I'm a mega planner. I own like ten planners. I'm literally obsessed with the stationary aisle in every book store. Who doesn't love planners? The notebooks themselves are one of the most instagramable things out there right now. They not only make your desk look pretty, but they add so much organization to your life. As an entrepreneur, it's important to attempt some kind of structure to your day. So planners are a necessity. One aspect of structure that I'm currently attempting to improve is finance. Planners help me tremendously with determining a financial plan that works for me. It brings me peace of mind seeing how things fall into place weeks in advance. It's all about the visuals.
If you're like me, you're crazy about independence. You also juggle three to four jobs to stay creatively sane and financially stable... For now, at least. I see all the hustle as a good thing because down the road it will eventually be worthwhile. It all about preparing for the greatness that lies ahead. Right now, however, it's about taking it slow. It's about building a brand. It's about making responsible choices. It's about being reasonable with your time. Good honest hard work always pays off. But in order to make progress, you need structure and you need to set boundaries. I'm one of those girls who loves to please others and will literally say 'Yes' to make someone happy, even if it complicates things for myself. I promise I'm working on that you guys. I'm getting better at setting limits for myself, and so should you. And it's also important to set some long and short term goals.
Financially, I'm also setting important limits. Today I laid it all out. As a result, I've become tremendously inspired to share my process because I never felt better. I actually feel like some weight has been lifted. I don't make a lot of money yet, but I certainly make enough to contribute to some family bills and my lifelong savings. Having it all laid out, I never felt so good; it was like I unlocked a hidden secret. So for that reason, I am happy to share what I did to help regain financial freedom in just five easy steps.
1. Get a planner. That's a given. There are so many different kinds of planners, so no matter your personality type or schedule, there is a planner out there for everyone.
2. Determine your billing cycles. This may require you to sign onto your online banking or check your payment history with your bank to determine when all your auto-payments take place. Once you have the dates, mark them down on your calendar in Color A.
3. Add up all your auto-payments plus any additional monthly bills you can afford to determine the monthly cost on your part. This amount will determine what you owe each month. Mark this amount in Color B. I have a family plan for my car insurance and cell phone, so in this case I split the amount owed per person out of the three people involved. Again, this is a financial plan that strictly covers your back. Personally, I think everyone else should step it up and be responsible for their own dues as best as they can. Contributing something is better than contributing nothing at all
4. Mark down your pay days! After you have your dates marked down for your auto-payments and the total amount owed per month, mark down your pay days in Color C. The division of color will help divide these three areas regarding your finances, and will hopefully allow you to see when money is coming in and when money is going out. T
5. Set your spending limits. When you realize how much you make per month, you know how much you need to put away to pay for bills and how much money you have left for miscellaneous expenses. My tip: Every other week, I put what is left from my paycheck that doesn't go to paying bills into my savings. During the other weeks, I have the extra cash for unexpected things such as a spontaneous coffee date or a day trip into the city.
Once you get this all down, I promise you will feel that much better. I hope this helps!