Creative people often need financial information and support around their money management. The starving artist is a pervasive idea, and in reality lots of creative people struggle in self-employment because money is a constant battle. This isn’t always just due to lack of funds, however – creative practitioners sometimes just need the basics of business money and financial literacy explained in a way that makes sense.
Check out our resources and links below for more help with your money matters!
Basic Money Matters
MoneySmart : This fabulous initiative is run by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and exists to help people make the most of their money. They offer free, independent guidance so you can make the most of your money. They are not selling you anything! www.moneysmart.gov.au
The Pineapple Project podcast: A very funny podcast about money from comedian Claire Hooper. www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/the-pineapple-project/
Creating New Income: Create NSW has created a fabulous resource called Creating New Income: a toolkit to support creative practice. It’s a free toolkit designed to help creative individuals and organisations think about how to generate more revenue, beyond the grant and government funding model. We think it’s awesome, and not just because we wrote some of it! Check it out here!
Business Bank Accounts
It’s a bloody good idea to open a seperate bank account for your business, even if you’re a sole trader or freelancer. You can find out more details on the business.gov.au website, and it’s always a good idea to make some comparisons. We suggest Info Choice as a good starting point. Always make sure that you look for an account with low or zero fees, which is very possible if you have an online-only account.
The days of the financial software hosted on a hard drive, or dated spreadsheets, are over. If you’re still at the bits of paper and receipts in a shoe box stage, never fear! Cloud accounting means storing and accessing your financial data over the Internet. It’s safe, accessible and simple to use. You can find out more here.
Subscriptions services are systems that charge a monthly fee, and include well known providers such as Xero and MYOB. Others such as Wave and Square are free to use for basic services, but they can be tricky for Australian users (they’re both OS based).
Rounded is also a good option, it costs money but it’s an Australian site specifically designed for freelancers and creatives (we have partnered with them to provide a free trial). Plus, they will help you transfer your files over from other platforms.
We recommend checking out what’s on offer to see if they are right for your business!
The Australian Tax Office has a range of resources to help you learn about tax – they may not be the most entertaining things you’ve ever seen, but they are comprehensive and free.
Small business webinars: www.ato.gov.au/General/Webinars/Small-business-webinars
ATO TV (yes, believe it or not): tv.ato.gov.au
General business info: www.ato.gov.au/Business
It’s also important to make sure that you keep good business records, even if you are a sole trader or freelancer. The best place to go for info? The ATO of course! www.ato.gov.au/business/managing-your-small-business-records
Looking for info about deductions? Check out our article here!
Here’s some general information about the kinds of insurances that you might need: for your creative business.
Some organisations also provide insurance for particular creative groups. Check out:
- MEAA – Freelance Pro
- Ausdance – Dance Insurance
- NAVA – Visual Arts Member Insurance
- Duck for Cover – Performing Arts Insurance
- Design Institute of Australia – Insurances
Questions about super? MoneySmart can help!
Are you a sole trader or freelancer? If you are a contractor (freelancer, whatever, it’s the same thing to the ATO), there’s a chance your clients should be paying you superannuation. To find out if that’s the case, check out this website – https://www.ato.gov.au/Calculators-and-tools/Employee-or-contractor/
Do you hire other people?: If you have contractors or freelancers working for you, there’s a chance you might have to pay their superannuation. To find out if that’s the case, check out this website. Watch the video and complete the online tool to find out more.