Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Blowing an evening's talent fee at Mons Venus seemed like a good idea at the time.
In Los Angeles recently, a conversation came up about the "things we wish we would have known then which we know now."
One of those 'things' was how we deal with money. A colleague referred to it as "having radio credit."
Notoriously, some radio folk are bad with cash. Others, are brilliant with it.
Try to be one of the brilliant ones.
It's not always easy. We're not the type known for having the most self control, are we?
Don't ever think you can count on gig money to last. Regular club gigs have a shelf life of maybe 12 months. Or, you think you have the gig, then one of your team-mates gets the call from the club owner or whatnot to 'keep it fresh.'
It happens. Like clockwork. No matter how good you think you have it. Business is, after all, business.
Take your gig money and bank it. Learn about credit and how to master using it. Learn about CD's. Learn about savings, money market accounts, etc. If you don't know, ask someone who is older and wiser about it. If you're in a union, like AFTRA, demand they do something with your dues money, and hold seminars or something which will help you and your teammates to grow, and be smarter and better with things than they were.
The history of radio is littered with people who had amazing salaries, but who now have nothing to show for it. We can change that if we're smart about it, and willing to think more long term than this weekend's drinking with friends.
Sure, there's a time to reward yourself. Yes there's a time when you can benefit from the fruits of your labor and 80 hour work weeks. Wouldn't it be awesome if the fruits of your hard work manifested itself in a condo or house?
Live as if your base salary is all you've got and can count on. You'll be better off for it.