7: Jeremiah Johnson on How to “Break Through Broke”

jeremiah johnson

Chronology of Debt Accumulation

  • Was told he “needed” to go to Indiana U. because that’s the only place for opera singers.
  • Family financial situation caused him to drop out of Cincinnati Conservatory and re-enroll at out of state tuition
  • Ended up with over $100,000 in debt after two degrees

“Rock Bottom” Moment:

  • “Zits” rehearsal for an opera.
  • Didn’t have gas in his car; had to run to rehearsal and was 15 minutes late.

Steps to Getting on Track

  • Googled “making a budget”
  • Musicians inherently embrace discipline
  • Entitlement mentality: “I’ve worked so hard…I can splurge on this or that…”

Specific Tactics on Money Management

  • Envelope system
  • Have $$$ specifically allotted for necessities: food, gas, bills, etc.
  • Dave Ramsey: “Make your money work for you. Tell your money how to work for you.”

About the Guest:

I’m a financial counselor and performer with a passion for keeping other artists from making the same mistakes I did!
After graduation from the Cincinnati Conservatory I realized I had the education I always wanted and the six figures of student loan debt to go with it. I also had NO CLUE what to do, or how to make it go away.
So I started educating myself about budgets, money, and the power of personal finance. Then slowly I started fixing all my mistakes. In doing so I realized my mission in life was to help educate other artists before they screwed it up just like I did!
Now I teach clients how to manage their money, budget for the future while being musicians, and reach long term life goals they never thought they could achieve.

About the author, James Newcomb

I'm a full time MusicPreneur. Every now and then I play music. Send me an email at!

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