Posts

money managing, budget

Hate budgeting? Key money managing habits to thrive in business and life 

Budgeting, budgeting, budgeting! We’ve all heard about the importance of budgeting before, but many still overlook this crucial money managing practice when it comes to their personal and business finances. 

money managing, budget

Key money managing habits to make your personal and business finances thrive. (Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels)

Budgeting can look different depending on the area of focus. Your personal household budget vs your business budget will prioritize different things. However, at the core, there are also many similarities and the mechanics are the same. 

When you create a budget, you are planning your incoming and outgoing expenses. This core practice is the same for both personal and business budgets. 

Businesses and households that thrive know how to manage their money and keep their expenses in check. By implementing these money managing strategies into your life, you too can thrive and prosper in both business and life. 

Creating a personal spending plan

Often, budgeting begins in response to a financial crisis, however, ideally, budgeting is proactive, not reactive. Instead of being about damage control, it can be about monthly progress and strategic financial planning. 

By creating a personal budget, you and your household can better plan your spending and save for future emergencies or unexpected expenses. 

Budgeting also includes planning for major purchases. By creating a plan for purchasing big-ticket items, there is less potential for financial surprise and unexpected costs down the line. 

Entrepreneur, international speaker, best-selling author, licensed CPA, and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, Sharon Lechter shares key budgeting tips on her blog. Below are her tips to establish a solid personal budget, or as she prefers to call it– a personal spending plan. 

A personal budget should include the following steps

    • Establish your objectives (financial, lifestyle, etc.)
    • List all of your income sources (wages, investments, spousal support etc.)
    • Identify and list all expense categories (housing, auto, groceries, etc), broken into fixed vs. variable
    • Assign amounts to each spending category
    • Allocate savings
    • Account for fluctuations or one-time events
    • Track your progress and make adjustments if necessary

Managing your business budget

Business budgeting follows the same basic principles as personal budgeting, with a few additions. An accurate business budget will help you ensure your business has enough revenue to stay in business and continue to grow, while also giving you an in-depth window into how the business is performing and what to anticipate in the future.

money managing, budgeting, personal and business finances

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels.

Again, Sharon shares her expertise, laying out the core components to include in a basic business budget

Your business budget should include the following:

    • Your sales and revenue
    • Fixed costs (such as rent) and variable costs (raw materials that vary in price)
    • Debt service
    • Account for fluctuations or one-time events
    • Track your progress and make adjustments if necessary

One major difference between business and personal budgets is that in a business budget, forecasting is more crucial. For most people, predicting one’s monthly income is usually simple as income is fairly consistent from month to month. However, in a business, one must pay closer attention to their revenue forecast to plan for the months ahead. 

In a previous post on Latinas in Business, financial service and leadership expert Jesse Torres advised that business owners should sit down to thoughtfully estimate expected cash inflows and outflows. 

“Factors that to consider include the sales cycle, terms and discounts provided to customers, industry delinquency rates, and other factors that may affect the timing of incoming cash.

Similarly, it is necessary to estimate expenses and other cash outlays. This includes the timing of the purchase of equipment, raw materials, and supplies. It also includes the schedule for payment of salaries, taxes, and other day-to-day expenses.”

Business owners can utilize financial resources from SCORE, a national nonprofit support group for small business owners. SCORE provides a free budget template that business owners can use to manage their cash flow.

You might be interested: Financial matters are women reluctant to talk about money?

Budgeting for Unexpected Costs

One area where budgeting really pays off is when you are faced with sudden, unexpected costs. Most of the time, even without budgeting, we tend to know what costs to expect month to month in both our personal and business finances. You know you need to cover your rent, gas, utilities for instance and probably have that money set aside. However, will you be prepared for an unexpected expense such as a car repair? 

The SCORE blog offers budgeting resources to anticipate these unexpected costs and allows you to set aside funds to tackle these challenges when they arise. Marketing Content Manager, Lauryn Johnson breaks down the differences for anticipating unexpected costs for both personal and business budgets: 

At home: Those who are prepared will have sudden expenses covered by a portion of their budget, usually money set aside specifically for “incidentals.” Others may cover these expenses with their “rainy-day” fund. Either way, those who budget and save will be more likely to successfully navigate an unexpected expense without going into debt. The less prepared may end up having to charge the unexpected expense on credit cards, loans, or other high risk methods. 

