Friday, January 27, 2012

Cash Flow

"I wish I could just travel around all the time."
It was a statement which was almost always tinged with resentment. Yeah, being a traveling model was pretty nifty. It was kind of like a two year long vacation, in a lot of ways. Tour the country, hang out with cool artists, go hiking with my dog. Sweet!

"You live out of your car? With your dog?"
And a look of moderate distaste, as though homeless-itis might be contagious. Suddenly things have lost their sexy, glamorous appeal.

Cashflow. Say it with me, now. Cash. Flow. Tim Ferriss might be a jerk in many ways, but one of the things that he absolutely nails is the concept of cash flow. Looking at where money is coming in, looking at where money is going out. And then considering how you can turn traditional paradigms upside down. Rework your cash flow so that you can live the life you want.

I made relatively little money as a full-time model. Something like $13,000 in 2010, the only full calendar year that I modeled as my exclusive source of income. Travel expenses were a substantial part of what I made, and travel was an absolute necessity to keep a steady(ish) flow of income. Plus, it was fun. But after a break-up that resulted in an abrupt cross-country relocation and loss of my doggysitter, I had to sit down and really go over my cash flow. I liked the gig. I didn't want to walk away from it. How was I going to make it work?

And then I realized, "Hey, I know what I don't need to spend money on. Rent!! Why pay for a place that I wouldn't be at terribly often anyhow?" I could pack up myself and the beagle, and hit the road indefinitely.

And so I did. And I can assure you that I'm not the only one to have finagled cash flow in a way that really worked for me, even when there was relatively little money coming in. I've known a freelance writer who spent half of the year living in a tiny beach town in Mexico. Couples that bust ass waiting tables and living in a cramped studio apartment for eight months at a time, then take a year to meander their way around the world. When they run low on money, they repeat the process.

Decide what you want, think creatively, consider what you can cut out of the current budget, and you can make it happen.

1 comment:

  1. working on cash flow myself. Beginning to look feasable, though still a few hurdles to cross. I too want to be able to give my attention to what I love doing and have it generate enough cash flow for reasonable comfort while doing it.

    by the way, how do you make the comment box show up right on the page? All I can get is the word comment as a link.