The money struggle is real for aspiring actors.
Do you still believe the lie that you need to hit it big as an actor to be wealthy?
Actors can build wealth and create a million dollar net worth even if they don't have a million dollar income.
The trick is to get your budget under control.
Our net worth is comprised of everything we own minus what we owe. It is not defined by how much money we make per year.
If you don't owe any payments on your car, you own it, and the value of your car is included in your net worth.
In this post I'll share an awesome budgeting tool that I've personally used to hit my financial goals as an actor.
CRUCIAL BUDGETING CRITERIA
I've tried a number of free budgeting apps.
I deleted all of them within a matter of months.
Let's discuss a few criteria that are crucial in a budgeting app.
BEST BUDGETING APP EVER
The app I use meets the above criteria and then some.
I highly recommend you start using the free version of EveryDollar.
It's absolutely free so I'm NOT an affiliate. I'm just completely obsessed with how helpful it is.
There is a paid version that automatically loads all of your bank transactions, but it's not required. There's a way to use the free version without logging every single transaction by hand.
For anyone who upgrades, your payment just covers the cost the bank charges the company to link the account, so they're not even making a profit from it as far as I know. Again, the free version is still amazing and highly effective.
Here are my results after using the free version for one year:
The less debt you have the more of your paycheck you get to keep, which means more fun actor stuff!
The founder of the app always states in his podcast that using EveryDollar will make you feel like you got a raise each month regardless of your income. He wasn't kidding.
Since we've started zero-based budgeting with EveryDollar, we've found hundreds or sometimes thousands of extra dollars in our budget each month.
It's crazy how much money you'll force yourself to save when you start looking at the numbers each week.
It also helps you decipher if you have an income problem, a spending problem, or both.
Knowing what you actually need each month will help you feel more in control of your finances.
It's better to say, "I'm short $500 this month, so where can I find $500 extra dollars?" instead of, "I don't know how much money I need, so I'll just keep blindly working my butt off and being broke!"
No more of that, actor friend.
Remember, this method is key. You can't ignore it.
Zero-based budgeting means that every single dollar goes somewhere in your budget each month.
Get it? Every dollar? That's how they came up with the name.
It does not mean that you spend every single dollar.
You should be spending less than you make.
Your total mandatory expenses should be less than your monthly income.
Mandatory expenses may include:
So where's the rest of that money going?
The remaining dollars leftover after your mandatory expenses are paid go to either paying off debt or building up your savings.
I don't care if you only have $2 leftover at the end of the month. It doesn't go toward a pack of gum. It goes into your budget under debt payments or into your savings account.
EveryDollar will tell you at the top of the page if you've achieved a zero-based budget.
You must see the checkmark at the top before you "close out" your budget each month.
Your money needs goals so you know where to send those leftover dollars instead of wasting them.
Thankfully, EveryDollar comes equipped with what's known as The Baby Steps so you know how to best manage your leftover dollars.
These steps have a proven track record of helping everyday people like us build wealth.
Just click on the icon that looks like a box to see all seven steps.
EveryDollar will track your progress automatically based on what's happening on your primary budgeting page.
Most actors have irregular incomes. No worries!
EveryDollar has an article on their blog about how to budget on an irregular income.
After you create an account, they'll send you great articles from their blog with savings tips and budgeting reminders depending on the month.
It feels so unbelievably good to have a balanced budget at the end of each month.
The day we became debt free, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my chest that I didn't even realize was there.
Budgeting keeps us debt free and stress free.
I hope you try this budgeting tool for a few months because I truly believe it's step one in helping you build wealth as an actor, even if you have an average or below average income.
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These products may be based on viewer interest. Therefore, I cannot personally endorse all of the products shown as I do for the products linked in my posts.
If you continue to ignore the business and marketing side of acting, it won't just go away. Your personal brand is the foundation of your acting business. Start building your personal brand package today. Read my post Personal Branding Brainstorm for Actors to learn more.