The Step-by-Step Planner Covers:
- Step 1: Get Comfortable with Money
Not just pay-the-bills comfortable, but really, intimately comfortable. Many people have deeply held negative emotions surrounding money, and if you’re going to make budgeting fun, you have to get past those limiting beliefs.
- Exercise: Describe your dream lifestyle; now journal which negative money blocks affect you the most and create a more positive belief
- Step 2: Track All the Things
Until you know what you’re really spending, you can’t create a workable budget, let alone a fun one. Start by tracking all your business expenses, no matter how small. A simple spreadsheet will do, no need to get fancy.
- Exercise: Make note of all your business expenses and the price of each
- Step 3: Keep a Money Journal
Different from your spreadsheet tracker, a money journal is where you track your assets. Spend a few minutes each morning to make a note of your cash balances, your debt, and your accounts receivable. The more you pay attention, the more comfortable you will become with money (and the more open you will be to receiving it).
- Exercise: Track your company assets
- Step 4: Get Real About Your Income
Would it shock you to know that many small business owners have no idea what their month-to-month income looks like? Let’s change that. When you can know with at least a little certainty how much money you’ll be making, it’s a lot easier to create a budget.
- Exercise: Calculate your hourly rate and compare that to past invoices
- Step 5: Create a Decision Making System
Shiny-object syndrome is a real thing and can cause small business owners to overspend on tools and systems they don’t need and won’t use. By creating a decision-making system ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to waste money on things you don’t need.
- Exercise: List some needs and wants that will benefit your business + personal life.
- Step 6: Plan Your Long Term Goals
No matter how much you love numbers, budgeting is a whole lot more fun when you’re planning a big business expansion (or even better, an epic vacation).
- Exercise: Brainstorm your long term goals, both professional + personal. There are NO right or wrong answers here!
- Exercise: Create a vision board.
- Step 7: Create Your Budget
Now that you know you’ve gotten good and comfortable with your money, have a handle on your expected income and basic expenses, and know what it’s going to take to reach your short- and long-term goals, it’s time to get serious. Open up your favorite spreadsheet and let’s plug in some numbers!
- Exercise: Create your budget.