I know, I know. Doing my own books? Whaaaaaaat? That sounds like a lot of work.
I’m not going to sugar coat it- getting set up with your own books does require a bit of work, but, once set up, keeping your own books can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day. And what you get in exchange for a little bit of time can be a big shift in your money relationship.
While there are a lot of practical, business benefits to keeping your own books, I’m going beyond those because ultimately those benefits are not going to change the core of your money relationship. And that’s what I want for you, a really awesome, thriving relationship with your money.
Here’s how keeping your own books will help…
You’ll Know Exactly What You Have
Bookkeeping is an exact process. The numbers have to match. Which means if something is missing, you’re going to know about it. It’s like putting your money under a giant magnifying glass. When you do it, you are going to see ALL the details.
Rather not? Yea, sometimes the details are not so awesome to face. But…
Revitalizing your money relationship requires kind honestly with yourself. You need a starting point. And that starting point is reality.
Where we start isn’t indicative of who we are or where we’re going. Often we look at our starting point and feel judgment and shame around everything we have done wrong. We use that shame to turn on ourselves and convince ourselves that we are this type of person or that type of person. We forget that we are A LOT more.
The type of person you are when you do your own books is the type of person who is willing to face what’s scary, the type of person who will do the reparative work, and the type of person who will engage with the challenge in service of your financial well being.
When you do your own books, you know and engage with what you have. You get to see your growth every day. You get to be proud of what you see every day. You get to celebrate.
You’ll Be Forced to Acknowledge Your Spending
I think every single person in my life has said to me at one point, “I just don’t know where all my money goes.” Money can be elusive. It comes, it goes, we make it, we spend it, repeat.
Most business folx don’t even notice how much they spend until the end of the year when I send them their final Profit and Loss statement. When they see their gross profit and then their net profit usually they say, “But what happened in between? Where did all the money go?”
It went to spending, my friend.
Soloprenuers and freelancers are wildly creative and passionate people. This is what makes them good at their jobs. But this is also what makes it easy for spending to sort of just happen. While your busy living your wild and creative dream the spending takes on a mind it’s own.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
When you do your own books you are going to know every single thing you are spending money on. You are going to actually look at and categorize every single thing you buy for your business. EVERY SINGLE THING.
I memo every expense. I don’t do it for the IRS, I do it for myself. When I write my memos I’m forced to think about why I spent the money. Sometimes I’m excited to memo it. I’m like, “Yes! I’m so happy I spent money on this!” and other times I’m like, “What is this even for? Why did I buy that?”
The more you ask yourself, “Why did I even buy that,” the more you are going to stop buying those things. The everyday awareness is going to shift your spending habits while still allowing you to live your creative and passionate dream.
You’ll Be Empowered to Make Financial Decisions
I don’t know about you, but when I’m about to make a big financial decision I’m like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let’s all simmer down for a minute.” Because big financial decisions require a lot of thought and planning. Sometimes we get so carried away in the excitement of the decisions that we forget to do the thinking and the planning.
It’s even harder to think and plan when you don’t have the tools to do it. The best tool for making big financial decisions is knowledge of your financial landscape. Doing your own books oils this tool. It keeps it in tip-top shape so that whenever you need it, it’s there, ready to go.The best tool for making big financial decisions is knowledge of your financial landscape.Click To Tweet
Before I did my own books, I would agonize over anything that had to do with spending more than $100. I would obsessively calculate everything I had in my accounts and what was coming and going. I wouldn’t trust those calculations and do it again. Then I would do them one more time to be sure. Let’s just say this is not an effective way to do things.
The emotional expense was taxing. Often decisions wouldn’t get made because I was too overwhelmed by all the factors involved. NOT GOOD.
Then I started doing my own books and building my capacity to make financial decisions and (this is really the important part) feel good about them.
On a practical level, doing my own books makes it easier to get the information I need to make decisions (no more obsessive calculations). On the emotional level, decisions become less taxing because I know how much money I have to work with. This circles back to #1.
Knowing exactly what you have means you are going to make financial decisions from a grounded and empowered place. There are no surprises. And to be honest, you’ll be so comfortable with what you have that the process of making financial decisions will become more organic, whole, and –gasp– easy.