By Michelle FitzGerald
We just passed the 6 year anniversary of starting to work for ourselves, and let me tell you, it has been a journey. When we were both working salaried jobs, finances were a breeze. We just went to work, and we got paid the same amount each month. It was stable, dependable and super easy to budget around.
But then, Nat was laid off. And not long after, I resigned from my job to join him in working from home. And that is when I realized that finances were about to get a lot harder to figure out. If you’ve been in the freelancing game for awhile, or the starting your own creative business game, you know that some months the cash just flows like a rushing river and things seem to go so smoothly, and there are other months, where, for a myriad of reasons, it’s barely a trickle.
It’s hard to plan your life and budget around an income stream so irregular. And not for a lack of trying; we had been to the Dave Ramsey classes, read the books, had the spreadsheets and all, but they were not geared toward our situation. Mostly, we started out by striving to make our income goals to just pay the bills, sometimes relying on a credit card to get us by. But when we exceeded our goals during a great season, we still spent it all. And ended up back at square one, stressed, striving, just working on surviving. That is not the place you need to be in if you’re trying to live in more creativity and freedom.
So, last summer, I picked up a book on a recommendation of a friend, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. I devoured it quickly, excited to start implementing his teachings into my business right away. Now, it is a finance book written for business owners to help them prioritize profit, but it starts with some basic psychology that applies to anyone with money. You will spend money that’s available to you, even when you plan to save what’s left over at the end of the month, because, guess what, there’s never any left over. So, instead, you pay yourself first by putting money into your profit account, savings, tax savings, etc by percentages. Seems like a simple idea, but it is a game changer.
I realized that I could use his ideas in our personal budgeting and finances and not just at my shop. And as soon as possible, I changed banks and opened twelve new accounts. By the way, it takes a lot longer than you might think to open new accounts, and close the old ones, all while making sure you’ve transferred everything properly. It was not just one day. Don’t worry, you won’t have to do all that to reap the benefits of this method. You can simply use your existing savings account or open a free checking account to start. Each time you bring money in, you’ll be moving a percentage right away to the proper account and not risking it disappearing by the end of the month.
Admittedly, I was skeptical at first. How could such a simple idea really change my life and finances? But I figured out how to use this method with our irregular freelancing and creativepreneur income, and gave it a go. And I have not looked back. We even started implementing this method during one of those trickle seasons, when things were going to be tight, and we still saw profit! Crazy. Since we started, we’ve been able to pay unexpected medical bills, pay down debt, take time off for holidays and then even more time off when we were both down with the flu, and we’re taking another week off next month, and planning to take a whole month off later this year, while still paying all our bills, paying down debt, and having some fun money. This is that level of a game changer. Seriously good.
Over the past few months, we’ve found the best way to combine the percentage saving methods from Profit First with the budgeting tools we learned from Dave Ramsey and tailor them to our needs as creatives with irregular income. If you are in the same boat we were in just a few months ago or find yourself stressing about finances monthly, we want to remove that headache and show you how you can get financial freedom so you can stress less about money and just do more of what you love to become a killer creator.
So, we’ve put everything that works best for us into a system we’re calling Freedom First, a money management tool for freelancers, creativepreneurs and anyone else with an irregular income. We’re offering this resource as an online class to walk you through the system and show you how you can turn what’s normally the most stressful part of a freelancer’s day, into the most exciting. In this mini course, you’ll learn how to use our built-for-you percentage calculator, monthly budget builder, and even a debt payoff plan to help you enjoy more of the money you work so hard for. In addition to the online course, you’ll have lifetime access to the training, worksheets, and bonus budget tools on our platform.
Now you have two choices. You can take your precious time and read the books we read, take the classes we took, and find out they don’t even help if your income is irregular, then spend months creating your own method of making a system that works even though you’ve never made a functional spreadsheet before. OR, you can jump in our online course to learn it all in about an hour and get our built-for-you spreadsheets that will start changing your life as soon as you start copying in your own numbers.
To gain access to the Freedom First Course and our transformational tools, just sign up here. When you live empowered in more freedom, you’ll be able to change the world by focusing on your creative work. Get ready for less stress and more freedom.
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