How to Create a Budget and Manage Money as a Home or Online Business Owner
As a direct sales business owner, learning how to handle the financial aspect of your business including how to create a budget for your home business can be one of the most difficult tasks. It has taken me years of trial and error and multiple systems to figure out how to create a budget for my home business so I can track my income and expenses as well as make sure I am making a profit.
You have to treat your business like a business and run your business like a CEO of Me if you want your business to grow and profit. If you are afraid of making money or do not manage your money properly then you will quickly lose any money that you do make. (I speak from experience.)
Today I am sharing a few methods for handling your finances as well as two free printable personal and business budget worksheets.
As an entrepreneur I have had good years, great years and bad years financially. Once I got in the right money mindset and took control of my business finances, I was able to enjoy more income and much less stress.
The first thing you need to do is figure out how much money you need to make for your personal & household expenses on a monthly and annual basis. This should include your monthly regular expenses, annual expenses , surprise and emergency expenses as well as bonus items you would like to be able to purchase this year.
In the Personal Budget Worksheet you will see three columns.
1. The first column is your regular monthly expenses: rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, cable, internet, cell phones, household supplies, savings, credit card payments and any bills you have due every single month.
2. The second column is for your annual expenses. This would include any bills you only pay once or twice a year. For instance, if you pay your car insurance every 6 months or 12 months, or your annual property tax, even money you want to put aside for an annual vacation.
3. The third column is for any additional expenses. This could be something you know is going to be an expense this year (tires for your car, fixing the back deck, re-doing the bathroom floors…) or an expense you would like to be able to afford this year (re-modeling your kitchen, taking a second vacation, having a certain amount built up into savings).
Once you have everything listed, take the monthly column and multiply it by 12. Then add that total to the totals for columns 2 & 3. Once you have that final total, divide it by 12. This number is your preferred or necessary minimum income. When I first went through this process I was really surprised at how much higher my monthly income goal was than what I had been budgeting for in the past (and sometimes making in the past too).
Now you can go through the same process for your business using the Business Budget Worksheet. You will see it also have 3 columns for monthly, annual and additional.
1. The first column is your regular monthly business expenses: this could include web hosting, your email newsletter program, advertising, fees you pay to a virtual assistant, office supplies, software, subscriptions, memberships, any business expenses that you pay every single month. You will also want to put your salary on there. This is the amount you want to pay yourself from your business income each month. If you are working full time from home, this amount should match or exceed the total monthly amount from your Personal Budget Worksheet. If you are working part time in your home or online business, this amount might be your current income or you could set it to increase month over month or as your full time goal to work towards.
2. The second column is for your annual business expenses. This might include hosting if you pay it annually instead of monthly, domain renewal fees, memberships, subscriptions, bigger office supply purchases you buy a couple of times a year or just a budget for office supplies year long and money you put back to pay your income tax as well. It could also include conferences you know you will be attending or the cost of any courses you plan to take this year.
3. The third column is for any additional business expenses you might incur this year. This could be something you know is going to be an expense this year or an expense you would like to be able to afford this year like a conference, new camera, course, subscription, new laptop or any other expenses.
Once you have everything listed on your Business Budget sheet you will also take the monthly column and multiply it by 12. Then add that total to the totals for column 2 & 3. Once you have that final total, divide it by 12. This number is your monthly business income minimum goal.
By doing this Business Budget Sheet I found out that I was spending more on my business than I thought I was. I also realized there were some expenses I could cut back on. It was really helpful for me to set aside a salary for myself each month as well. Once I have made enough to reach my salary goal and business expense goal for the month, any extra money that I make is either put into savings or is used to reinvest in my business in some of the bigger or extra purchases.
In the past I would just make money and spend money and repeat. That mindset and process did not really get me anywhere other than breaking even.
Once you have your budget set up you can then create a spreadsheet or just use a notebook and start tracking your expenses each month for your personal / household and your business. (You can also get my income/expense worksheets for direct sellers along with 120+ other printable planning tools in my Direct Sales Success Planner System here.)
When you are self employed and your income changes from month to month it can be really difficult to budget and control your spending. I have been really resistant to budgeting and really crunching the numbers because it felt restrictive to have to control my money and greedy to be thinking about how much money I needed to make too. It has been a big mindset shift for me and because of budgeting like this and setting up a salary for myself, I have seen my business and my income and final profit really grow. I now feel in control of my money rather than it controlling me which is an amazing life and business changing thing!
One of my affirmations I have in my office says “Money does not define me, neither lack of or excess of”. No, it is not all about the money, it is about serving others and making a difference. However, you have to manage your money and a good steward with it to be able to prosper.
If you are looking for tips on paying off debt and getting more in control of your money, check out this post here.
I hope these tips and printable worksheets are helpful to you as well! I would love it if you would share them on social media and leave a comment below with your thoughts!