Book more photography clients with this step-by-step framework.
Hi, I'm Brooke! I'm a believer, wife, mama to two, Oklahoma photographer, and photography business coach.
I help photographers grow profitable full-time businesses from home.
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Do you want to know what has the potential to be a game changer for you? It’s budgeting; budgeting in your life & in your business has been a total game changer for me in mindset, in life and in business and I know it can be for you, too!
I’ve polled my audience and you have told me time and time again that you want more business and life conversations. So, today that’s what I’m bringing to you!
I know the importance of a healthy money mindset; so, today I want to talk about money, finances, money mindset and all of those things.
I really want to have inviting conversations and get into when you have a negative money story & how crucial it is to take the time to actually sit down and determine why you believe what you believe about money…I do!
But today, we’re not going to get to the deep stuff. Today, I simply want to talk about budgeting in your life & in your business. I want to give you a place to start, so, I invite you to truly dive in, there’s no better time than right now.
Let’s dive into budgeting in your life & in your business. I started my budgeting journey about two years ago. I got to a point where I felt like I needed more control. That’s one thing about me, I will just go ahead and admit, I tend to be a little bit of a control freak…let me put it this way, it bothers me to let my kids try and unload the dishwasher, or let alone load it. I struggle with the thought, “that’s not the best way to do it.” So, just let me do it myself.
I’m sure some of you can relate to that. I’m trying to be better.
I wanted to take control of my finances because my finances truly had a hold of me. They had a hold of my emotions, my security, my sense of security, and they had a hold of my mind.
I found myself constantly thinking about:
It consumed me. So, I decided, it was time for me to go all in with budgeting. I’m so glad that I did.
There are a couple of resources that are AMAZING! You don’t have to go at it all alone.
The biggest resource for me at the time was the decision to follow the budget mom, along with a couple other smaller accounts that I followed as well. I also had some friends that were walking this budgeting and finance journey at the same time. So, I would watch what they were doing. Basically, I just took bits and pieces and decided to create my own thing to follow.
Let’s talk about budgeting! When I used to hear that word, I used to immediately think:
Through budgeting I found that not only is it the smartest thing you can do for yourself, but also, it completely has given me so much freedom, I no longer have emotions, or a sense of security tied to the money in the bank or the debt that I was trying to pay off. I now look at everything as a neutral and I have an action plan. I now have realistic due dates for certain things and I get to celebrate myself as I make accomplishments.
Before I started budgeting, the most I probably had ever seen in the bank at one time, this would be savings and checking account, is a little under $10,000 and that didn’t happen often. Before I was budgeting, I was trying to keep between $5K and $10K in the bank and just for the sake of savings.
Again, that sense of security, I always felt like if I didn’t have that much saved up that I didn’t have enough. With budgeting, you’re releasing that need for security because you’re mapping out what you want your life to look like, where you want your money to go, what debt you want to pay off first, and then you’re building up savings.
So as I’m walking this journey, I’ve had so many wins! I definitely have fallen off the horse a time or two, but to be honest, where I’m sitting today wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for me getting clarity and budgeting. It required me getting super close with God and having Him walk me through this budgeting journey. This is something that has LITERALLY transformed my life & my business!
Simply start with the commitment. The commitment that you’re going on this budgeting journey so that you can have freedom and you can create the lifestyle and opportunities that you want.
Prior to budgeting, going on trips looked like hustling my butt off, saving money super, super quick and then going on the trip. A lot of times I would get distracted and I would never save up enough and then the vacation never came, I never took the trip, never spent that money I was trying to save up for myself. Instead, I always had to turn around and spend it on something else. Since budgeting, we’ve been able to go on weekend family trips, I’ve been able to go on vacations with my husband.
Budgeting truly will give you freedom in your life. I know for some of you you’re like, “I don’t even care about the vacation, I would just love to literally not be living paycheck to paycheck, penny to penny, session to session. You know what, I get it because I’ve been there too.
If you want that, and you really want that cushion, you want more opportunities then budgeting is for you.
So step one, commit to budgeting.
Side Note: There will be seasons where it is so hard to stick to budgeting, but if you do and you get to the other side, you will be so proud of yourself. It does something to you mentally, spiritually, physically. I mean, it just does.
Find the budgeting system that works best for you. There are a couple of different ones out there.; some do the paycheck by paycheck method, which if you have a full time or a part time job, or you’re pretty consistent in your photography, business (even if you’re only doing two sessions a month but you consistently are getting two sessions a month) then you might consider doing that. The budget mom teaches to that, but there are also other processes, systems that are more for the entrepreneurial life.
