Whether you are starting your own business, or running a household, answering the question on how to get control over finances are on the minds of all of us, no matter how high or low your current income is. This is especially important when you are trying to find a few extra dollars to invest in your new business, or see if you can afford to switch from working for someone to being self-employed. I have compiled 6 Tips for you to help you get in control off your finances.
1. Be clear about your income – that is especially important if you are working part time or full time online, make sure you note not only how much but keep track of which passive or active income stream makes you what money when. Not only are you obligated to keep track for your taxes (at least in the US), but it also allows you to budget more properly, which is especially difficult when you have a flex income, like from internet marketing.
2. Make two lists for your outgoing expenses – one for your reoccurring, and not changing expenses (like rent, or Hulu subscriptions), and another for those who vary (like electric, and food)
3. Meal Plan – yes, many of you consider meal planning either something they rather not do, or associate it with being on a diet, but there is a true benefit to your budget when you begin planning your meals ahead. First of all, you can use the weekly sales as your guide for planning your meals, secondly, you are less likely to waste food, and third of all, you are saving time, by not having to go to a grocery store that often. That last point also saves you money, because it keeps you from being able to do more impulse shopping. We all do it, buy one or two items more than we have planned, especially when we go shopping with our kids. So, stay out of the grocery stores as much as possible
4. Pay in cash – for some people (of course their exceptions), handling cash is much easier to budget than having money in the account. It allows you to separate your finances into sections, even using envelopes for each expense category, if necessary.
5. Make sure everyone knows what comes out of what part of your allotted budget. Some people keep a separate amount of money for cleaning supplies, while others – like me – include that part of the budget into the food budget (simply because I am buying it mostly at the same place), but if you do not have clear set rules, and a spouse, you want to make sure you communicated and agreed on what is included into what section of your budget.
6. Which brings me to a very important point of this post – communicate with your partner. If you are not able to communicate clearly with your partner about finances, I am going as far as to tell you, that you either have to learn this skill in a hurry, or you are in huge trouble. Many family and relationship fights center around finances, and can even downright lead to abuse. Make sure you began communicating about finances, before starting to get serious in the relationship, and make this subject as much of a priority, as the discussion of future children, and any other important relationship aspects.
I hope these budget tips helped you a little bit. I will continue to talk about budgeting from time to time, as I see
that an important part of being a successful business woman.
Fiercely Independent Blessings