How many times have you had a few extra hours and thought to yourself, “I should work on my finances,” only to follow that thought up with, “Um, no”?
Why? Because just about anything else is more fun than trudging through your business finances after a long hard day of work.
One of the reasons money gets so daunting and un-fun is because we don’t interact with it every day. The more time we spend away from our finances, the more un-fun they become.
Have you ever met someone and couldn’t stand them the first time you hung out? They were the absolute worst and you were secretly texting your bestie about it? You hung out again and they weren’t so bad, but still not your fav. And you hung out again and they said something kinda funny.
Then you called them for a friend date and what is the world coming to?
Your money is that person. The more time you hang out with it the more it will grow on you until you’re so close that you’re lending it your favorite tee and aren’t even mad about it.
How to stop ignoring your business finances. Here’re 4 easy things you can do to start hanging out with your business finances every day:
Look at your bank account daily
If you had told me a year ago that I should look at my bank accounts daily, I would have side-eyed the shit out of you. So if you’re giving me the cyber side-eye- I get it.
Buuuuuuuuut, hear me out- looking at your bank account daily is one of the easiest things you can do to start transforming your relationship with your business finances.
When you look at your bank account daily you become aware of your spending habits and your finances become less mysterious. You are empowered to make financial decisions from an informed and level place, rather than a place of fear and the unknown. You are bridging the gap between your life and your finances.
How to do it: Download your bank’s and credit card’s app on your phone. Some phones allow you set up touch login so you don’t even have to type anything in. Whenever you have an extra 2 minutes, login and check in on your accounts.
Extra credit if you get past the balance summary and look at the transactions, but if that’s too much, start by seeing how much you have and get used to looking at that number daily.
Write down everything you buy for your business
There is something about pen to paper that really drills it in you. The process of writing something down makes it more tangible and your mind latches on to it.
Writing down everything you buy for your business helps you become conscious of your spending habits and notice where you are, and aren’t, spending money in your business.
Bonus points- this practice also simplifies your bookkeeping because you have a record of what you bought and why. No more late nights trying to figure out what you bought 6 months ago from Fluffy’s Perm Parlor.
How to do it: Buy a small notepad to keep in your bag to manage your business finances and, anytime you buy something for your business, write down the:
Date (ex. 11/13/16)
What You Bought (Lunch with Beyonce)
Where (House of Prime Rib)
The trick with this one is to write it down right when you buy it. It only takes a second but if you don’t do it right then, you aren’t going to do it later.
Track your daily spending in an app
This is the digital version of the pen and paper method. If you aren’t into paper clutter, then this practice is for you.
There are lots of spending tracking apps that sync with your bank account so you don’t even need to type anything in. Your job is simply to take the time every day to categorize your expenses.
Some popular apps are:
Like writing down your spending in a note pad, this practice is the first step in setting up a bookkeeping system and will greatly reduce the work involved when you move to a digital accounting system.
How to do it: Download an app and link your business checking and credit card accounts. You may also need to adjust the categories and tags depending on what app you use.
Set aside 10 minutes every day to go through your expenses and assign categories and add notes. If you keep this up on the daily, it should take you less than 10 minutes and you will build awareness about your spending.
Memo and organize your receipts at the end of every day
This practice is awesome for people who are way too in the moment to write everything down when they buy it and don’t like using apps to track their finances. You engage in with you spending through tangible pieces of paper that represent what you bought.
The nice thing about organizing your receipts at the end of the day is that you not only get to clean out your wallet (keeping your money house tidy) but you also get to re-review the details of what you purchased.
If you’re wondering why something was more than you budgeted for, this is the time to start looking at the details.
How to do it:
Designate a special place in your wallet or purse for your business receipts. Every time you buy something for your business, put the receipt in this place. At the end of the day, remove the receipts from your wallet and make a brief note about what you bought.
Then file the receipts in a folder, envelope, or take a picture and store them digitally, either on your computer or in a receipt tracking app. Some of my favorites are:
Don’t forget to do this process for digital receipts that you receive via email. Create a digital filing system on your computer or in your email program and save receipts to these folders.
How to know which of these is right for you?
Which of these practices is the least overwhelming?
Which sounds like the most fun?
Which can you start today?