In business: For most business situations, costs should be considered either fixed or variable. Much like your regularly budgeted personal expenses, fixed costs have to be paid regardless of your profitability each month. Variable costs, however, are where you should have a little more flexibility.

Implementing these budgeting money managing practices in both personal and business finances will help you thrive and prosper in all avenues of life. 

women and financial matters

Financial matters are women reluctant to talk about money?

A new study asserts that women feel uncomfortable discussing financial matters. Is it telling the whole story?

women and financial matters

The latest Money FIT Study from Fidelity Investments is generating some conversation within the financial industry. The investment giant commissioned an online poll of 1,542 female participants in its retirement plans, and 80 percent of the respondents indicated that talking about financial matters was “too personal” or “uncomfortable” for them, even if the other party was someone they knew closely.1,2

If this were 1965, this kind of response might seem reasonable … but in 2015?

Keep in mind that this was an online poll. The involved survey firm, Kelton, conducted it with the usual wide parameters. Responses were collected from both retired and working women. Respondents were aged 18 and up.2

 Two other key factoids from the study seem incongruous with this first one.

In the same online poll, 92 percent of the respondents said they wanted to learn more about financial planning within the next year. Additionally, 83 percent noted that they would like to take more control over their personal finances in the next 12 months. Accomplishing both objectives implies talking about money and personal finance issues.1

 Another positive: female baby boomers seem to have more financial literacy

Digging deeper into the study’s findings, 70 percent of the boomer women surveyed felt confident about retirement saving and making a retirement transition, compared to 54 percent of Gen X women and 62 percent of Gen Y women. Also, 63 percent of women in this demographic said they knew where to invest; just 48 percent of Gen X women and 60 percent of Gen Y women did.

Why do we see this disconnect in the data?

Women and money financial matters

Infographics showing women and money behaviors by Ellevate

If women want to learn more about money and/or possess reasonable financial knowledge, what accounts for their apparent reluctance to talk about financial matters with spouses, partners and friends? Is there a lack of confidence, a fear of seeming ill-informed? Is the topic just boring?

Perhaps the answer to the last two questions is “yes.” The poll asked how likely respondents would be to discuss certain issues with their spouses or partners, and while 78 percent said they would likely have conversations about health issues, just 65 percent said they would be likely to chat about investment ideas. Fidelity and Kelton also discovered that 65 percent of these workplace retirement plan participants aren’t drawing on financial or investment guidance offered as a complement to the plan. In fact, just 47 percent of these women indicated they would be confident discussing money and investments in the presence of a financial professional.

Finding the right professional to share concerns about financial matters

At the typical company, workers of both genders would rather head out for lunch than set aside a lunch hour for a meeting about “boring financial stuff.” Such a meeting, however, might help them see the big picture of what they need to do for retirement and might motivate them more than any website or article possibly could.

When financial professionals overcome that perception, employees awaken to the opportunity that a workplace retirement plan presents and see its value; the topics of saving and investing become much more compelling. When that perception remains in place, fewer employees ask for guidance and many effectively do not know where to start, and that may promote discomfort and awkwardness in chats about personal financial matters.

Women seem to invest capably whether they like talking about money or not

Fresh data from SigFig (formerly WikiInvest) bears this out. In analyzing 750,000 investment portfolios, SigFig found that the median 2014 net return for a woman investor was 4.7 percent. For men, it was 4.1 percent. SigFig also made an even more intriguing discovery: while women tend to invest more conservatively than men prior to age 55, after age 55 they actually allocate a higher percentage of their portfolios to equities than men do.1

The new Fidelity study is a conversation starter, but it might best be taken with a few grains of salt. Structure a multiple-choice survey question (and its answers) two or three different ways and you may get two or three different responses. Your individual response to the challenge of saving, investing and planning for retirement should be a confident one.

 

Aquiles Larrea Jr. AIF® may be reached at 212-390-8918 Option 1 or Aq@larreawealth.com.

www.larreawealth.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.