Author Topic: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income  (Read 851 times)

Aardvark

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Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« on: August 31, 2022, 08:26:43 AM »
I've been on this forum for quite some time, but mostly to develop an investment strategy.
My younger sister just graduated from an elite music college and is moving to LA to try and make it big. She doesn't have much lined up at the moment, and she has asked for financial advice. Is there a part of this forum that speaks to this? Or do you have any top insights for her?

ixtap

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2022, 08:40:36 AM »
Start earning money. There is a reason artists wait tables and such: to pay the bills.

Askel

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2022, 08:42:16 AM »
Ha, I also have a younger sister with a degree in the arts who also spent many years living in HCOL areas in CA.  Unfortunately, she was in dance so there was never really an opportunity to "make it big". :D 

It sucks. From a fiscal perspective anyway. 

I'd advise her to start working immediately on finding some kind of regular job to keep the bills paid that gives her enough flexibility to pursue her arts career.  My sister did pretty OK working for multiple Trader Joe's locations as she moved around CA.   

Building a strong network of fellow artists also helps- not only for finding new opportunities in the field, but just to lean on for getting through basic life stuff. 

And having spent some time in LA myself- one tidbit that might help is that LA is a surprisingly bikeable city with a relatively underused public transit network.  While it's probably pretty difficult to go entirely car free there, it is possible to avoid a lot of car use if you're determined. 

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2022, 08:48:48 AM »
Trying to make it big as a musician in LA?  Good luck.

I sincerely hope your sister is wildly successful, but from what I hear, that's a tough industry to break into.  I don't have any advice on how to develop a music career, but in the face of those odds, I'd suggest having a backup skillset that can support her while she works on it.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2022, 09:05:57 AM »
I've been on this forum for quite some time, but mostly to develop an investment strategy.
My younger sister just graduated from an elite music college and is moving to LA to try and make it big. She doesn't have much lined up at the moment, and she has asked for financial advice. Is there a part of this forum that speaks to this? Or do you have any top insights for her?

Live at home with her parents for 6 months and work 60 hours/week to save-up before the move. Get a job doing shift-work. This is mostly waiting tables. If she gets an audition and it overlaps with her shift, she can swap with friends. If she is serious, I wouldn't not get a 40-hour week desk job and try for the dream on the weekends. That's typically not enough.

The bigger her stash of cash the more picky she can be about taking gigs. I would try to focus on quality gigs over quantity of gigs. 

Askel

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2022, 09:06:50 AM »
I did a couple rides with the Midnight Ridazz when I lived there. It was great fun. And they made this helpful video that includes several useful tips on bike commuting, living economically, and securing movie deals in LA. :D 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI8O7rnQYG4

Aardvark

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2022, 11:10:02 AM »
Thanks everybody, this is already great. I didn't consider the possibility that there would be people on the forum that could provide advice specific to artists living in LA. Any specific advice is much appreciated.

In addition to that I am also hoping to find a resource that summarizes financial responsibility in general and preferably in a very simple way. Things like: minimize driving, get the cheapest rent possibly without incurring transport costs, don't eat out, keep a budget, etc. I can put together the basics, but don't trust myself to do a good job.

MDM

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2022, 05:35:41 PM »
She won't be going very far down the list, but the suggestions in the Investment Order post are likely applicable.

E.g., even if all she does is establish an Emergency fund that could be significantly better than nothing.

Rusted Rose

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2022, 06:56:16 PM »
I don't know a whole lot about the LA world, but there are ways to monetize artistic skills that might not be what we assume.

Your sis might like to check out the work of Cathy Heller, a musician, author, and podcaster who I believe has been LA-based. I'm thinking her book and podcast both titled Don't Keep Your Day Job.

BlueHouse

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2022, 07:28:13 PM »
Find roommates before moving. 
I have two family members (husband & wife) who were actors out in LA for a few years after a bit of stage work in NY.  Never hit it big other than 1 nationwide commercial. But they do know a lot of pretty famous people.  It seems like most of the people they know, they met through children's things.  my SIL knows just about every famous person's nanny or personal assistant. 

People will do anything for their kids or their pets.  So maybe she could get some experience now as a dog-walker/ cat-sitter and then try to specialize in that for money when she gets out to LA.  And maybe even house-sitting.  She'll need a profile, so have her set up an account, and have her house sit or dog-sit for you now to get her some experience and recommendations.

Freedomin5

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Re: Advice for a recent grad with no/low income
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2022, 09:46:49 PM »
Before shelling out money for anything, she should ask herself, "Can I achieve the same goal for less money?" I was able to live in LA for four years as a grad student, spending approx. $500 a month. I had 3 roommates in a 2-bedroom, drove a used car, and purchased most of my groceries at the 99 cent store.

As others have mentioned, I think her primary focus should be building various income streams, though I don't think she necessarily has to wait tables or be a cashier to do so. I think she might be able to use her training and talents to build income.

For example, she could get a side hustle. If she's a professionally trained musician, post an ad on Craiglist offering to teach her instrument. Look on Craiglist and the other job hunting websites for music schools hiring teachers to teach little kids on weekends. I've found that they're usually not too picky (I was able to get a job as a piano teacher with a Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music certificate). Pay was kind of crappy, but it was better than nothing, and after the parents get to know you, you can switch them over to private lessons and charge higher rates. The music school job was just to build my resume.

If your sister is a native English speaker with good written English skills, she can also offer herself on Craigslist as a college tutor. There are many international students who hire tutors to edit their college essays and tutor them on their homework so that they can pass their courses. They're wealthy and can pay a good rate for your services.

Weddings are another option (or any other big events that might need someone with your sister's talents). Build a website and advertise her services.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!