As an expert in personal finance, I am often asked about my approaches to budgeting, saving, investing, and paying myself a salary. So I will be describing those steps here.
How I manage my money as a personal finance influencer
A lot of people use apps to budget, and while I have a few excellent ones on my phone that I use (for example, Mint), I also really like to use a spreadsheet for my finances. I like having both the automatic payment of my transactions via an app and the ability to look at my expenditures and my budget in a spreadsheet.
How I budget
I am an influencer in the financial sector. Much of my instruction involves demonstrating how to budget your money. Born a saver, I often emphasize the importance of having a frugal lifestyle. So, it is quite natural that I have a budgeting plan to manage my finances. With a simple but effective tracking method, I’m able to manage my finances.
I keep the receipts from my expenditures on the days that I spend them. At the end of each day, I enter them into my budget spreadsheet to contrast my arranged spending against my actuals. It takes me less than five minutes to complete the cleanup.
I try to store the receipts as little as possible before inputting them. This prevents the situation from becoming burdensome. This allows me to monitor my budget frequently throughout the month and it keeps me very engaged in my numbers.
I also make many notes on my budget spreadsheet about my spending (what I spend on, why I spend it etc.), and I add any dates to my schedule that I remember to a reminder alert, such as bill due dates, purchase dates, and other pertinent dates. This way, I never forget anything I need to pay.
How I use credit cards
Previously, I used a charge card, which is a type of credit card where you pay off your full balance every month. I now have a regular credit card that I use to book my frequent travel. I get rewards for my work, but I also make sure to pay my entire balance every month.
As a finance influencer or fin-fluencer, I teach from personal experience, and trust me; you should pay off your card each month to avoid accumulating exorbitant debt.
Now, my primary spending method is cash. Cash limits my spending and helps me budget more effectively. I’m so happy that I made the decision to spend primarily with cash. Cash is the queen, ladies!
How I organize my bank accounts
I have separate accounts solely for paying bills, saving up for an emergency fund and sinking funds, and a splurge account. I also have online savings accounts, where I save for long-term goals that are a little further out into the future, i.e., goals I want to complete between 1 and 5 years from now.
Where I invest
One of my specialties is teaching financial prudence. Much of the time, I am investing index funds. I have Roth IRAs, my kids’ 529 college savings accounts, and non-retirement investment accounts.
If you are looking for a place to invest your money, an index and ETF fund that provides good returns and is managed automatically to balance your portfolio over time is a great choice. Fidelity and Vanguard are my favorites.
I also just opened custodial accounts for my twins to teach them about investing in the stock market and buying fractional shares. At 4 years old, they began recognizing brands. I thought this would be a good time to get them started.
I give them monthly stipends and let them invest and keep track of the brands they favor, such as Disney. As they purchase several different commodities, I also invest a portion of their funds in a Vanguard index fund.
How I manage my business finances as an influencer
For my companies, I maintain my finances separate from my own. This makes it easier to handle business accounts while growing my enterprises. This includes my personal brand as a business finance influencer. For my personal brand, I have five different business accounts.
My business accounts
Here is how my business accounts are currently divided up.
This is where any profits the company makes are paid.
This is where daily business occurs.
I keep the profits the business is making in this account. It is used to fund new projects or pay bonuses.
One thing that’s certain is taxes! I use this site to save money so that I can cover my quarterly tax obligation to the federal government.
I use this account for payroll purposes. For payroll, I rely on Gusto – Payroll is unnecessarily difficult, but they’ve got it so easy that I love them!
I used the suggestions in the Profit First book by Mike Michalowicz to set up these accounts above. As my business continues to expand, I need a sound organization structure. Profit First is a system that works for me.
I use a business financial management tool (QuickBooks) to manage my finances (and for my accountant), and my invoices are all consolidated in my own specified spreadsheets. Every month, I have a variety of account types, which help me stay organized.
Being a personal finance influencer keeps me accountable
That’s a high-level summary of some of the things I do to manage my money as a finance influencer. I do my best to lead by example with my money so I can motivate my students and my influence group to achieve financial success!
When managing your finances, be sure to set up a system and accounts that make it easier for you to keep track of things.
Choosing the best budget and methods can help you avoid debt and avoid overspending. Take advantage of our free financial courses and worksheets to understand more about ditching debt and saving money!