Poem: A Job Is A Job

Writing

Knees buckled beneath me.

Feet gnarled, toes curled.

The whole world’s up against me.

Yet still I spin, I twirl.

 

Counting pennies until it defeats me.

I’m sedated by my lost dreams.

It seems the past always repeats me,

A path of unraveling seams.

 

Whispered regrets always greet me.

My childhood career was not what is now.

If only my parents could see me.

In dismay, they’d ask me ‘how’?

 

Does your work make you happy?

Is that the aim of your job?

If you’re not in absolute misery,

Then what’s the alarm?

5 Short Courses That Could Save You Money.

Writing

Money can be tight sometimes, but before you get the hammer out to smash open Mr. piggy bank, let’s take a look at some courses which may cost you a bob or two today but may save you a fortune down the line:

1) Embroidery courses – so maybe you don’t fancy yourself holding a pair of knitting needles anytime soon, but do you think that button missing mid-way down your shirt is going to sew itself? Learning to mend clothing and other materials (a tear in the tablecloth, the stitching in your child’s teddy bear) may save you on forking up on another shirt for the sake of a few buttons or teddy to pacify the fidgeting toddler. Example 1, Example 2.

2) Bike Repair – Is the fear of encountering a tyre puncture or a broken gear while en route putting you off  cycling to and from work? If so, then fear no more, think of the amount of money you could save on the commute, why not throw yourself into a repair workshop where I’m sure you’ll pick up a range of tricks and tips for fixing bicycles issues. Or maybe even use the hints to fix your children’s as you teach them how to ride a bike for the first time. The bike will definitely need some TLC as you accidentally push you kid so hard that they crash into a tree. Yes, my dad did that to me! Example 1.

3) Cooking Classes – Perhaps you never paid attention to grandma’s recipes growing up and now you’re paying the price, quite literally,  as you often buy lunch out from fear of poisoning yourself from your lack of culinary know-how. If you want to learn how to make a decent pack lunch for yourself, how to balance meals, how to budget plan for meals or how to maybe even COOK meals then a cookery class may not be completely out of the question? Example 1, Example 2, Example 3.

4) D.I.Y. Workshops – Not much of a handyman? Not to worry, soon you’ll be sprucing up the kitchen with a lick of paint and re-aligning that dodgy picture your uncle gave you as a Christmas present in the front hall. Think of the amount of money you could save in all seriousness just by picking up a few small hints. Example 1, Example 2.

5)  Finance Classes – Not as intimidating as it sounds, perhaps the root of all of our financial problems isn’t that we don’t have substantial funds but maybe because we just aren’t handling our money correctly? Budgeting tips, what future planning and saving schemes are out there? Checking if you’re eligible for certain bursaries or whether you’re even registered in the correct brackets for certain financial circumstances may be incredibly useful in the long-run. Example 1, Example 2.

 

I hope these 5 were helpful, yes, it could be argued that all of the above can be resolved by a bit of YouTubing but where’s the fun in that? You don’t get to meet people while learning a cross stitch and you certainly don’t get the reward factor of helping someone peel a carrot or vice versa!. So give it a go!

4 Freelance Budgeting Tips

Writing

Oh the joys of being freelance, no one trying to be your boss, no strict times to be in work for, and no food on the f*cking table! Or atleast that’s how it feels if you try and make a living the D.I.Y. way (initially atleast). So how can you survive living ‘minimalist’ until your paining sells for millions?

  1. Buy your equipment in bulk – yes I know the saying quality not quantity, but this doesn’t always hold true. Yet, more likely than not you will save if you buy in bulk than if not for example art kits for special effects make up – it’s better to buy the kit than each component individually form sites such as – e.g. PAM do bulk kits for make-up artists
  2. Sign up to creative membership and discount sites in general such as: NUS, Sally’s discount card for beauty professionals, trade shows such as IMATS are also great ways to get discounted products which would otherwise be very expensive instore. I’ve used a make-up artist example here but the points carry through for a range of creative disciplines.
  3. Create a budget planner or download a budgeting app – it’s hard to keep track of finances in normal day to day situations never mind when you’re trying to run your own business. Taking time now to plan out a planner or use an app will save you time and money in the long-run.
  4. Make your own tip jar – although we live in a world where we use physical cash less and less, there’s still no harm in collecting up those odd bits of loose change instead of impulsively spending them on a packet of crisps. Or even better you could set up your own fort of reward system, say at the end of each week you could tip yourself for completing ‘x’ number of goals. Nothing wrong with a bit of self-reward!

Freelancing isn’t for the faint-hearted but then again great things don’t come out of safety. I hope however that the above tips make your finances that little bit more secure as you progress in your chosen creative field!

**Please note this article is intended solely for ERIC Mag, and I will link to the article on their site if/when it becomes live.