May 10


The Money Has to Count

There are a lot of non-work things that affect our work.

Things like sleep, diet, exercise, and wellness practices.

But also one thing that nobody likes to talk about.


If there were one skill I wish I got better at earlier, it would be how to handle money properly.

When I was in college, especially my master's years, I spent much more energy worrying about how I was going to pay the rent than my music studies. Because I wasn't keeping track of my income, and I was using credit cards like a drunken congressman.

It's not all my fault, though. For all the hours of studying in middle school, high school, and college, I never learned how money works.

Which is backwards, when you think about it.

I mean, really...think about it.

Every human on planet earth is playing the money game. Whether they realize it or not. You'd think one or two classes in high school would have been spent on it.

If I learned in school that investing a few hundred bucks in an index fund every month would mean millions of dollars by the time I was fifty, I would been on it straight after high school.

But even at a more basic level, financial stress affects everything.

The problem is, artists have romanticized money problems to a degree where it's accepted. Worn as a badge of honor.

We even have a term for it - starving artist.

But the thing is, if you're stressed about money, then by definition, you can't do your best work. It's like trying to create a sculpture with a noose around your neck.

The challenge is, we live in a world trying to take away our financial power every day. By selling us loans and credit cards, telling us that payments are "easy" to get what we want now, and making us believe money is complicated.

It's not. A few simple steps can change everything.

1. Live on a monthly budget. A written plan where you spend less than you make.

2. Stay out of debt. Debt steals your income, and costs you way more than you borrow.

3. Save and invest every month.

It can be that simple. And when money stress is off the table, you can do better work than you ever thought possible.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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