Yes, the not so sexy side of loving the arts on a budget.

I have decided that this is the week l start saving for next year. You have read that right, we’re in the 4th month and l’m putting money away for next year.

This is how l budget. I don’t wear a hair shirt, but, l do believe in forward planning. That’s not to say that l’m sacrificing today for tomorrow, rather, l believe from little things big things grow. I have X amount of dollars that goes into my arts budget each week; now a 1/3 will be going into a separate account for next year. I also save the silver coins each week and they get added to the pot. Many people keep coin jars and put all coins in there. Australia has coins for $1 and $2 and, to be honest, l can’t afford to take those out each week so l save the silver. It might come to a couple of dollars each week which doesn’t sound like much, but, it’s enough to buy tickets to a couple of shows.

It can be daunting looking at a big figure. I always divide figures by 52 and get a weekly figure. I think l’ve told you before that l go to High Tea twice a year. I added the cost of both of them and then divided it by 52; $3.20 a week , completely doable. It’s less than a takeaway coffee. Could l pay for these on the day without saving, no l couldn’t, but, saving a small amount each week over the year means l can.

Essentials are always paid first, rent, bills, food etc. For everything else l work out a weekly figure and save it. It may not sound that exciting, but, it’s the only way that l can do what l do. I’ve seen some great shows this year already and l have more to look forward to in the coming months. Savings, and living within my means, allows me to enjoy the arts without worrying about paying for it later, nothing goes on credit. It’s a great feeling getting the membership form at the end of the year and having money put aside to pay for those first lots of tickets. Budgeting is not all doom and gloom, there is sunshine in there as well.

So, that’s the not so wonderful side of budgeting for the arts. On Wednesday it’s back to the amazing world of affordable arts. Enjoy the last day of Easter.

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