During dry spells between ‘gigs’, slashers need to be extra mindful with money to make funds stretch. 

Juggling multiple jobs – this/ that/ another thing – isn’t always easy. Some slashers have a 9-to-5, but others are reliant on contract work, which means income is unpredictable. 

Singer and songwriter Chad Saaiman, social media creator and PR guru Zuhaa Isaacs, and art director and illustrator Thabiso Ntuli are hustlers who aim to have an intentional approach to finances. 

Having gone through the ups and downs of being between work, they share the lessons they’ve learnt with Kenosi Magosha, Head: Client Solutions Savings at Sanlam Personal Finance.

CHAD SAAIMAN

Slashers

Saaiman is a SAMA-nominated recording artist. He has released 3 albums, 1 EP and several chart-topping singles such as Play (featuring YoungstaCPT), Seeing Stars and No Feelings (with Kerwin). Added to that, he has penned more than 60 songs playlisted to radio in his career, and some for other artists as well.

ZUHAA ISAACS

Model, social media content creator and fulltime Senior Account Executive for Atmosphere Communications PR. By day, Isaacs works in PR for her luxury fashion and lifestyle clients. By night, she maintains her buzzing social life, networking and shooting for some of SA’s trendiest brands and content creators. 

THABISO JUNIOR NTULI

Ntuli is a three-time Loerie award-winningArt Director for the King James Group, recording artist for BIIIS and Behance featured designer and illustrator – Thabs does it all! He’s been grafting hard in the studio to launch his first independent solo album soon.

Here, Magosha asks Saaiman, Isaacs and Ntuli how they get by when times are financially tough:

Q1: Tell us about your experience being a slasher:

CS: It’s been a thrill. My biggest challenge is always trying to create scale to the projects I work on in such a fickle, volatile and cut-throat industry. My biggest reward is the effect of it all; the music, the live shows, the artists we take care of and the fact that this is my life and I get to design it.

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ZI: It’s been great (once the work actually comes in!). Social media is my side hustle; the fun part is shooting and creating the content for a client; the reward is earning that paycheck afterwards and building a long-lasting relationship with a brand. The biggest challenge is trying to stay on top of your content “A Game” and juggling multiple tasks as well.

TJN: Never considered myself a slasher but, when I think about it, it’s quite an exciting way to describe how I conduct myself as a business. I’ve always been driven by creation and that’s landed me in a space where I get to create for a living in different mediums. As an art director, illustrator and musician, the most challenging aspect of the life I lead is balance. 

Q2: Your top financial tip for dry spells between gigs or when when income has reduced?

CS: Keep your costs low, save in the great months over season and think of revenue streams alongside your actual art or service.

ZI: Make sure you have a savings account! As simple as that; a savings pocket or emergency fund that you can dip into when no work is coming in.

TJN: Make your own work. Whenever there’s not much going on, I create my own projects and challenges. The only thing worse than not making money is being stagnant. 

Q3: How do you change your spending behaviour when you don’t have much work on the go?

CS: This is something I constantly try and improve on. I am working towards maintaining the same spending behaviour throughout each year. Generally, when it’s off-season, it’s important to have less wants and more needs.

ZI: Simple small things like not going out as often, eating in, watching series and doing activities I enjoy without spending money!

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TJN: My ethos is when I’m working, I’m not spending, so the two tend to go hand in hand. The more productive I am at home, the less money I tend to spend.

Q4: Do you try to save more during periods of lots of work? What do you save for?

CS: Yes. I save to maintain the same expenditure and lifestyle throughout any given year. I also save for my family priorities.

ZI: Yes, the more side hustle work I get, the more I put away. At the age of 22, the two things I’m mainly saving for are a new car and my next overseas trip!

TJN: I think saving is a habit. So, whether I have a lot of money coming in or not, I try to put something away every month. The overall goal is to have more money at the end of the year than I started with at the beginning. Using it for things that matter is how I control my spending. 

Q5: The most important financial lesson you’ve learnt since starting as slashers?

CS: If you can live off one third of your monthly earnings, you are heading in the right direction.

ZI: Have a proper savings plan and stick to it! It could be months until your next gig comes up so make sure you have some cash you can access when you really need it.

TJN: I think I’ve learnt that if you work hard, money will tend to find you. Having amassed debt before and successfully curbed it, it’s important to save and avoid living outside of my means. 

Magosha notes how slashers are quite ingenious when it comes to juggling work priorities and believes they recognise expertise when they see it. “Slashers have an appreciation for finding opportunities that’ll make more money to enable their lifestyles and dreams. I’d recommend slashers consult a financial adviser for help with structing their finances, optimizing their savings and getting advice on tricky things like tax and insurance.

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It’s pivotal to be frugal (smarter with spending) especially when income isn’t as forthcoming. This will give you an opportunity to maximize what you save while you earn and spend less when money is tight. This also helps to avoid having to dip heavily into savings when you’re between gigs, which can enable you to create a capital base to scale or launch the next initiative.” And as Saaiman mentioned, having additional revenue streams such as modelling, social media management or design work are a great way to get you through the dry spells!

Juggling several jobs calls for a very organized approach, which needs to carry across to money. If your day-to-day feels disordered, your finances might follow. “There’s value in managing your income as mindfully as the way in which you direct your skills and energy.”

Images: Daniele Peplouw

By admin

Dumi Mbona is a founder of TMS Mag, an Author. Worked as a schools' youth Life Coach and KZN Youth Parliament Facilitator under the KZN Office of the Premier the Office on the Right of the Child.