Trying to get on top of your finances? It’s not fun or glamorous and always seems to slide to the bottom of the to-do list when you have 100 other tasks on your mind. Keeping track of EVERY penny and receipt is tedious and sometimes, we just can’t be bothered. Or maybe we put off tracking our spending because we’re avoiding dealing with our underlying issues around money mindset. (I’m speaking from personal experience with that one!)
BUT if you want to save more money and run your business like a legit BOSS, you’ve got to start paying attention.
The first step in realizing your monthly budget for your business is to track your spending. You may not realize just how much money is going out the door (or falling out of windows), unconsciously. So, what if there was a simple way to track what you’re spending in the next 30 days? Read on, superhero.
Method 1: The good ol’ fashioned shoebox
You may be half applying this method already but don’t realize it.
Every time you shove a receipt in your purse, it falls into a vortex. Instead, place it in a designated shoebox. Commit to gathering every receipt you collect in the next 30 days.
Before filing each receipt away, tag it by writing on the top what the expense was for. If it’s linked to a client, try to lump it into a category like “meeting expense with client ___”. Or the label could be “advertising and marketing” or “office supplies.”
Do this, create a system and then review everything at the end of each week. Were there any surprises to what you spent this past week? Could you make a simple adjustment for the week ahead to curb your latte addiction?
Method 2: Track your expenses electronically
This is pretty much the same as method 1 but instead of a shoebox, you have an online system.
Tag it per expense category and if it’s a client related expense. And then same, same… look at what you spent this week, were there any surprises? Any things you’d do differently? Pull a profit/loss report for the month and see how it all adds up.
This is NOT to shame you or make you feel guilty. Instead, it should help you feel more empowered about your money, where it’s going and give you the data so you make better financial choices in the future.
And you’ve got to start somewhere. So, if you’ve been shoving receipts into the bottom of your purse, try Method 1 first. If you’ve been tracking your receipts with an Excel spreadsheet, give Xero a shot… you’ll be amazed at how a little bit of technology makes your life (and wealth management) way, way simpler.
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