by Brian Henninger
This article will serve as a guide to people who have just booked a gig that will take them out of town and on the road for several months to a year at a time. Whenever you are blessed with an opportunity to travel and dance for an extended period of time you have the chance to really capitalize on several other opportunities that can really propel your career. In addition to being paid to travel and perform, you also have the opportunity to save quite a bit of money during the time you are traveling. This article includes just a few tips on how to maximize your income and savings while you tour so that you can have more long term security with your money
Cut your expenses at home: This can really help maximize your profits while your away touring and making a weekly salary and per diem. Subletting your apartment out, or getting rid of it altogether and putting things in storage can drastically reduce your monthly expenses while you travel. If your living situation allows you to sublet out your apartment to another person for the duration of your tour, I highly suggest you do so and cut your expenses down. Along with subletting your place, arrange for the person subletting your place to hold your mail if you trust them, or you can get a P.O. box to collect your mail and have a friend or family member collect it periodically for you and keep you aware of any important documents you may receive. If you are headed out of town on a gig, cutting your expenses at home is a great way to make the whole experience more manageable.
Commit to saving a certain percentage of your income: This is a hugely important principal. 10-20% of each weeks salary can be directed to a savings account. This may seem redundant to many people but if you’ve never had a strong saving habit, being on tour is the PERFECT time to adopt it because you have drastically less expenses since your hotels are paid for, and you also should be getting a per diem for food and daily expenses.
Spend your money on unforgettable experiences, not things: If your lucky enough to have booked a tour, the chances are that you might be visiting some pretty incredible places. Theres always going to be a temptation to spend your money on Clothing, Shoes, and any other type of purchase. In order to keep your spending down, I suggest you focus on creating memories with your fellow cast mates. Spend money on a nice dinner out, or day trips and excursions to explore the places your visiting. Focus on creating cool experiences while you travel rather then accumulating things along the way.
When you are lucky enough to book a tour you have an opportunity save quite a bit of money. If you do some simple math and consider that most international or national tours for well known artists average around 1000-1400 per week in salary with another 40-60 per day per diem, over a year long period it is possible for you to save upwards of 10,000 in a year touring, which is a low estimate. It is possible to save much more money when you consider the per diem you are making as well. This money saved can help you support yourself after you finish the gig and give you a cushion of security when you enter the world of auditioning again.
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