How can I make a living while chasing my dream?

If you’re just starting out in your career, it can be difficult to make ends meet while chasing your dream job. You might be working part-time and freelancing on the side, or doing internships to get the experience you need in your field of choice.

We’ve spoken to Tony, a stand-up comedian who gigs at weekends and works in a gift shop on a flexible, zero-hours contract. His dream is to make comedy his career, but he needs advice on how to budget so he can still live comfortably.

To nudge him in the right direction, we’ve enlisted money expert Iona Bain to advise Tony on how he can make his money stretch further, without compromising on his dreams.

Tony's dream is to make a living through stand-up comedy.
Tony asks for advice on making his money go further while he pursues his dream job.

Let’s recap - savings accounts

  • Savings are a trade-off between access and reward – the longer you lock up your money, the more interest you will earn.

  • Having a savings account connected to your current account means that you can transfer money across every time you get paid.

  • When you’re in a position to save some money, an easy-access savings account could be a good choice so you can withdraw cash quickly when you need it.

  • Fixed-rate bonds, saver accounts and regular savers are all longer-term savings accounts. They should pay a more attractive, competitive rate of interest, but you might need to pay a penalty to withdraw cash before a certain date.

Through careful budgeting, Tony could afford to update his image.

Iona's top tips

  • Food is an area where you could make huge savings. For example, plan your shopping, batch cook at home and take food out and about with you, if possible.

  • Consider another side-hustle – a small, casual job to top up your income.

  • Think about using nudge-functions on online banking apps to remind you to save.

So what did Tony make of Iona's advice?

”Iona's advice was great! There are a fair few things in there that I didn't know I could do - the various ways to save through bank accounts and things. These are little nuggets of wisdom that I feel will go a long way!”

How can I live my best student life without running out of money?
How one restaurant owner cooked up her own financial success
Should I be afraid to use credit cards?