Is the state of your self-employed finances seriously bumming you out? It feels like there is never enough time in the day to do it all and *everything* is slipping through the cracks. And you just KNOW it’s going to take forever to get this mess straightened out.
Here’s the thing- you’re wrong.
It actually is possible to get your finances organized and under control without it shaving years off of your life. The trick? Organize your self-employed finances little by little and ditch the expectation that you need to have it all done, like, yesterday.
Need some quick tips for organizing your self-employed finances? I got ya. Here are my top 10 non-sucky, easy ways to get your money organized:Do your self-employed finances little by little & ditch expectations that you need to have it all doneClick To Tweet
Do one thing for your money daily
It’s super easy to get caught up in the “there is so much stuff to do for my money” overwhelm, which is why doing just one small thing for your money helps you organize your business finances.
Instead of having the pressure of getting it all done at once, one small daily task eases you into organizing your self-employed finances. You gain momentum which inspires you to take on even bigger financial tasks.
What small things can you do for your money on the daily? You can:
Organize your paper or digital receipts
Do 5-10 lines of bookkeeping entry
Check for unpaid invoices & send reminders
Update your budget
Check your personal expense for accidental biz expenses
Log your mileage
Run a Profit & Loss report
Clear the Paper Clutter
Let’s be real- having a ginormous pile of unorganized receipts can make you feel like you suck- big time. There’s something about paper clutter that makes you feel heavy, scattered, and like you’ll never get caught up.
Take the first step to feeling financially organized by clearing your financial paper clutter. The practical benefit is that all your information is stored in an easy to access place to reference later. The emotional benefit is that you don’t feel bogged down by a mountain of statements- you might even be ready to do your bookkeeping!
How to organize it all?
Paper Receipts, ATM Receipts, Deposit Records- Store in an accordion file separated by month or digitize them and store on your computer
Digital Receipts- Create a folder in your email program called Business Receipts and keep digital receipts there
Statements- Download digital statements from your bank, shred your paper statements and switch to e-statements
Mobile Deposits- Deposit and note the deposit date, shred two weeks later
Tax Docs- Keep for 6 years in a filing cabinet with supporting tax documentation
Keep your business expenses separated
One of the quickest ways to feel like your self-employed finances are a big, fat mess is by having your personal and business expense mixed. When your personal and business finances are mixed it becomes difficult to “keep track of it all” because there is way more to keep track of!
Sorting through your transactions and discerning your grocery bill from your office supplies takes time- too much time. Instead of burdening yourself with more to do, make life easier by opening a separate business checking account .
When you do this 50% of your bookkeeping work is done because you no longer need to figure out if something is business or personal. All you have to do is categorize and enjoy that extra hour of binge-watching Gilmore Girls.Take the 1st step to feeling financially organized & clear your financial paper clutter.Click To Tweet
Draw a financial map and keep it handy
Too often, biz owners have waaaaaaaay too many categories in their bookkeeping and that’s why they feel like their bookkeeping is out of control. When it comes down to doing the actual bookkeeping, the categories become confusing and it all just sorta falls apart.
A financial map helps you keep a firm grasp on the structure of your finances. It’s a streamlined outline of your core bank, income, expense, and equity accounts that you can reference anytime.
To make a financial map, start by outlining all your bank accounts, income streams, and tax deductions. Then go through each line and see if there are overlaps- can any of these be merged? If so, combine the lines until you have a nice, streamlined map.
Now print out your map, put it on your wall, and refer to it every time you do your bookkeeping so you don’t end up making a new category for every single random expense that comes your way.
Get ye’self into a bookkeeping program (that syncs with your bank account)
Manual bookkeeping entry is a TOTAL buzzkill! It sucks to sit there and type up months of statements and, to be honest, you’ll put it off because it is BOR-ING.
Instead of using a paper tracking sheet or spreadsheet, consider switching to a digital bookkeeping system that syncs with your bank account. These systems automatically download your transactions and your only job is to categorize them. No more typing for days!
