous money in your pocket tools when forced to spend or alternatively thinking, invest. When you have to buy food, gear, supplies etc... the damage is more manageble if you can keep more of your cherished currency in your pocket. This evolution of financial thought will be the cornerstone of how to budget your money more efficiently in order to make more dinero in the futura.
When you play an instrument you quickly learn that more money gives you more options, the stuff you want is x dollars that you don't have. So how do you get around this? Well the most obvious means of acquiring treasure you don't have is to poke the financial cluster fuck dragon sleeping on all of it known as credit cards. In normal circumstances I would never suggest to someone that has a shit financial history to use credit cards, but if you want that white whale you have to go balls out and throw caution to the wind because if you don't, someone else will.
The musician credit card I recommend is the Guitar Center Gear Card credit card because by spending money using the card you will be earning points and receiving gift certificates large enough to replenish strings, picks, cables and other smaller items at minimal to no cost. You keep this financial evolution intact by buying only what you need not what you want. Here are the Gear Card bullet points directly from Guitar Center: 1) Earn 5 points for each $1 spent on in-store or online purchases made with your Gear Card, 2)Receive $10 in Rewards with your statement for every 1,000 points earned, up to a maximum of $100 per certificate, 3)Use your certificates within 90 days to get the gear you want. I checked out Sam Ash and it does not look like they offer any reward programs, but years ago they did offer gift certificates if you participated in their weekly open mic at the store., maybe your's still does. I remember going as a band a few times and we each got I think $10 so we pooled our open mic money together for some used drum gear.
In addition, the Guitar Center credit card offers a variety of special financing options sometimes allowing no interest payments for four years (48 months). If you are ballsy enough offer to buy your bandmates gear, have them pay you and take the reward points for yourself as interest or put it towards a band purchase. Lets say your band or you as a solo artist just entered a new level of higher tiered shows, this may require you to update to higher quality equipment.
My band, Midnight Mob, had a situation with our drummer when we finally made the top tier main stage festival circuit. The first festival we played had us opening up for Trivium, Sevendust, Ghost, Coheed & Cambria and Shinedown in that order. The other main stage was Megadeth, Sixx AM and a bunch of others. Our drummer had this real shitbox kit that he never put any money towards because he put his money towards non band related things and it was crazy embarassing. That same show I had a wireless issue and my tuning pedal light wasn't bright enough to read in between songs which created a rough set, passable, but not up to code. The next week I upgraded my gear because I never wanted to experience that feeling ever again. I used my Guitar Center Gear Card plus gift certificates and I began making small monthly payments no interest. I was comfortably able to afford very expensive high quality gear and whenever I needed a pricier item I never had to worry about it. Every musician should have a "pro" mindset no matter how small potatoes you are. Trust me people are always watching and they can tell when you take pride in your craft, which can lead to opportunities.
I am closing up the first installment dialogue here. There will be more installments of "How Can I Put Money in my Pocket" because there's way too much info. It is too important of a topic to jam it all in one post, plus how much longer are you really sitting on the toilet anyway. Get back to work!
- Squeeze, Love, Metal!