Starting a Business While Being on a Debt-Free Journey

Have you ever made a huge money mistake? I have. And it’s not pretty.

After living with my mom in Casper, Wyoming last year - I absolutely needed to move out. She was moving to Houston, and I wasn’t about to spend my life in Casper Wyoming. SO… I took the money I had saved into the business that year - and I used it to move. (Mistake #1) Now, numbers are not my strong suit. People think I’m joking. I am certainly not. My little Robyn brain assumed that 5% each week/paycheck equaled the 20% you needed for taxes at the end of the month…….Mistake number 2 had been made.

Once I learned my grave and number-related mistake - THE YEAR WAS NEARLY OVER. I was in the hole with taxes, BIG time. I had a panic attack, and then I worked my butt off. I learned about business finances, I learned how to accurately track my money, and I promised to never let my business become a burden like that again.

I was NOT happy working from November until May of this year. At all. I had the goal in my mind of paying off those taxes. And I did. I was in the bubble bath trying to remain calm while sending them their money that I worked incredibly hard for, but I did it.

I’m writing this little blog post not only to try to catch up on my writing and reading skills that I’ve been neglecting, but to tell people how easy it is to make a mistake that will get you in the hole with your business. Don’t let something you love and love doing make you feel like a prisoner. That’s not the way life should be lived.

That being said, I wanted to share some of my favorite tools that I use to manage my finances, both personally and for my business.

  1. Dave Ramsey Podcast

    I am a huge supporter of Dave Ramsey and am currently on the path to financial freedom from my student loans with his program. Listening to his podcast while I am working gives me ideas for bettering my money management, as well as inspiring me to keep budgeting and planning my finances well.

  2. Quickbooks Self Employed + Turbo Tax

    Apparently I paid for Quickbooks for the whole year with my taxes last year. That’s a good thing though, I would have used it anyway! This software makes it easy for me to keep track of all of my personal VS. business expenses throughout the year, pay quarterly, and also see how much I am expected to earn throughout the whole year.

  3. Excel

    I know, it seems like a no-brainer. But I love keeping track of all of my expenses and budgets through Excel. I change it throughout the month depending on what all of my bills are since things like utilities always vary. I separate out what I spend for my business, and what i spend personally.

  4. A Budget Planner

    I recently purchased this planner on Amazon and I’m loving it! I use it in correlation with Excel so that I can have my expenses and budgets on hand if I am out and about.

That’s it. That’s literally all the things i use to stay on top of my finances. You don’t need anything fancy! Just keep it simple so that you don’t overwhelm yourself!

Some other quick tips:

  • Get rid of your credit card. The miles and rewards are not worth it. One slow month, and you’re in trouble.

  • Cut unnecessary expenses. I was spending around $30 a month for software I didn’t even use! You won’t know until you list it out.

  • Don’t outsource unless you need to. I know people always say to outsource, but don’t outsource if you’re not ready to, or if you’re not clear with how it works. It will only end up costing you more time and money if you’re not clear with your new teammate.