Getting on a budget. An actor’s story


There are always lessons to be learned in life! Especially when it comes to budgeting and making smart financial choices. Meet Jenny R, an actor and budding financial guru, who while making her way through the ups and downs of life, discovered that debt is a real thing. And, when debt strikes its ugly head, it’s hard to get out of the way fast enough to escape unscathed. Thankfully, she used her experience as an opportunity to gain financial control and climb her way out of debt.

Before Jenny got serious about finances and started using Goodbudget, she often told herself, “That kind of stuff isn’t for artists.” She tricked herself into thinking that budgeting wasn’t important. But, as she went from audition to audition, it became clear that work wasn’t going to come in as steadily as she had hoped it would. With less cash coming in, it became all the more tempting – and even necessary – to put purchase after purchase on her credit card. She admits, “My energy and time were consumed by worry… I often borrowed money from friends to pay rent, and I maxed out one credit card after another.” She had hit a financial wall and knew that something had to change.

Knowing that her work as an actor was important enough to fight for, Jenny decided she was going to climb her way out of debt and get back on track. To help her reach her financial goals, she enrolled in a money management class with an organization called The Actor’s Fund. That class helped her understand the importance of budgeting. Especially because work as an actor isn’t always steady, making it even more vital for her to remain diligent with her expenses. She continued attending classes, and started accounting for her income and her expenditures. After calculating that her average spending exceeded her average income, she made changes and negotiated realistic debt repayment plans with her credit card companies. She was on her way to lowering her monthly expenses! Soon enough, she managed to create a budget where her income was more than her spending. After booking a national commercial for a credit card (Ironic? Maybe a little), she was able to fund an IRA! Now, Jenny is furthering her financial education and focusing on saving up for the future.

So, what does this all mean? Well, for Jenny, it means more restful nights. When we know where and how we are spending our money, we feel more in control. We feel like we do have some say for how tomorrow will turn out and we can then worry about money less. “My decisions now come from a place of greater personal strength. My newfound ability to say, “no,” when someone urges me to spend money on yet another aspect of an acting career is plainly liberating.” We’d have to agree on that! Now, this doesn’t mean that we will ever be perfect at it. Even Jenny admits to overspending in her Food Envelope. But, it means that we know how we can make adjustments in our budget, when practical. Better yet, that money no longer controls us. And, if you asked Jenny today what her number one budgeting tip is, she would say start with your whole budget and focus on shaving a little bit from every Envelope…and enter your expenses into Goodbudget ASAP!


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