What Your Teacher Never Told You
So you're 18, fantastic at music, everybody loves what you perform, and they all want to know if you're going to study music. 'Yes!,' you say, and you head off for 4 years (or more) of higher education, maybe take another 2 years for graduate school, and you hit the real world as a freelancer. But your teacher (or teachers) never told you this: that you're an entrepreneur. And you need valuable skills that no one taught you in college or grad school--one of the most important ones being: money management.
We're not talking about making a budget and balancing your checkbook, we're talking about setting aside money for taxes, paying them on time, avoiding fees & penalties, creating an emergency fund (for when those gigs don't come rollin' in!) and creating a system by which you can be financially successful.
Years ago my dad taught me this: Don't follow the money; never let it out of your sight.
I knew how to do that with my checkbook, but for my business I had to figure it out the hard way. (That is a sad statement for someone who went through 6 years of higher education.) Here's one tool that I picked up recently and from which I have learned an immense amount: The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs.
Go take a look and use the "Look Inside" feature. Watch 'The Money Book' Video. Don't let your money out of your sight!
N.B.: This book doesn't differentiate between personal and business accounts and they assume you have one main checking account. Use separate accounts for your business and personal finances--you give yourself clarity, avoid overwhelm, and you avoid potentially serious problems with the IRS!