Lowering the Cost of “the American Dream” – Part II

(This article continues the discussion on lowering expenses found here)AmericanDream2

In our first installment two weeks ago, I discussed ways you could drop the cost of the American Dream by lowering your essential expenses such as groceries, car expenses and apparel. Today, I’d like to tackle lowering the cost of the “extras” that USA Today calculated are important parts of what many consider a happy lifestyle. We’re creative people….lowering the cost of   Continue reading this post >

How Can I Decide Which Mortgage is Best?

TreeHouseThis week I want to focus on debt. Why? Many people have debts, but few have a debt strategy. If you’re going to focus on your craft, you should minimize distractions with confusing terms and high repayment options.

The biggest debt for most people is their mortgage, so we’ll start there.

Here’s some good news: mortgages don’t have to be ominous, and if you do them wisely, you can come out ahead on your   Continue reading this post >

How Money Helps You Create Great Work

hand holds book of big idea“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me…Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”
-Steve Jobs

I was speaking with a friend the other day who said, “No offense, but money people are so obsessed with cash that they forget to create. They’re so obsessed with profits that they miss the point of   Continue reading this post >

Create a Business Plan for Your Craft and Your Life

Letters On A Board Spelling Money And BusinessA business plan…. many creative people I know shy away from those two words….

First, they’ll tell me, their craft isn’t a business.

Second, they’re overly in love with the term “winging it.”

Yet, if you talk to top artists in nearly any field, they have a workmanlike precision to their art. They seem to be in the right place at the right time. How do they do   Continue reading this post >

Avoiding Budget Buster Moments

Blocks Spelling Budget Falling Over As Symbol for Spending And BusinessWe’ve all had them: everything’s humming along fine with our craft and then there’s a special trip that “everyone else is going on.” Suddenly you’re spending money like a half-crazed couponer at a going out of business sale.

We call it the “budget buster” moment.

What is a budget buster moment? It’s when you’ve been a good saver for a long time and   Continue reading this post >

With Low CD Rates, Where Do I Save?

SavingLet’s face it, as artists, we take plenty of risks with our craft. We don’t need undue risks with our investments.

Looking at CD rates last week, there’s nothing to grin about. According to Bankrate.com, the average one year CD is paying 0.23%. Looking for a higher return? If you lock your money up for five years in a CD you still are only going to earn 0.80%

To use my son’s   Continue reading this post >

Four Apps To Kick Start Your Savings

SavingsI often hear stories from creative professionals about their difficulties saving money. I completely understand. When faced with a project today for our art versus some far off goal, it’s hard to put away a dollar that could help right now.

Yet, I also know that the only way to financial independence is to save for the future. Every dollar we spend now is a dollar that could have secured our dreams   Continue reading this post >

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

Reality television is amazing…while I’ll agree that most of it isn’t worth your time, I enjoy watching how some of the “stars” who elegantly perform in public actually work their butts off behind the scenes. Lifting the curtain on the daily tasks of a true artist shows that success is more than just creating a product. In most cases, you have to be a financially savvy marketing guru to succeed.

You   Continue reading this post >

Goal Setting 2013 – The Odd Place I Found Inspiration

Maybe you’re walking through the woods and a patch of sunlight hits the ground in front of you and spurs an idea for your next artistic creation. You could be dining at a restaurant and the ambiance makes you realize an image of a new way to work.

I know this: inspiration hits in funny places. I actually found inspiration for my 2013 goals last night   Continue reading this post >

Insurances – Buy or Ignore?

For most creatives, we’re comfortable working without a net. Many of us have gone months or maybe even years without a stable income. Some are amazingly agile at finding just the right resource at the perfect time. Like a trapeze artist on the high wire, we find a way to make it work.

That’s why the concept of insurance is so foreign to most of us. When you’re a high wire artist, your first thought probably is, “Why waste the money?”

Unfortunately,   Continue reading this post >