Budgeting for Emerging Artists (and Songwriters): 101

Songwriting and Budgets
Songwriting and Budgets

Planning projects can feel like a daunting task, especially if you’re an unsigned artist without a dedicated team to guide you in the right direction. This blog will take a basic look into things to consider when planning your next music project, and possibly some things that you might not have thought about yet.


What is a budget?

Put simply, a budget is a financial plan for a defined time period. Many things can be included in a budget, including recurring costs, one off costs and support in kind.


Why is a budget important?

Budgets are important to keep you and your project on track, it also helps you to ensure that you’re not overspending. By managing your own project/s efficiently, you’re minimising the chances of risk or miscalculations, which is better long-term.


Top Tips for planning your budget:

  • Lists are your friend! Before you even start the project, think about everything that you could possibly need and make lists to help guide you. See the ‘Costs to Consider’ table below for examples.


  • Realise your end goal and work backwards. Figure out what your main plan is, is it to record, release and distribute one single? Is it to record a full album? Think about your overall end goal for this time period, you can then work out costs and figure out if you need to scale back your plans to suit.


  • Whatever your budget is, include a 10% contingency. Sometimes, unexpected things happen, so it’s good to have an emergency fund.


  • Have you thought about living expenses, including recurring bills, food, transport, and rent?You need to make sure that you can get by day-to-day whilst running your creative project. Think, are you going to include these costs in your creative budget, or just use your budget solely music related purposes? Whatever you decide, it’s good to have a plan in place.


Here’s some notes of made of what expenses an artist might have to think about when creating their project, compared to a songwriter. Let us know if you think of any more ideas to add! (Click the below image to view).


Artist and Songwriter Costs


Ultimately, as an independent artist, you oversee and manage your own creative spend, so it’s a good idea to prioritise and plan. Our top tip of this blog is to understand industry prices for your current career level, and be realistic about what you can afford to part with financially. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly. Alternatively, you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.