For many musicians, touring outside of their local community is a far-off dream, something that could maybe happen someday. Perhaps you've always wanted to travel around the USA in a Rock N Roll tourbus. Or maybe you've dreamt of performing at the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool England, where the Beatles first played in 1961.
With a job to show up for and bills to pay, however, it's easy to get stuck into a routine of work and obligations while those band tour and travel goals slip further and further away.
The thing is, it's totally possible to start saving for travel right now. You might be surprised to discover how much you can save over a year with just a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle. If you can dedicate some time and effort to the task, you'll be off traveling in no time.
So read on to discover 5 ways to start saving for your band to hit the road, and get the ball rolling on your next adventure.
1. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
I know, we're starting off with a tough one for many musicians. After all, most bands perform at places where food and alcohol are the main event. But the reality is, going out to eat and drink is expensive. While it's fun to get a delicious dinner at the newest restaurant in town or grab Friday drinks with your band mates, those activities can add up fast.
Think about your daily habits, too: do you buy your lunch out every day? Do you stop for a latte every morning on your way to work?
If any of these scenarios apply to you, one of the easiest ways to save money is to start cooking for yourself. Make yourself a coffee in the morning and take it in a keep-cup for your morning commute. Pack yourself a lunch, and cook dinner at home instead of going out. You'll be amazed at how much you can save by making these easy changes in your life.
You might be worried about missing out on social activities, but don't fret. You likely already have a bar tab at most places you perform at. Make sure not to go over it. And instead of going out for additional drinks with friends at other times, why not have a BYO get-together at home? Try having a board game night, or a potluck barbecue, and invite your friends to join. You'll still have a great time, and your wallet will thank you.
2. Sell Unwanted Items
Chances are, you have a whole lot of unneeded stuff lying around your house or practice space. How about those effects pedals you never used? Or those old guitars collecting dust in your closet?
You won't need many of your belongings when you're on the road--you simply can't fit much in a suitcase! So why not get rid of extra stuff and make a little cash while doing so?
Dedicate a couple of Saturdays to going through your things, and make a stash of stuff you'd like to sell. Clean or spruce it up, take some photos, and start listing your items online. A few online reseller websites to checkout are:
Other options are to take good-quality clothes to a local consignment shop or have a garage sale. One thing is for sure: it'll feel great to get rid of things you don't need, and the extra cash you'll make is just an added bonus.
3. Carpool to Shows
Or Get a Band Van
If each of your band members drive separately to shows, you can save a lot of money by switching up your commuting game.
The truth is, it gets expensive to put gas in your car on a regular basis. There are also lots of expenses involved in maintaining a car, especially if anything goes wrong with it.
This may be a difficult thing to do, but ask yourself if you really need your car. Could multiple band members ride together? Is purchasing a van or trailer to haul equipment instead of in individual vehicles in the budget for your band?
If the thought of parting with your car isn't possible, then consider commuting to gigs and practice with others, and have them pitch in for gas. This one simple lifestyle switch can make a big difference to your saving goals.
4. Get a Side Hustle
Playing in a band is a part-time job. If you're really active it may even be like a full-time job. So the thought of taking on more work is probably daunting. But what if it's something you absolutely love to do? Or how about a job you could do in your pajamas on your couch?
But before we look into profitable music alternatives, have you first exhausted all of your opportunities with music? If you're an original artist who's busy writing and promoting music online, have you tried to also pickup some live gigs? The revenue from repeated shows, even small solo acoustic gigs, can add up overtime. They can also be a nice break from the monotony of staring at a digital screen recording and editing.
Likewise, if you're busy touring or playing live, have you tried profiting from your music online? There are a lot of opportunities online today for artists to make money independently. Read our articles on how to get your music on distribution services, and how to promote your music on social media and other profitable music platforms.
Chances are, you also have talents and hobbies outside of music that you don't use very often. Maybe you're a star at graphic design or love to write. Put these skills to use and do some freelance work a few hours each week--there are business owners out there looking for someone just like you.
Other options are to teach English online, take on some evening babysitting jobs, or sign up to deliver groceries with a service like Instacart. Get creative and put yourself out there, and you'll be surprised at how many opportunities await you.
5. Cancel Unwanted Subscriptions
We live in a time when there's a subscription service for just about anything. You can sign up for streaming video services, meal delivery kits, and clothing subscription boxes--and that's barely scratching the surface.
Maybe you have a gym membership but haven't gone to the gym in a year. Or how about that mediation app you signed up for, but hardly use? Cancel these things and partake in free alternatives. You could walk or run outside instead of hitting the gym, for example, or find a free YouTube video to replace the mediation app you barely use.
Do an audit of the subscriptions and memberships you're signed up for, and see if you really need or use them. If you need help discovering them, here's a list of a few subscription management tools to help you find and cancel them:
You'll likely discover that you're spending money unnecessarily on subscriptions and memberships--so cut some of these out of your life, and start saving that money for your next holiday!
By following these money-saving tips, you'll be able to get moving on your travel goals. It may take some big lifestyle changes to save up money, but you can get there--it'll be all worth the effort when your traveling dreams come true!