Five Ways to Be Fiscally Responsible As An Irresponsible Artist

(This is in no way autobiographical.)

  • CREDIT CARDS — Sign up for one. Max it out (to hit those travel point bonuses). Then, spend the next four years atoning for your hedonism, piecemeal by piecemeal. You will eventually, paradoxically, be rewarded for your reckless participation of capitalism and living beyond your means by being given a strangely high credit score (so long as you’ve been paying on time), which will enable you to sign up for more credit cards. You should do this, but limit your spending to using only one. You’re just trying to expand your total spending limit, which will decrease your total usage, which ends up making you look more responsible than you actually are to the credit bureaus. Is this… beating the system?
  • BUY USED — Reduce your carbon footprint, however negligible! Invest in used or consignment shop dresses for that next gallery opening (or, more likely, that 2AM sound art DJ set that actually ends up starting at 6AM instead and actually you are very much overdressed my friend). Only suckers go to Nordstrom Rack.
  • TINDER — Working artist-patron relationships have been around since the Renaissance. You think Michelangelo gave himself back problems painting cherubic frescos all over those barrel vault ceilings and arches for free?
  • CUT COUPONS — I’m just kidding. Use Amazon. And read reviews, for the love of God. Do your research, because we are trying to reduce that aforementioned carbon footprint to feel at least like we have some individual control over our own ecosystem’s fate, however shallowly, and you’re not helping yourself or your wallet or the planet by just buying the cheapest possible thing that you end up breaking and tossing out in the next month.
  • INVEST — This may be a culmination of all of the above, but nonetheless deserves its own bullet point: Invest in yourself and your future. Times seem dire now and most of our generation, due to the nature of technology and our nonstop exposure and over-connectivity to the worst, most shocking things in nature and men, are somewhat jaded. Millennials have no savings, millennials are lazy, millennials blah blah blah. We have a responsibility to ourselves to be better than our parents, since we do know so much more. The tone of this article may be going every which way, but really, all I can hope you might deduce from this is that the only way to not be bleak and nihilistic and blow your entire paycheck on a hotel room full of liquor like Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas because the state of our politics has become a global joke is to laugh at it. And then, after you recover from that laughing fit, remember to be hopeful, and good. Just try to be good. And open up a 401K for pete’s sake.