Running a business from the comfort of your own home is convenient, but it isn’t without its struggles. As many can attest, it can be difficult sometimes to keep the lines of home and business from blurring. This isn’t just true when it comes to the management of time and responsibilities, it is also true when it comes to your finances. Keeping the finances together as you work on turning profits is a must, and it’s also challenging in the beginning. To help keep your money in order at home and in the business, here are a few financial management tips to remember.
Establish Separate Financial Accounts
The very moment you start your business you need to separate your personal finances from your business affairs. Therefore, you should create different banking accounts to keep things in order. Any and all expenses related to the business should be withdrawn from your company account while all household expenses should be maintained on the personal account. This makes things easier to track and helps a ton during tax filing season.
When the money starts coming in from the business it can be tempting to use every cent of it for your personal affairs. If you do this, however, where does that leave your business? To maintain your finances appropriately, it is better to pay yourself and then deposit the rest of your earnings into your business account. Whether you are going to charge a flat rate, hourly fee, or take a percentage of the profits each month, this money should be considered your personal income and used for that purpose.
Make Separate Budgets
Again, it is important to keep the lines between personal and professional finances separate, so your budget should be separate as well. Your household budget should consist of all expenses related to your personal finances and covered by the income you pay yourself with (along with any other income from others in your home). Your business budget should be a list of all company expenses and covered by the remaining profits you have left in your business account.
Have a Backup Plan
Things go wrong in business and at home that will inevitably need to be handled right away. There are plenty of avenues you could explore as you try to secure cash when you don’t have it on hand. For example, you could apply for a loan advance online and get a few hundred bucks overnight. You can also tighten your budget to stretch your income or profits. Lastly, you should create separate savings accounts for emergencies. You should have at least 3-6 months worth of expenses (for business and personal needs) in an account so you can access it if you need to.
Keep Debt to a Minimum
It’s almost a given that you will accumulate debt at home and in business. The trick, however, is to remain debt free or at least keep this debt low. Falling behind on bills in both areas would mean a serious financial hardship for you. If you have outstanding debt, start paying those bills down. You can also keep debt down by watching your spending habits. For the business, you might buy used instead of new when you are in need of furniture or electronic devices. Hire interns or outsource instead of hiring a team. Use free software and applications, go paperless, and plan virtual meetings to cut back on travel. At home, you can reduce your energy and water consumption, bundle your cable, phone, and internet services, make meals at home instead of eating out, and cancel unnecessary subscriptions.
Always Look for Opportunities to Earn More
You can never have enough cash, so you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to earn more. This can help to balance the books at home and in the office. Fortunately, there are several ways you can do this without sacrificing too much time or money. Answer surveys in your spare time, become a personal shopper, start a blog, babysit in the evenings, and whatever else you can think of to accumulate more cash.
It’s easy to blur the lines of business and home – especially when it comes to finances. However, if you don’t want to end up in a world of financial trouble, it is important to learn how to properly manage both. Start by separating the two, then create a budget and backup plan for emergencies. Lastly, make sure that you’re always looking for ways to earn more. It won’t be perfect, but if you keep these tips in mind, managing finances both for your home based business and for your household won’t be so bad.