Being in a band is an exciting adventure. From touring and meeting fans to recording your own album, creating music with others is a one-of-a-kind experience. However, even if your shows bring in buckets of cash, you may find it difficult to save — especially with all the fun restaurants and bars you’ll find on tour.
Plus, if you’re touring full-time, odds are good you won’t be able to keep a full-time job.
Therefore, if you want the band to make it, you’ll have to find ways to save money. Luckily, there’s a number of things you can do to cut costs and put money in the bank while still having the time of your life.
Advertise on Social Media
If you and your fellow band members are still trying to make a name for yourselves, you’ll want to advertise as much as possible. Doing so will draw people to your shows and win you more fans. However, printing paper flyers or paying for online advertisements can quickly become expensive.
Instead, post frequently on a variety of social media platforms. Share music videos, post showtimes and host raffles for VIP passes. Ask your friends and family to share your posts, too.
Record at Home
Of course, you’ll also want to record a few demos or possibly an entire album. Yet, partnering with a recording studio can be quite costly.
Take matters into your own hands and save money by recording your tunes at home. You’ll need a few essential pieces of equipment to begin, including a computer, audio interface, a MIDI keyboard and a microphone, among other things. While this gear may be a bit expensive, it’ll be cheaper than renting a studio.
Ditch Your Car
If you and your voice are the only two things you need, consider ditching the van or tour bus and riding a bike instead. Hopping on a traditional bike or even an e-bike can save you hundreds in gas and maintenance costs each year. Plus, electric bikes give you some exercise and will pick up the slack if you grow tired of pedaling.
Visit the Grocer
While on tour, it may be difficult to make your own meals, especially if you’re on the road a lot. Moreover, after a successful show, it may be tempting to spend your money on drinks at the venue or a night on the town. If you want to save money, eating out and partying all night aren’t going to help. Instead, head to the local grocery store to pick up snacks, foods and beverages.
Hotels can cost more than $100 per night depending on how many beds you need. Obviously, this can add up quickly and completely drain your wallets while on tour. Instead of spending all your money on lodging, consider couchsurfing. Ask friends and family if you can crash on their couch for the night or ask fans for a place to stay after the show. You might also search the popular couchsurfing apps for a free place to rest your head.
Budgeting to Save
Your main goal during your first few tours won’t be to get rich. Rather, you’ll likely aim to create more raving fans and save a bit of money for new equipment or the next tour. However, even with the best intentions, saving a good sum of money may seem impossible. To combat the temptation to spend money and actually save a significant amount, you must create a budget.
List your expenses and set ground rules for how much each band member can spend. You should also determine how you’ll divide revenue among the members and select who will be in charge of finances.
Then, once you have a budget, stick to it! You’ll be saving big in no time.
Band Life With Peace of Mind
Touring as a musician is an incredible calling! Just don’t forget to be smart about your finances. With these suggestions in mind, your career as a musician and your wallet will both go far.