As college students, there are stereotypes of being “broke” or financially uneducated. I feel that stereotype twice as much as a digital arts major. I have been asked many times why I chose this degree because of how many “starving artists” there are. The truth is, you only struggle if you choose to. There are several ways to budget and make good money with art. The trick is to stay consistent and motivated.
Most times, our minds tend to think more about our needs rather than our money. This is a method of survival. That is why educating yourself about money and financial literacy is important. For all art students, we have witnessed the financial struggle of professional artists. However, you cannot let other people’s financial struggles dictate how your career will treat your bank account. You should educate yourself about money management while you’re a college student, so that later when you get your dream job, you can handle all that BANK you’ll be earning!
1. The first step is to set goals for yourself and your business.
For example, if you’re trying to make $3000 around a certain time, you need to first of all; come up with your project idea, how you will accomplish that project, the funds, and the budget! You must have a plan for the money you want to make and how you will use it, whether it’s to treat yourself, get more supplies, or as funds to further your professional career. As an art major or any major in college, this rule should apply. If you successfully make that certain amount of money you set a goal for, then really focus on the important things you need paid off, like student loans or any other bills you may have. You won’t get far if you still have things holding you back, so deal with what is more important so you have that weight off of your shoulders.
2. Once you have your goals, you can start to budget yourself.
You can save money all you want, but without a budget, that saved $100 dollars can run out within a few days. Following the 50/30/20 budget is one of many ways to saving money and distributing it equally for your needs, wants, and savings. This budget just means that 50% of your income should go to needs, 30% goes to your wants, and 20% should go to your savings. Starting off with this method will take you far, and you can change the numbers based on your financial goals or standing. Especially as an artist, you need to know when your fluctuating income arrives and how to handle your bills. There will be months where you get good income because of successfully selling work and getting business. However, there will be other months that won’t be as luxurious. So you need to keep that in mind when you get a big paycheck and budget yourself!
I hope this advice was helpful to not only artists, but every type of student, new business owner, or anyone! Budget yourself, save your money, and invest in your priorities and needs first rather than your wants. Of course, you can treat yourself when necessary, but the real treat is when you’ll be financially thriving, debt free, and successful!