How to Stretch Your Dollars

Volume 123, No. 8September, 2023

Entertainment Community Fund

The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) is a national human services organization that helps address the specific needs of musicians and other entertainment professionals — with a unique understanding of the challenges involved with a life in the arts and the knowledge of what it takes to thrive in an often-unpredictable industry.

Whether you’re saving for a life milestone, a rainy day or experiencing the financial challenges of an episodic income, this September, the Financial Wellness Program of the Entertainment Community Fund shines a spotlight on how to stretch your dollars, cut back on spending and plan financially.

Examine your expenses.

What do you spend daily, weekly and monthly? Familiarizing yourself with your regular expenses can help you better understand how your money is allocated and allow you to identify any possible changes or adjustments that can be made. Using a tool such as an app, online program or pocket notebook can be a beneficial way to track daily outgoing cash flow.

Identify any fixed expenses you can reduce.

Fixed expenses are monthly costs such as rent, utilities, phone and subscriptions. They usually require only a one-time adjustment that will take effect and continue each following month with no additional action needed from you. Changing or eliminating subscriptions, housekeeping or laundry services, and switching to a cheaper phone plan or vendor are all examples of ways to reduce fixed expenses.

Identify which non-fixed expenses you can reduce.

Non-fixed expenses are costs that vary from month to month or throughout the year. Reducing these expenses is an ongoing process that may require regular adjustments. Do you own a car? Assess when you can substitute public transit for driving/parking to reduce gas and parking fees. Review your food plan, including where you grocery shop and dine out; reduce your household energy and water use; and prioritize entertainment spending on events that are affordable and the most meaningful to you.

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