As a business owner, you’re probably familiar with the tools and tricks required to maintain a working budget for your company. While your personal budget doesn’t track the exact same items, your approach to expenses can be handled the same way.
Creating a dual-purpose budget to balance between home and work life can help you run a successful business, keep on top of your personal life and stay financially confident. With a clear, defined plan, you can differentiate between your home life and work life and take charge of the things that matter most. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Lock down your goals
As a business owner, you have goals in place that benchmark your growth and track your spending and saving, and you likely discuss these with your business partners or advisors. Apply this model at home.
Naturally, there are personal goals you’re trying to reach, whether you’re planning a family vacation or saving for your retirement. Have conversations with your loved ones about family goals early and often, and give everyone a role in reaching those goals.
You don’t have to budget for your personal finances alone. Turn to your family members and decide what’s important and how money should be allocated toward each goal.
2. Know all of your expenses
As an entrepreneur, you’re accountable for all business expenses, which means maintaining a detailed budget. Why treat your home budget differently?
Tracking expenses is necessary to see where your money is actually going. Take two months, track every purchase you make and then take a close look at where your money went. Does it align with your short- and long-term goals?
In turn, tracking your expenses in detail will help you create and keep an accurate budget.
3. Use the tools at hand
At your business, you might have an accountant overseeing your expenses and many digital tools are probably included as part of the day-to-day financial management. Implementing these tools at home is the way to get ahead, and stay ahead!
Take advantage of apps for budgeting, tracking, prioritizing, staying organized and more. While the tools you use at home might not be as involved as those of your business, there are several popular mobile apps designed to keep your finances in order. Give them a try and see if they work for you.
You can apply these tools to all aspects of your personal budget. Let them help you and your family get to where you want to be. If you aren’t into apps, or just don’t want to look at your phone that often, you can always run your budget in a simple spreadsheet or even in a notebook with pen and paper. Just make sure you set time aside time at least once a week to check your progress.
4. Be on time, all the time
Your business needs to pay vendors or suppliers on time, so why treat your household bills any different?
The tools you implement for tracking and budget-keeping can also go a long way in making sure your bills are paid on time. If you don’t already, consider setting up automatic bill payments. Doing this will keep your mind at ease knowing you won’t be missing a payment.
Plus, paying your bills on time is crucial to maintaining a solid credit score. Having a strong credit score is essential to remain in good standing with potential lenders when applying for loans, whether for a new home or car—or for growing your business. Your future self will thank you.
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.