Plus, you’ll miss fewer expenses because they are added directly from your bank.
Some fan favorites when it comes to digital bookkeeping systems are:Biz owners have too many categories in their bookkeeping & that’s why they feel it's out of control.Click To Tweet
Memo your receipts
Everyone knows that sorting through receipts is a giant pain in the ass. The text is small, hard to read, and with every crumple and crease, the numbers turn into a blur.
Instead of killing yourself trying to figure out what that damn receipt is for, start memoing your receipts at the time of purchase. Just writing a quick note of what you bought and why, then circling the amount and date, can save you a major headache later.
I like to memo right when I buy something, but you can also do this at the end of the day as part of your one-daily money task.
Add invoice due dates to your calendar & set up canned reminders
One of the hardest parts of being an invoice based business is chasing down clients for payments. People are laggers and getting them to pay is a giant time suck. Not to mention it’s easy to forget about overdue invoices in the hustle and bustle of your business.
A quick way to stay on top of your past due invoices is adding invoice due dates to your calendar, with a reminder that alerts you on that day. Instead of constantly going back through your invoices and checking the status, you get told exactly what you need to know.
Once an invoice is overdue, save time by setting up canned emails that you can easily send out. Set up an email for every stage of an invoice (a few days overdue, 1 week overdue, 2 weeks overdue, etc.) and when you need to remind your clients, instead of feeling daunted by writing a whole new email, just click send and you’re done.
Automate your savings and owner pay
When you’re a small business owner it’s really tempting to spend all your money on everything in your biz except yourself. We are so passionate about what we are doing that we want to grow, grow, grow and we forget that we, the OWNER, need to be taken care of too.
A great way to ensure that you are paying yourself and saving for taxes and your long term goals is by automating the process. Not only does this help with forgetting to pay yourself and transfer money to savings, it also ensures that you prioritize yourself.
How do you automate your savings and owner pay? The easiest way is by setting up a recurring transfer every month. Knowing that the money is going to get withdrawn means you will be accountable for your spending and extra aware of your account balance.
Harness the power of apps
You know how they say there’s an app for everything? That’s true for your finances too! And these apps can do wonders for saving time and the inevitable, “Ugh, I SO don’t want to do that right now”.
What apps can you use for organizing your self-employed finances?
Mileage IQ – This app is like the fairy godmother of mileage tracking because it automatically tracks when you’re driving! Plus, you can easily swipe to log mileage as personal and make notes of your mileage, eliminating the need for a separate mileage log.
Foreceipt – Like all receipt tracking apps, Foreceipt allows you to snap a photo of your receipt and digitally memo and categorize it. BUT, unlike other apps, Foreceipts syncs with Google Drive and stores copies of your receipts in your Drive. That means the app is doing your digital filing for you! How cool is that?
QuickBooks, Wave, and Xero all have apps that make it even easier to keep all your financial info in one place. Quickbooks and Wave apps include a receipt scanning function where you can snap a picture of your receipt, make a quick note and then when the transaction is downloaded from your bank it is AUTOMATICALLY MATCHED with the receipt.Bookkeeping program apps-
I’m going to say that again- it is automatically matched which means the work is done.
Make a weekly date with your money
You know how you’re body is happier when you’re, ahem, regular? Well so are your finances!
Weekly time for your money means your finances run more efficiently and you feel calmer. Every time your sit down at your computer you have less to take care of and, seeing your money neat and orderly, makes you feel like the biggest rock star. That feeling is what encourages you TO KEEP ON.
If money really skeezes you out, try approaching weekly time with money like a date. Take care of your finances at the end of the day with a nice glass of wine or take yourself out to your favorite cafe. Make working with your money rewarding and help rewire your brain from Money = Cold sweats and vomiting to Money = My favorite glass of wine and dark chocolate.
You know how you’re body is happier when you’re, ahem, regular? Well so are your finances!Click To Tweet