What I Am Doing with My Money as a Self-Employed Coach and Consultant
I recently wrote about How To Manage Money When You Are Self-Employed As A Coach Or Consultant and gave some insight into general areas that need your attention when you work for yourself. Now, I am getting a bit more personal and sharing with you some of what I am working toward for myself, my business, and my family at this very moment and how I am keeping track of my goals, my spending, and my savings.
How I Track My Business Income and Expenses
My systems aren't complicated; I keep things as simple as possible on purpose! We use Dubsado or SuiteDash (we are in transition and deciding which of these systems best serves our clients and our internal staff) to keep track of our projects and issue invoices to clients. We can easily see what income is coming in and how many projects and invoices we have open at any given time.
We are using Wave for accounting and payroll. It's nice to see so much information in a single dashboard. This system was easy to implement and keeps us from getting behind on our bookkeeping! The payroll aspect allows us to differentiate between an owner draw for me, paychecks for employees, and payments to vendors and contractors.
As of right now, I am still using MileIQ to track milage for business purposes, but there hasn't been much business travel to speak of this year due to lockdowns and the wide adoption of virtual platforms. I will evaluate whether to use the simple tracking tools included in Wave or keep the separate software moving forward.
Planning for Finances for Business and Personal Purposes
I have a few wonderful spreadsheets that I use for forecasting cash-flow and to visually see what effect changing a program price will or tweaking attendance caps will have on our bottom line.
There are a few fabulous calculators online that I use to figure out how much I need to be putting aside for my personal goals. For example, I am using this RV Loan Calculator to figure out exactly how much I need to put down to get my monthly payments into the range I want when I go to buy my AirStream this Fall. I am super excited about it and I want to be well-prepared!
We are already traveling full-time, so this fuel budget calculator is invaluable. On a heavy travel week I have easily spent $500 on gas and that is more than worthy of being figured into our family budget. And yes, I use a simple spreadsheet for that, too. As a former financial advisor, I do not approve of guessing! I have enough adventure and uncertainty built into my lifestyle by living on the road; I don't need any financial surprises to trip us up whilst we travel.
Searching and Testing New Systems
As a software and systems geek, I am always testing out new ways to streamline and simplify financial systems for myself and for clients. Often, more complex software is not the answer. Simple spreadsheets and calculators are often the easiest tools for myself and my team to use. Key programs create a backbone for our critical functions and we keep on truckin'.