For many DJs, money can be a sore point of contention. It’s true that most DJs are very handsomely paid, regardless of fame, but many DJs only work on weekends, which often means that alternative forms of income must be sought.
DJs still have the same old expenses that we all have—rent, food, bills, et cetera—but they also have the additional expense of buying DJ equipment. Cutting the fat might seem like a daunting task, but there are several areas that DJs can cut back on to save money. Here are some tips for buying beginner DJ equipment on a tight budget.
Many DJs are fixated on MacBook Pros. There isn’t really anything wrong with these laptops; they have, after all, proven themselves to be a reliable weapon of choice for many DJs. If you are fixated on using a Mac, it might be a good idea to consider buying an older MacBook from a couple of generations back, which could potentially save you thousands, while, at the same time, ensuring that you get the same reliability and familiarity that you know and love.
If you are a resident DJ at a club, then this might not be as applicable when compared to mobile DJs. Having said that, however, club DJs who need a monitoring speaker, primarily for the purpose of mastering, can also keep the following suggestion in mind. Studio monitor speakers are one of those things that we seemed to have more-or-less perfected for decades. In fact, like headphones or a new pair of sneakers, breaking them in is actually quite beneficial. Buying a second-hand set of speakers might not only cost you less, but they can actually sound better, too!
Buy in Bulk
If you’re one of the many DJs who still relies solely on CDs for DJing (as opposed to vinyl, USBs, or laptop hard drives), then it is wise to buy in bulk. Sites like eBay will often have great bulk sales available, which can end up saving you hundreds over the span of your career. Also consider doing something similar for DJ accessories. RCA cables, auxiliary cords, quarter-inch adapters, and many other DJ components can all be bought in bulk, and you can use these extras as backups, because it’s almost impossible to go an entire DJ career without at least one cord or connector either playing up or going missing.
Whatever you do, keep your receipts! If you’re buying second-hand items, be sure to take down eBay invoice receipts as best you can. Laptops, cables, speakers, hard drives, petrol receipts for DJ gigs—all of these things and more can be used to alleviate the pressure come tax time. As far as professions go, DJing is actually a pretty good one to have when it comes to tax, as you can find that you are able to write off a lot of expenses, potentially saving you thousands of dollars annually. If you’re DJing on a full-time basis, it is generally advisable to hire an accountant to maximise your tax offsets.