Singing Sucks My Pockets Dry: Overcoming the Ness of Broke
by Melissa Wimbish
Singing is muy expensive. Scores, audition fees, accompanist fees, travel, voice lessons, coaching, and hundreds of other incidentals that you might not even realize. Copies. Ugh. Copies. Stockings. Bottled water. There’s always something there to swipe away your cash money.
This can become one of the hugest obstacles in the lives of singers both young and seasoned. For us, no money = no job, not the other way around. In most cases, we have to spend money in order to even apply for the position we are seeking. If you are barely making rent, dodging calls from the credit card company, and living off of Ramen and popcorn, singing can become a lower and lower and lower priority as the days, weeks, and months of “BROKENESS” wear you out.
How do we tackle this obstacle? Honestly, this one may take longer than any of your vocal issues! Here are some money-saving tips for singers:
Carpool to competitions and auditions. If you don’t have a car, don’t be shy! Splitting the cost of travel with someone who does have wheels is a great compromise and will save money for all involved.
Sign up for free travel rewards programs! Whether you travel by air, train, or bus there are almost always incentive offers that result in free tickets or hefty discounts.
When traveling by air during audition season, compare low-cost carriers with major carriers that fly to your destination. Remember, the best fares may not be out of the airport closest to you. You may save by including a Saturday evening stay-over or by purchasing the ticket at least 14 days in advance. (From 66 Ways to Save Money)
Be frugal about your gas. (hahaha) You can save up to $100 a year on gas by keeping your engine tuned and your tires inflated to their proper pressure. (From 66 Ways to Save Money)
Watch out for ATM fees! You would be surprised at how much money you spend each month just to get your hands on your own money. Pay your accompanist with a check if you can, otherwise find the ATM with the lowest fee and use only that one.
Buy a reusable water bottle and don’t lose it. A couple of bucks here and there for constant water replenishment can easily add up to 5 bucks a day!
Make copies at Kinko’s. It is often less-expensive and the features of the machines there allow you to make more efficient use of paper and your funds. Be sure to adhere to copyright laws.
Ladies, buy a few pairs of nice, quality stockings. Rather than spending 6 – 8 dollars a half hour before your audition on a pair from the drugstore that are usually only good for one use, spend the extra money to get some that will last longer and look better.
Party in! The money you spend buying a beer, a mixed drink, or a tasty entrée from a restaurant is enough to rent a movie, buy a six pack and some snacks for a get-together at home. Going out is fun, but drains your bank account fast for very little product.
Shop smart at the grocery store. Go with a plan. You will spend less on food if you shop with a list, take advantage of sales, and purchase basic ingredients, rather than pre-packaged components or ready-made items. (From 66 Ways to Save Money)
Re-evaluate your cell phone plan. Are you using the cheapest option for your needs?
Barter with your accompanist. There are lots of pianists who secretly love to sing and might agree to accompanying you for free (or a reduced rate) in exchange for voice lessons.
Purchase your scores online. Half.com is amazing. Just amazing.
Keep your church job. You need the money.
Melissa Wimbish is one of the founders and directors of Operagasm.com. You can learn more about Melissa under the ‘About Us’ tab on the top of the page. Melissa welcomes you to comment on her article or email her privately at email@example.com