So for those of you that don’t have a consistent income, maybe you’re a small business owner, maybe you and your spouse own a small business, then you might want to go a little bit of a different route. And then inside of that, there’s going to be different budgeting systems that also allow you to pay off debt. There are three different methods there, but I’m not gonna overwhelm you, I want you to do the research. I’m just giving you the resources that I have. And right now I am mostly using the budget mom.
I have her planner. So, every month I’m writing things down; going through bills, going through what am I going to do with the extra, how much debt are we paying off (which by the way, I am very, very, very, very close to being debt free minus the car payment and the house payment), and those two things are not considered bad debt, they are actually considered “good debt”.
After you have committed, after you found the process that you want, step three is to do what works for you.
Make tweaks to those systems:
It all goes back to the limitations and the restrictions, right? Budgeting does create freedom, it creates so many good things, but you also have to make sure that in the beginning, you have boundaries (I would say very strict boundaries for yourself to follow. This is so that you don’t give up in the very beginning of your budgeting your life & your business journey.
The hardest times to stick to budgets in the very beginning are month one and two and then major holidays. After a while, it becomes a routine, it becomes the new way of life.
It will change everything for you
Let me take you behind the scenes of what it looks like for me when I’m budgeting. Right before a new month starts, typically the last week of whatever month we’re in, I write out all of the bills that we pay for our home; the personal bills, all the personal life things.
Then I create another list of all the business things; paying team members and other business related expenses, These are things that you are paying every single month, the things that have to be paid no matter what.
After I write all of that out, then I go to the next thing. . What are some other categories every single month that I still need? The best example here would be gas and groceries. I want you to think of these as envelopes.
Before the pandemic, I was doing the envelope system,. I would go to the bank, I’d get cash out and then I would have a set of envelopes. Each envelope would get its budgets money in there. For groceries, if I said we’re going to do $400 a month on groceries, I put $400 in the grocery envelope and then I would put $100 in the gas envelope (or whatever was needed, I’m trying to keep the math simple here).
So, what are the other things?
Again, I go through all of the bills that are the same every single month, no matter what, then I go down to these categories, these envelope categories, if you will. And then I allot the money that I’m going to put into those categories.
The last thing is, if I have money leftover, I ask myself, “what am I saving up for?”
So for me, for a long time, that was simple: let’s throw extra money at debt. Let’s pay off a credit card, let’s throw extra toward a student loan, whatever that looked like at the time. Your extra savings could be just to make an extra payment towards debt or put it in savings for the Holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc.
Like you, I don’t have a consistent paycheck, and because I don’t have a consistent income every single month I have to look back at the last six months of data that I have and that is EXACTLY what I want you to do, too.
I want you to look at how much money you made in the last six months, break it down per month? Which one was a high month? Which one was the low month? What’s the average? Or, what is the lowest I’ve ever brought in up to this point of income in a 30 day period.
From here, you’re going to pick either the average of the six months, or the lowest month that you had income coming in, and that is going to be your starting budget. Why do we do this? We do this because I would rather you have more money left over afterward than for you to be scrambling to meet all of the payments that you’ve listed out.
In the beginning, you’re going to feel like you’re never going to make more money, but trust the process. Trust yourself. You’ll notice over time that you will be able to allocate more money. You’re going to have months that will blow your own mind, like those months that you triple last month’s income!
I’m telling you, budgeting your life & your business is seriously the BEST thing!
I hope that you’re geeking out over budgeting as much as I am, I’m really going to do my best to show up more in my Instagram stories; take you guys behind the scenes on my finance Friday, where I basically go through the bank statements and put them into my income and/or my profit and loss spreadsheet, the Katie Faros Spreadsheet from her Small Business Starter Kit.
I literally go in and document half the month, I’ll go see:
It’s really not about what is your paycheck, how big is the paycheck…
It’s about how are you allocating that paycheck and what are you doing with the money that you’re given? The truth is, we can all be given a $5,000 paycheck, but at the end of the day, if we all came together in a circle and we’re asked, how did you spend it? It would look completely different for everybody and you would be able to see some people grew their money or let it stretch a lot longer and some people blew it in a day.
Do you want to dive a bit deeper into budgeting in your life & your business?? Have open, honest conversations about finances, money mindset and the like? Head on over to the Book More Clients Photography Podcast and listen now!
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