The truth is I’ve always been somewhat smart, or at least sensible, with my money.
Despite a brief fascination with Levi’s products in the 90s as I was growing up, I never really had a fascination for brands. As my friends shed their family’s money on Lacoste, Burberry and many other brands I can’t remember, I spent on movies, music and books.
Sure, I bought clothes and shoes and accessories too. Look, I love shopping. I’m just not (that) addicted. Compared to Rebecca Bloomwood, I’m a financial wizard.
I’ve always tried to save some money in case of emergencies, luxuries, trips, future moving plans, even though it’s not always easy doing that.
I’m a freelancer who’s adamant she’ll only take on projects she’s enthusiastic about. Linda Formichelli is right in a way: it’s very difficult if you only try to write about what you love. That’s why I also teach ESL. I’d rather teach English (I love the language, and I love teaching it) than write about something that bores me. I also can’t learn to love something according to the paycheck it provides. I tried.
While I don’t really spend on things I don’t need or don’t care for, there are “luxuries” I refuse to cut back on, such as:
-Nero coffee (Starbucks too, but I like Nero more, to be honest.) And by coffee, I mean mocha. And other stuff I eat and drink while I do my writing at their numerous branches.
– Screenplay coverage: I’ll argue this is more a professional necessity than a luxury, but it costs money. Add to it if you also want it proofread. Add some more for the coverage of your resubmissions, as first submissions are rarely a consider or recommend.
Add even more for other screenplays. You have to have more than one. If not, please stop reading. Bookmark this post, and come back to it after you’ve done some screenwriting. This post isn’t going anywhere. If it does, I’ll let you know.
– Cabs. I love cabs. Granted, I don’t often take them as much as Carrie Bradshaw does. But I certainly appreciate the option.
– Vacation abroad. I need one at least once a year. I can’t always afford it, and it’s not pretty when I go cold turkey.
-Vacation at 5-star hotels/holiday villages. I’ve never been the backpacking or camping type. I like the outdoors as long as it comes controlled, so I won’t have to deal with poisonous or otherwise dangerous animals. I’ve never appreciated tents. And call me crazy, but I do love indoor plumbing and hot water. And food cooked for me. And big, clean pools. You get the idea.
Luxuries I want to have:
– Traveling first class. For the leg space more than anything else, to be honest.
– Rush jobs on my script coverage. Waiting for feedback on your writing sucks. Because let’s face it, we do more waiting as writers than most other folk. We wait for editors, agents, studios, etc. to answer to our original email. We wait for the answer to our follow-up email. We wait a reasonable time to count it as a rejection, we wait for our piece to be published.
The problem is writing is personal, even when we do it professionally. We care if people care about our ideas. We get excited if they like the finished product. And chances are, if you are writing fiction, you get even more attached to your ideas. They’re kind of like your babies, admit it. They shouldn’t be, but they usually are.
So if you can get your script coverage faster, why not do it if you can easily afford it? I haven’t really been able to up to now.
– Eating healthier all the time at restaurants that are Monica-clean. Typically, fast food is cheaper and easier to obtain. Unhealthy snacks are usually more available than healthy ones. And by healthy, I mean the natural stuff. And I hate cooking. Damn it!
– A beach house in California.
– More trips aboard, more stays at 5-star places.
– Investing more on my blogs.
– Investing more on courses.
– Working with a story consultant like Marilyn Horowitz
– Work on my pitches with Stephanie Palmer
There’s probably more, but those are my top ones at the moment.
How Am I Getting Smarter?
How do I plan on keeping the luxuries I have, making them more frequent and reaching the others?
By making more.
I don’t believe in saving to the point that you stop living and enjoying your life. But I do believe at this point in my life, I can live without 500-dollar-a-pair shoes.
It doesn’t mean some shoes aren’t worth it. It just means it’s a luxury I don’t care for at the moment.
So you can (and should) save according to your own needs and preferences. For more guidance, I recommend I’ll Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I love that book. It’s fun, understandable and practical. It’s slightly more helpful if you live in the USA, but with some research, you can benefit from it no matter from where you are from.
More unbelievably helpful resources on how to make more:
– Ramit Sethi offers a lot of free materials to help you make at least 1K more on the side. It’s also a premium course, but I haven’t tried it yet.
– How to Give Yourself an Instant Pay Rise as a Freelance Writer Online by Kirsty Stuart
– How I Got to Write a Regular Column — After My Article Was Rejected on Make a Living Writing.
*None of the links in this post are affiliate links.
This is hopefully only the beginning to a smarter, more profitable life.
How do you handle your luxuries? What are your luxuries and money management techniques?