I am thirty two years old and I started out this month as the Assistant Stage Manager/Props for Susannah with Opera Roanoke and finished it out as a Stage Manager at Sleep No More in New York City.
I’m on contract there through the end of August. I make $115/show and work 7-8 shows a week.
Saving & Spending
I didn’t even want to write this post this month because I knew I was a financial disaster.
But the entire point of this blog is accountability and proving that you don’t have to starve to work in the arts. So – let’s check out how I destroyed my bank account, put a dent in my emergency savings but am still entirely solvent because of all the months before this one where I made good money choices whenever I could.
The month started out ok. You’ll remember I had a few health issues back in April and since I actually had some down time the first two weeks of May, I thought – let’s get these lingering issues fully checked out.
You may also remember that I have an approved alternative to health insurance. I’m a member of Medi-Share, a medical sharing ministry. So the most I have to pay out of pocket, other than co-pays for doctor visits is $2,500 a year.
However, I have to pay up to $2,500 a year. That means that even though I pay a $25 co-pay to go to the doctor, until I’ve paid that $2,500, I get a bill for the rest of the visit until I hit that much. So to get my stomach and chest pains checked out, I had a doctor’s visit, a bunch of blood drawn, an ultrasound and a chest X-ray.
On the good side – there’s nothing really wrong with me? They pretty much told me to get more Vitamin D and eat more fiber.
On the negative side, the bill for just the blood getting drawn was just under $1,100. Freaking ridiculous. In my June update I’m sure I’ll vent about how expensive the other procedures were.
Because of the spring of un- and under-employment, that money is coming out of my emergency fund. And the bill for the doctor visit, ultrasound and X-ray will probably have to as well unless some extra freelance writing opportunities come my way.
I also went to Rhode Island for the weekend to see the last Red Unit performance of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus and say good-bye to my old home and friends before everyone dispersed forever. It was overwhelmingly depressing for a pile of reasons.
So I essentially threw myself into some emotional spending. I knew I should probably save money the following week, but sitting around my house dwelling on the past was freaking me out so I road tripped up to Vermont and spent a few days with my cousin who lives in Burlington. It wasn’t super expensive, but more than I should’ve spent.
I then went to Las Vegas for that cousin’s bachelorette party. I was able to raid my bachelorette party savings for it, but it was still an expensive few days. On the plus side (?), I caught a cold, so I barely drank, which is generally a pretty big expense in Vegas.
I also moved into the apartment I’m subletting in NYC, so I started paying rent again, which is as fun as I remembered.
On the plus side, the hours I’ve been working are pretty long, so I haven’t been spending any money outside of picking up some groceries and we get fed on double show days at work, so that’s nice too.
One thing I do have going for me is that, by some miracle, I actually hit all of my savings goals for this month. Now we’ll have to see if I can pull it off again next month and get those medical bills paid too.
Now for the damage:
- Food – $169.99
- Healthcare – $1335.59
- brokeGIRLrich – $277.85
- Car Expenses – $24.00
- Gas – $41.31
- Entertainment – $52.83
- Bachelorette Party – $869.46
- Vermont Roadtrip – $210.14
- Cousin’s Wedding – $95.00
- Commuting – $40.00
- Gifts – $44.91
- Rhode Island Roadtrip – $141.91
- Rent & Utilities – $850.00
Total Spending in May: $4,152.99
Thank goodness for planning ahead. I was able to use my savings I set aside specifically for my cousin’s wedding/bachelorette expenses to put a dent in that and I was able to tap my emergency fund for the medical bills.
My income this month was from stage managing, freelance writing and brokeGIRLrich.
- Stage Managing – $1912.29
- brokeGIRLrich – $667.10
- Freelance Writing – $315.00
Income This Month: $2,894.39
Pretty excited that it’s still a rather small drop even though it felt like I was hemorrhaging money all month! It’s always nicer to see the bottom line grow, but sometimes it’s comforting to know I can weather a few storms.
Most Popular Post of the Month: 114 Side Hustles: Ways to Make More Money
My Favorite Post to Write This Month: The Vodka Champagne Conundrum
Elsewhere On the Web: Tired Of Giving Up On Your Savings Resolutions?—How To Set Budget Goals You’ll Actually Reach at Money Under 30
Frugal Wedding Fails: Why Going Cheap Isn’t Always The Answer at Money Under 30
Where Can I Scan Documents? at First Quarter Finance
- Max out my IRA. – $2,710 to go.
- Buy $1,000 in stock.
- Contribute $2,000 to my New Car Fund – $1,165 to go. Currently on track.
- Contribute $5,000 to my Down Payment Fund – $2,915 to go. Currently on track.
- Contribute $200 to my cousin’s wedding fund. – This fund is a mess for this wedding and totally didn’t work out like it did last time. My revised goal is to get it up to $200 for her wedding gift by October.
- Develop 2 new resume skills – One to go.
- Do something really fun with my brother.
- Write a journal or magazine article.
- Hike something. Not sure how I overlooked this, but I totally hiked around Saratoga Spa Park in March. Then I hiked Natural Bridge in April and did a 6 mile hike at Watchung Reservation in May. Whooooo. Feels really good to cross something off this month.
- Master making macaroons.