Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Practical Money-saving Tips for Practical Artistes

Happy like a Scrooge?
As an Artiste Training Coach, I always ask about the well-being of my students. Interestingly, a majority of my students are quite well-off. But there are some who are not. Some of them are taking on the artiste life full-time, and that's where the money issue comes in. Because as an artiste, you may or may not get a consistent income. Hopefully these few tips will help you tide those hard times.

1) Spend money (no matter how much) to get value
You might be surprised why spending money is important. Because to get money, you have to spend it! Important thing to remember is value. A lot of people likes to keep money in their bank and guard every penny sacredly like a scrooge. That is not healthy. Spend it on stuff that gives you value! If you love a specific band, then go buy their concert ticket. If you like a specific dress, go buy it because of how it makes you feel. For example, I spent a hefty sum on my pair of shoes, simply because I wear it everyday. Spending money on stuff that you can use everytime is definitely worth the value. Same as education, like our Artiste Training Course. Some of my students are smart to realise the wide practicality usage from the Artiste Training Course into their everyday lives. We even have top managers who use our course to hone on his communication skills. That's how we should define value on spending: seeing the practical usage of something purchased in the maximum areas of our lives.

Support road-side vendors - value for money
 2) Fix what is fixable
Some of us will immediately throw away stuff that is spoilt, torn or in defect. That is what we call waste. If that stuff can be fix, then fix it! For example, my expensive shoes. After wearing it for more than a year, it got torn on the soles. Instead of throwing it away and buy a new pair, I rather spend a minimal amount of money to fix it. Hey, even a poor shoe cobbler should benefit the profit of your favourite pair of shoes, not always those giant shoe corporations. Think of how you can put your money on small-time businesses too.

Put your 2 palms together -
that's how small your stomach!
 3) Food - divide your lunch for dinner too
Delicious nasi goreng - but can u save the half portion for later?

A lot of us love to eat outside, at fancy cafes or just another fast-food joint. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so eat heartily. For lunch, you could actually save some money. If you're buying outside, always eat half portion and save the other half for your dinner. Especially for aspiring artistes who are conscious of their weight, this is a good money-saving practice. Open and put the 2 palms of your hands together in an upward facing position. That's actually the size of your stomach! Notice how small it is! That's exactly how much you should eat, which is way less than what you bought outside. Usually fast-food restaurants give you more, like double this or double that. Think twice before wallowing everything in. You can simply save the other half for dinner later.

Only RM100 to travel monthly
 4) Travel - use public transport to the max
As a new aspiring artiste, you may not have the means to have a car yet. But then again, what's wrong with using public transportation? Our LRT system covers a majority of city centres, so we should all take advantage of this system. There are a few casting and production companies which are located quite near to the LRT station. Even if some don't, you could still take the train to the nearest spot and take a cab from there. Now a lot of shopping centres like Mid Valley and Ikea provide free shuttle buses at various LRT stations. So plan your journey to your casting session ahead, in order to save a few bucks.

You need to slow down your pace
5) Leisure - slow down your pace
A lot of us have different hobbies and leisure styles to occupy our free time. But there's one objective of leisure - that is to relax! Some people find relaxing very tough. The reason is due to their "fast-paced" lifestyle, which is further propagated in our media, where everything can be achieved instantly and super-fast. Dream on! There's no such a thing. All truly good artistes will learn to slow down their pace. The whole fast-pace concept is to keep everyone from thinking, and just encourages you to do stuff blindly. That way, you will spend more - on cigarettes, on alcohol, watch more TV, buy more expensive stuff and waste that you don't really need. Think about it. Leisure time can be very simple and uncomplicated. Just slow down and contemplate.

6) Health - maintain a patient and positive spirit always
So many people spend money on healthcare these days. MLMs try to sell you green this and that, junk food is getting less sugar, even the health ministry is encouraging less sugar. But to me, that is pure waste. I personally love cakes and sweet stuff. That's the pleasure of life! Everytime when I order iced milk tea, I always remind the waiter to put in more milk please! Indulging yourself in food that you love shouldn't kill you. Maintaining a patient and positive spirit is more important for your health. Patience is important because an artiste needs to wait, sometimes long periods of time, for your next project. A positive spirit should encourage you to be nice to yourself and others (when needed) and keep on working to improve yourself.

7) Investment - education and property are safer
As a business entity, Artiste Training Course needs to have a place where we can place all potential students comfortably during classes. Some students prefer the park area where we used to conduct at Taman Paramount, near the LRT, where it's open air. Variety is key in appeasing different types of students. We rented a small apartment in wangsa maju before, simple place and not too extravagant because of the reasonable price we are charging for the courses. The flat owner was kind to lease out the living room for us to conduct the classes as and when we need to, so that helps in our cost-saving in which we pass on the savings to our students. Our new place in Taman Desa Melati is much bigger and caters more to college students, therefore the price for our courses there is much much higher. As for myself, I don't live near to any of the places where we conduct the classes but they are all near the LRT stations so it's convenient for students who don't have cars to attend our classes.

Budget, budget, budget!
8) Buy what you need only
Budget is key. As an artiste, after clinching a job, tends to overspend, which is fine. Its a way to reward yourself. But there's got to be a limit. So the fundamentals apply: buy what you need. As a human being, all we really need in terms of physical are: food, a roof over our head and a job. But as artistes, budget is fundamental because jobs can be low at certain months. So budget, budget, budget! Invest in stuff that will last with you forever. And remember: love takes lesser effort than hate.