With the little slow down and the big tax month it is time again to refocus on a budget. My last stab at it was back in September. My problem was that I didnt track well or really reference it each month, well except for groceries 🙂 Wife and I keep all our finances separate and she just transfers an amount over for the common stuff. So I have basically two budgets to work with, one for business and one for personal.
I made adjustments here and there for various reason. Like the Visa’s have a lower min payment now, or we have done a good job lowering the utilities and hope to keep it up (even though summer and AC is looming around the corner). So here is how I see things now.
|Car Insurance||$205||Association Dues||$39|
|Savings||$100||Income Tax Fund||$700|
|Property Tax Fund||$100||IRA Contributions||$320|
Now the business side still dosen’t show cost of goods (printing fees, frames, credit card fees, sales tax, etc) those are variable and are covered in the price of the products. I have started transferring $700 a week to the personal account as a ‘salary’. This is to be sure the personal stuff comes out of the personal account. I have skipped a week here and there if it was slow at the studio. What I plan to do next is to set up a budget and account for items such as next camera, props and backgrounds as well as marketing.
I may be adding $200 a month to the advertising budget as renewal time for my magazine ad is up and they are offering me deals in the range of $140 a month to $200 a month. I only received a handful of client from this mag last year so I am hesitating but then again it is the only one that goes to all the ‘maternity’ hot spots 🙂
The income taxes are automatically transfered to an ING account to the tune of $175 a week that way I have it. Some may say what if you dont do well that week (I say that to) Well I hope it will average out for the year. I may look at it in June or July and compare to my income and see, make adjustments as needed. I am going to look at starting quarterly as well, save that $148 penalty at the end of the year.
On the personal side as mentioned I get about $1200 from the wife as well, SO I actually only need to come up with $2650 each month. We finally got the ING set up to auto withdrawal $100 from each of us each month so we have our impound set up for property taxes (should have don e it back in Sept). We are also looking at combining our insurances to cut my car insurance down and maybe save a little on the house as well. We also need to take another look at cell phone and cable and see if there is any way to cut there.
Not shown here is that I still have a gym bill I need to cancel. Like most I started with the best intentions but havent gone in months. Its only $10 but thats $10 that can go to gas or food (or a new fish).
I added pets as it seems that they can be a nice chunk of cash each month. The amount above is to cover food that I happen to get for dogs and cats (and fish) as well as the health plan for the dog. The wife is covering the health plan for the cats and picks up litter.
So all said and done it looks like I need to bring in $6,257 net from the studio. This would be after cost of goods are paid for so still looks like $7.5 to $8k is needed gross each month. The extra streams can of course go towards that in months like this month where it dosent look like I will make that mark. In the months that I do extra money goes towards dividend investments, replenishing the emergency fund and paying off the debt quicker.
Again I didnt go to the nickel and dime level in the budget, maybe I need to as we do spend money here and there on so much other stuff. I am really going to make the effort to check actual to budget at least mid and end of the month to see how its going and make adjustments each month. Perhaps I need to do a monthly post to see how I did each month to keep me focused and on track?
How do you budget? Do you account for every nickel and dime or just the major items?