6 Tips on Taking Control of Your Money

Photo by Jess Fredericks Photography // Amanda Evans of Tight Ship Bookkeeping // Location: LS Organics

Photo by Jess Fredericks Photography // Amanda Evans of Tight Ship Bookkeeping // Location: LS Organics

Hello there, babe! How are you feeling about your Finances? Did I just hear an audible groan? Ha. Let’s start with an easier question:

What’s your biggest goal as a business owner?

Is it to serve your clients in a unique & efficient way that they can’t find anywhere else? Is it to build a life that allows you the freedom to travel & try new things? Is it to pass on the confidence & knowledge to your kids that they too can build something great that’s their own?

Guess what! It’s not about how much money you make— it’s about how you handle that money that will allow you to have the financial freedom to do whatever your heart desires. Don’t wait until you’re making more money to get acquainted with a way to track & manage your Finances. ‘Cuz chances are, you’re much more likely to smash your money goals if you pay close attention to all those $1’s, $5’s, and $20’s along the way.

If you haven’t found a process you don’t hate *cough* I mean, that works for you, then take a look at how 6 successful entrepreneurs are handling theirs. All kidding aside, your experience with your money can be better, babe! Tthese women come from industries like Bookkeeping, Finances, Legal, & Mental Wellness and have made it a priority to keep their Finances in order. And so can you. Stay boss! xx -G

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Salma Benkabbou | The Benkabbou Law Firm // IG

“I have learned to do an expense audit every quarter to see where I can cut expenses and increase my profit margin. Often times we get caught up in adding expenses without realizing how they are impacting our bottom line. I have learned to cut off any expense that is not necessary for the maintenance or growth of my business.”

Tampa, FL

Photo by Regina As The Photographer

Photo by Regina As The Photographer

Laura Jasen | Sage & Sunshine Therapy // IG

“Conversations about money are difficult. Learning how to manage your money as an entrepreneur is even more difficult. Luckily, I was introduced to the book Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. The Profit First system is easy to implement and advocates for you to take a profit quarterly, only if it’s a $5 coffee. I also reply on Quickbooks Self Employed to keep my expenses in line. The app allows you to snap photos of your receipt and upload instantly. I feel more comfortable and confident discussing finances with others thanks in part to these two tools I’ve implemented.”

Tampa, FL

Photo by Ashlee Hamon Photography

Photo by Ashlee Hamon Photography

Heather Saunders | Ameriprise Financial 

“As a financial advisor, I feel like I should be bringing some really next-level insights to this topic, but I honestly keep it very old school and basic. For both personal and business expenses, I use Excel. Admittedly, I am an Excel junkie. I love it and I keep spreadsheets for everything from vacation plans to workout schedules to budgeting. I update all my receipts at least every three days, and I find that this keeps me accountable and on top of my expenses on a very consistent basis, so if something is going off the rails I am immediately aware of it and able to adjust accordingly. It is all manual input, so it’s not the most efficient, but it is what works for me. And I think that’s what is most important, is finding a system that is going to work for you (and your CPA!) and sticking to it.”

Tampa, FL

Photo by Christina Jones Photography

Photo by Christina Jones Photography

Gina Moccio | Babe Crafted // IG

“Money was something I never had much insight on how to manage. Growing up, I spent my money as soon as I got it. Fast forward to being nearly 30, and I still feel like I’m growing up, ha, but I’ve invested in working with a Financial Advisor (who funnily enough, is pictured right above me in this blog ^) and I track my business and personal expenses on a monthly basis. I use Airtable to track my monthly expenses & income for Babe Crafted and I’ve been meeting with my advisor quarterly. For personal expenses & income, I’ve started using Mint.

I’m happy to say that I no longer feel lost when I think about about my money. I keep tabs on the regular & feel empowered to grow my personal savings and my business.”

Photo by Jess Fredericks Photography

Photo by Jess Fredericks Photography

Crystina Castiglione | The Messy Painter // IG

“I admittedly have never been good with money. College and grad school saddled me with a sad sack of debt that I will be tackling for awhile, so saving and managing money has always been hard for me. As I've gotten older, I've watched a lot of older people in my life not have anything to fall back on as something big happened to them, and as an entrepreneur that’s really scary to watch because you have no safety net unless you set one up. I think it’s really important for women to get comfortable with investing and understanding what they can do with their money so that they have a cushion that grows for their future. Even when you think you don’t have the money to do that, it takes so little to start. Had I known that, I would’ve started investing when I was so much younger. 

When I finally quit teaching, I rolled over my retirement account to a Roth IRA and I now contribute to this monthly. Even though I have student debt, I made it a priority to pay off credit cards and my car years ago so that I could contribute to this and low risk stocks; I think of these as monthly bills just like my phone or groceries. Apps like “Acorn” are an easy place to start with investing if you know nothing about it, and listening to podcasts (there are tonnnsss out there, but I learned a lot from Girl Boss). When it comes to my business, I’ve just started using Honey Book for invoicing and profit tracking, and excel spreadsheets to track my spending and create budgets. My biggest rule of thumb is this: if you don’t have the cash for it, don’t buy it. This mentality keeps my impulse buying for business and personal in check, and allows me to consider bigger investment purchases (conferences, online courses, equipment, etc.), more carefully.”

St. Petersburg, FL

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Amanda Evans | Tight Ship Bookkeeping // IG

“What tools do you use to manage your expenses and your budget? Managing your expenses and budget tend to be two different beasts with two different ways of attacking management. As for budget, the good ol' standby of Excel works for me. I have set up a couple dynamic tables that simply refresh each month so I can track Budget vs. Actual and help me see what I need to readdress. Budget is always evolving for me as I fine tune my business. Quickbooks also has a budgeting feature that some of my clients use and like. As for tracking expenses, I use Xero or Quickbooks for my clients in addition to HubDoc.

I have seen a TON of lessons learned from my clients through the 18 years of handling books. So as far as managing money for my personal business the biggest tip I can share is GET YOUR INVOICES OUT TO YOUR CLIENTS TIMELY if you are a service-based business. Every day you sit on those invoices are days you are not getting the benefit of that cashflow. On the flip-side of that, getting a company credit card and paying it off every month allows you to leverage that 30 days on your expenses interest free, while hopefully getting paid by your clients to offset those costs incurred. This has helped me feel confident I am running my company in a way that is efficient, and stays "in the black.””

St. Petersburg, FL