9th March 2021
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My Money Fears: Freelancing in Entertainment

My Money Fears
By Melissa Bondar

When I started this blog, I was finishing off paying my student loans, working for a company that I sometimes still refer to as the “evil empire,” dating a guy I figured I was probably going to wind up marrying someday, and perpetually stressed about not having much money or feelings of financial security.

Nowadays, none of those things apply. Student loans are gone. Emergency fund is fully stocked. Actually, currently a large liquid fund is very stocked because I also have enough to buy my next car outright and a chunk of change saved up for a down payment on a house. I don’t have to factor anyone else into my current financial plans. I am largely not stressed about money.

I mean, I was able to Sabbatical the heck out of 2019. I was able to walk away from a well paying job to try to be with my mom when she was sick without a second thought – even though I should’ve done it sooner. I took a super low paying job for a month this year just to have something to do and because it looked fun. The job I currently work is fairly high stress but only part time, and that’s financially OK right now too.

Despite all this good, and financially it is an overwhelming amount of good, there are still some things that stress me out about my finances, which makes me think, money stress apparently never goes away entirely.

Not having enough money for retirement.

Man, does anyone feel all that confident about this? I feel like I can run numbers and set targets till the cows come home, but it’s still frightening. Not only is trying to save enough frightening, I also feel like someday when I have to start spending that nest egg, I’m going to struggle with that too.

Inflation is a weird thing, who can predict it entirely? The stock market could crash at any time (though it probably won’t – or if it does, it will likely recover). Increasingly likely, we might just make our planet totally uninhabitable and the people who know how to hunt and gather will have the only useful skills and money will mean nothing.

Not having enough money to take care of my dad or my brother, if they need it.

I am increasingly confident that as long as my body holds up and I can work, I’ll figure out a way to scrape by. I don’t need much. But as soon as you add other people to that equation, things get pretty wonky. I mean, my dad is getting older, what if he needs to live with me in the next few years? What if he gets sick like my mom did and needs someone to actively take care of him? Not only is that expensive because of time off of work if it has to be me, I also like do not have any care-giving skills – so if I outsource that need, it gets real expensive, real quick.

And let’s be real, it doesn’t always have to be the daughter, but, like 95% of the time, it seems to be the daughter that this task falls on.

I also worry about being a safety net for my brother if he ever needs it. I feel like part of the reason I’ve done so ok all my life is the safety net that was my mom. I want to try to make sure he has that same feeling that no matter what there’s always someone who will take him in and help him get back on his feet, if he ever needs it (which I’m sure he won’t need it any more than I ever did – but the sheer existence of the safety net is such a privilege I don’t want him to not have it too).

Being old, sick and alone and becoming a burden to someone else.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to be alone forever. Not only have I seem to lost any kind of skill at dating, I also don’t even care anymore. Mostly this is fine. …or a topic for a post on non-money fears.

But when I think about being old and sick and alone, I get an extra dose of stressed because I’m worried the burden of me might fall on my baby brother, and my goal is for that to really not happen. There are some things I can do to plan for the future alone, like really good long-term care insurance in a decade or two, but honestly, effing up my finances and being a drain on him when I’m old is a thing that keeps me up at night sometimes.

Being in a relationship where I’m manipulated because of not having as much money as the dude.

Maybe this is part of why I’m chill with the whole single thing anyway. Ages ago now, I used to fight with an ex about big picture things, like where we would live, and he would just end the fight by buying the house he wanted where he wanted, because he had money and I didn’t.

I have never, ever forgotten that bullshit. As a matter of fact, it’s still a huge motivator to me even now as I save. The next guy I fight with about where we’re gonna live, if he just pivots and buys a house, I will pivot as well and buy my own damn house where I want it to be.

Or, ya know, I’ll learn how to fight better and won’t date assholes who solve disputes like that. Hopefully this latter option, but I want to be able to do the former option if I want to, too.

Getting sick and the cost of the illness wiping out everything I’ve managed to save.

A nice perk to being a PF blogger is that I know why most people go bankrupt and in America, it’s because of medical bills. I already pay a bunch of money every month to cover insurance, which then has a massive deductible too, and then also has crazy hoops that have to be jumped through perfectly to not incur additional expenses.

Not only could sickness wipe out everything I’ve saved, it could compound the problem by making me unable to work. Sickness is scary enough on its own, but the financial aspects on top of everything else are just ridiculous.

The fact that money is never done.

I’m a pay ahead type of gal. I like to be extra on top of things because who knows what’s coming next. But some expenses feel a lot like laundry – unless you do it naked, you still have dirty clothes at all times.

For instance, housing. I can save up all I want and outright buy a property, but there are still property taxes I have to account for too. So there are always more expenses coming, no matter what. Sometimes this just makes me feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean and I’m definitely going to be too tired to swim all the way to shore.

Vegan Food Trips

Published in Collaboration with brokeGIRLrich

brokegirlrich TheatreArtLife

Also on by Melissa Bondar:

How to Stop Bleeding In Between Contract Work

Stage Managers: Investing In Yourself

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