January 21, 2019
Monay, monay monnnnnaayyyyy. Is it really a money-focused blog post if you don’t start with that song reference? I’ll be honest I couldn’t even tell you any other words in that song, but it just felt right, ya know? 😉 Anyhow…MONEY. We all need it. We want our business to make more of it. And yetttt SO many of us have little to zero idea where our hard earned money is actually going! We don’t really like talking about it because it’s embarrassing, but it’s high time we pushed past that. Cause guess what? Although it can be boring and often feels like a curse, a right understanding of money is really the thing that can make or break your business dreams.
If you’ve ever worked with me one-on-one, you know that understanding your finances is something near and dear to my heart. You see, NONE of the financial side of business came naturally to me from the get go. It took a lot of blood, sweat, tears and money down the toilet to bring me to where I am, but dang if it doesn’t light a fire under my belly now… which is looking quite round with baby these days, so watch out! 😉
SO the next two weeks (and periodically throughout this year) we’re going to get REAL about money because I KNOW how it can change everything for you, and as a fellow creative brain, I want you to be empowered that you can actually do this!!
Let’s start at the core… why you need a personal budget!
Because my sweet, patient husband and business partner has worked hard with me to get our finances in line, I asked him to be a guest writer for this week’s blog! So without further ado, Mark Duvick everyone!! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
**Stay tuned to the end! We’re giving away a FREE YEAR of our favorite budgeting app, EveryDollar both this week and next!
I (Mark) grew up with thinking about money quite a bit, because my family didn’t have a lot of it to spare. I never thought we were poor, but I certainly didn’t think we were rich. I always had something to eat and a place a sleep, but from an early age, if I ever wanted something, I usually had to work to buy it. I started budgeting in middle school while it wasn’t until Val and I got married that she was really introduced to wonders of budgeting!
If you aren’t currently budgeting, I hope to convince you to start. You won’t regret it.
The word “budget” might have a negative stigma attached to it. If you see the word budget associated with clothes or food items, you can often imagine that these things are just for when you can’t afford the “good stuff.” This can cause us to think that budgets are for poor people and that they just make life boring.
But let me redefine what it means to have a budget.
Having a budget simply means that you’re telling your money where it needs to go. (Hey Dave Ramsey!)
Having a budget means you are the BOSS of your money.
It means that you’ll never ask the question, “where did it all go!?” Budgets are not for poor people; budgets are for smart people.
You need a way to track your expenses because you need to know where your money is going. You need a budget because you need to take control of your money and tell it where to go. AND you need a budget to help determine how much your business needs to pay you!
All of this comes back to deciding how much of your income you will allot to each category (like groceries, eating out, gas, insurance, etc..), but more importantly sticking to those amounts so you know how much money you actually need every month. This is the FIRST step every creative business owner needs to nail down in order to make real strides to going full time in their business.
Let’s think of your finances like a game. Val and I love games, especially the strategic ones like Settlers of Catan and Power Grid! Who do you think wins most of the time? 🙂 Like in most games you need to play both offense and defense. If financial offense is making money, then financial defense is keeping money. If you spend all the money you make, you might need to play better financial defense. This idea is from the book, The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley, Ph. D. and William D. Danko, Ph. D.
In their book, Stanley and Danko uncover some of the secrets of America’s wealthy. What was one thing that all these wealthy people had in common? They all used a budget. Another surprising discovery was that many of the wealthy people they profiled were first generation rich. That means that they gained their wealth not from a trust fund, a wealthy Grandparent, or a Nigerian Prince. They gained their wealth from hard work and good budgeting habits. They worked hard to make money, and they told their money where to go before they had a chance to spend it all.
Unless you play incredible financial offense and are making loads and loads of money, you’ll need to save up for what you want and will need in the future. That new car, a house, your kids’ college expenses, retirement, not to mention the debt you really want to pay off. You will likely need to be saving for these items. Setting up a budget will help you save your money for these items and determine what you can spend only after you’ve saved.
Now we’re getting to the fun part. If you’re a natural saver like me, you’ll love this! But even if you’re more like Val and prefer spending, this will still be really fun for you!
Imagine your car starts having some issues, and you don’t have to stress at all about the cost to repair it because you have an emergency fund. Or your business had a bad month, but you don’t have to worry about paying yourself because you have enough saved to cover it. OR you finally get to take that all-inclusive beach vacation you’ve been dreaming about because you actually saved up for it. All of this is very possible, but honestly rare that many actually experience them. So many of us live paycheck to paycheck and every unexpected expense creates a load of stress and the “fun” things are never affordable.
When you set both wise and fun financial goals and actually put money away for them, your finances become less of a stress-inducer and become an exciting tool that actually helps you make it happen!
Here are some great financial goals that you could start saving for today!
So if you’re not currently budgeting, hopefully you see why it’s time to get started! And we want to help!! This week and next our generous friends over at Ramsey Solutions are giving away a YEAR subscription to our favorite budgeting app, EveryDollar! Both Dave Ramsey’s teachings and his app have revolutionized the way we budget, making ALL the difference in what we can afford to do and the stress level we experience with money. And just so you know, we’ve tried a lot of apps and none compare to the simplicity and function of EveryDollar! 🙌🏼 🙌🏼 🙌🏼
So tell us what you think. Do you have a personal budget? What’s keeping you from getting yours set up? If you already budget, what has been most helpful? Let us know in the comments!
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