This article has really, really awesome advice. It’s sensible, practical, realistic, and not patronising. I like that.
It is American, so some of the figures and terms don’t apply here in Oz (I’m not sure a freelancer can make $164,000 p.a. in the market here, but I haven’t tried, so who knows?) Regardless, every writer should read this article, for the perspective on writerly finances. It perfectly addresses the common misconceptions people (read: non-writers) have about ‘the writing life’, and dismantles them with well-condsidered facts and sensible arguments.
A lot of it boils down to common sense. Don’t spend money you don’t have, don’t assume you can write full-time without getting paid. Love your day-job, as it allows you to write while providing you with insurance and things. The part about where to live was really interesting (the article suggests not living in LA or New York, as rent alone will cripple a writerly income. Substitute for Sydney and parts of Melbourne, I suppose), as well as the bit about how to marry well. And check out the comments, for a few extra tidbits.