If business budgeting makes you a little nervous or overwhelmed, you’re not alone.
Most creatives feel a little uneasy when it comes to finances. Many of us believe that since we are highly creative people, finance will always be an area where we won’t see a breakthrough.
The “struggling artist” trope has to end!
As creative entrepreneurs, we need to be empowered by the budgets we create for our businesses and personal lives.
Luckily, business budgeting isn’t about living and dying by what you see on your spreadsheets.
Instead, it can be about what you are intentionally saving for, investing in, and spending money on.
Business budgeting basics for entrepreneurs & freelancers
To really get a handle on your business budget, you need to dig into the deeper mindset you have around money.
If we first recommended that you look into spreadsheets and tracked your expenses, we wouldn’t be getting at the heart issue of setting a business budget that works for you long term.
With this in mind, we have a few financial health and mindset tips for you to implement into your business budget, backed by the advice of well-known money mindset coaches.
Get rid of limiting beliefs
Do any of these thoughts sound familiar?
- “I never have enough money.”
- “I’ll make the investment once I earn $_____.”
- “She is so successful. I don’t know if I can be.”
- “I’ll never have money. It doesn’t run in my family.”
- “I’ll always be the poorest friend in my group.”
- “I’m afraid of success and of earning money.”
- “Money makes me feel uncomfortable/icky/dirty.”
If so, you could be struggling with what money coaches call a scarcity money mindset. Don’t feel like you are alone! Almost everyone starts with this kind of money mindset because of the limiting beliefs we are taught at a young age.
Instead, we have to retrace our steps and understand what many money coaches call your “money story”. Your money story is the set of learned beliefs you have about how you define money and its purpose in your life.
When we say the word “money”, what emotions come out? Are they mostly positive or negative? What stories or phrases come to mind when we say “money”? This will help you get started with understanding your money story.
We are obsessed with this money story quote from money mindset coach Denise Duffield-Thomas from her book Get Rich Lucky Bitch:
“Taking the power back around your money is about getting the balance right. Taking too much or too little responsibility holds you back from having a beautiful, healthy and abundant relationship with your true wealthy self.
You don’t need to get evicted, lose all your friends, or break up your marriage to learn the lesson. Take a look at where money is a pain in the butt for you and ask yourself:
Where has this shown up in the past? What’s the pattern? What’s the Universe trying to tell you? What are you afraid of? What are you no longer willing to put up with?”
What does getting the balance right look like for you in your everyday life as an entrepreneur or freelancer? How can these questions guide you to an abundance money mindset?
Only then can you start to think about budgeting as a creative entrepreneur.
Get rid of your excuses & cut spending
If you want to start budgeting like a boss and increasing your profits, you need to get rid of the excuses that plague you. Right as you read that, a few excuses may have already come to mind. Those are the first ones you’ll want to tackle.
When that doesn’t work, remind yourself of this quote from money mindset coach and author of You Are a Badass at Making Money, Jen Sincero:
“The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses.”
Ouch! Did that punch you in the gut, too? We are still trying to recover.
One of the best ways to do this is by pulling up your most recent credit card or bank statement and looking at your purchases. By looking at what you are currently spending money on, you’ll be able to see if you are spending it on things you actually value and enjoy.
If you can print off your spending records, start going through them with a highlighter to see which purchases match your values. You can also ask yourself if you would spend the money again, knowing what you know now.
This is a great way to eliminate unwanted or unnecessary expenses that are clogging your budget. You can also see if there are opportunities to introduce alternatives, like not buying a Starbucks latte every morning but rather saving it for a coffee date with a friend every week.
If you want to use the Marie Kondo’s KonMari approach, you can also ask yourself what purchased items spark joy and which ones don’t. As her book Spark Joy describes, anything that doesn’t elicit a joyous response can be thrown out or eliminated in the future.
Include additional income streams to your business
Let’s say you were preparing to meet with a financial advisor. More than likely, they would recommend for you to put your investments in more than one place so you have a diversified portfolio.
The same is true when you are building your business model. The reason why diversification is so powerful is that you don’t have to rely on one source of income to provide all of your resources.
This can help you reach sustainability and stability in your income. You can have a blend of services, products, and other kinds of offerings that allow you to grow your business long term.
Done-for-you freelance services are great for quick cash, but if you want to add more flexibility into your business model and generate money on autopilot, you may want to look into affiliate marketing.
Many bloggers and Instagram influencers use affiliate marketing to grow their income by monetizing their otherwise free content. Some business owners make six or seven figures from affiliate marketing alone, like Melyssa Griffin and Pat Flynn.
If you’re ready to start looking into affiliate marketing, we have a list of seven affiliate programs you may want to check out.
(Psst, you may see a familiar one inside that list. You caught us – it’s ours! You can become a Get Found Stock affiliate today at this link.)
As you continue to build your business model, you can test different income streams to see which are the most profitable for you. Keep experimenting! You’ll go far.