Numbers Chapter 1

How much money can you make as a full time musician? Well, how much do you want to make? Where do you live? How much do you need to survive? And what will it cost you to make that money?

As I said in my last blog, I am going to cheat and ease my way into this lifestyle. I also am going to round and make up numbers as I see fit. It is a totally different lifestyle for me, so how can I know actual numbers?

In real life, my budget is perfectly balanced. We keep our expenses really low and make no more money than we spend. I am fine with that, but sometimes I get bored and lack contentment and pick up various little jobs that have always left me with less money than I had before I started them, as you will see shortly. I am not going to compete with my husband. He has been at his job for nine years and supports his family well. We have made the choice to have me home with the kids because it saves us money. Now the kids will be in school and I should get a real job.  I have made music my job, and I can do it without sacrificing the needs of my family. That said, I can’t make the same amount as someone who goes to an office for 40 hours a week and puts their kids and daycare. I need to be home to fix broken things and watch my kids after school. But how much would I really be making if I were working full time? I’m going to estimate modestly.

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As you can see, a full time job would cost my family a little under $15,000 a year. WOW! If I make $25,000 a year, that leaves me with $10,000. That’s 2080 hours of work at $4.81 per hour.  If I worked only during the hours the kids are in school, I’d make about $8600 before taxes.  My goal for my first year is to make the amount I would make working full time, minus the expenses, plus 18% for taxes.  This equals roughly $12,000.

Side note: Where did I get these numbers?  Mostly from the Pawtucket, RI YMCA website, random IRS searches and and 3 months of working with my kids in daycare.  And yes, I’m aware that I have to pay another 18% of the 2k I made for taxes.  This is an estimate.

How am I going to make $12,000 playing music?  I am not sure yet, but I know that I have to be willing to do almost anything.  Let’s see what cards I have to play with in my next blog.


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