I identify as a money nerd, but that’s not the reason I have three budgets. I’m a small business owner, a freelancer, and a money nerd, so my finances dictate that I have three separate budgets.
As a business owner, I separate my personal and business finances for legal and tax reasons. Having separate bank accounts means that there is a measure of protection from lawsuits and hackers. It also means that it’s easier to do my taxes and to trace my expenses.
While having three budgets might sound like overkill, it actually simplifies my life. Read on to see how I handle both my personal and business finances with my three budgets.
My Personal Finances
For my personal finances, I use the app Mint. Mint is one of the biggest and oldest budgeting apps out there. I’ve used it for four and a half years.
I like it because it’s all my information in one area: my financial goals, budgets, income, investments, etc. I use Mint to track my spending, keep to my budgets, and to set and fund my financial goals. It keeps me on track and informed about how I spend money in my personal life.
My Business Finances
For my business finances, I prefer a slightly more manual feel. I work both as a freelancer and I have an LLC for my financial literacy event company.
Working as a freelancer means that invoicing and tracking payments is a large part of my financial life. Getting paid enables me to do everything else in my life after all!
I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my clients month to month. My income and the amount of clients I work with can change monthly, so this is a huge part of my financial life.
My third budget comes in the form of another Excel spreadsheet. I track my expenses and income from my event company as well.
Inputting the expenses manually is a little time consuming, but allows me the double benefit of understanding where my biggest expenses and income streams are, and to have an up-to-date information for quarterly taxes. I don’t want any problems with the IRS, so I’m happy to take a little more time on the business side of things.
Your Budget System
You don’t have to budget the same way that I do, but a budget is always a good idea. And if you’re a small business owner, keep your personal and business finances as separate as you can. It’s easier, cleaner, and just smarter.
What do you use as a budgeting system?