My COVID Unemployment Story in the Decimated Arts Industry

Mel from brokeGirlrich shares how COVID upended her career in the arts industry and how she was prepared, what she could have done better and how she is planning for the future. 

Smart Money Moves From the Past That Are Helping Me Now

No Debt

To begin with, I’ve been really fortunate that I am good at personal finance and I have been a borderline-neurotic saver my whole career. I also have zero debt because when I finished grad school $30,000 in debt, I lucked out and got a few jobs that provided housing (cruise ships, trains) and double down on getting rid of that sucker.

Lived Like a Miser

I was lucky to get those jobs, but I also missed pretty much every family event for the better part of a decade working them and for the two and a half years I was paying off debt specifically, I lived like a miser. If I could go back, I’d spend a few more months paying off the debt and be a little less miserable, but hindsight is 20/20, and the debt is gone, so overall – worth it.

Emergency Savings

Then after I got out of debt, I focused on shoring up my emergency savings, taking the slow and steady path of $500  $1,000  to a month of expenses  six months of expenses. I’ve slowly been adding to it now to try to get it up to a year, but I suspect achieving that goal is a few years off.

My Advice to You

If I could hand out on piece of advice to those of you still working, if you can start doing anything to save now, do it. It took me 8,000,000 baby steps to get to solid financial ground (or about 7 years), but it is a good place to be.

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