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allora handmade blog: oh, dear budget...

Monday, February 21, 2011

oh, dear budget...

Thank you to TurboTax for sponsoring my writing about household finances.Learn more about how TurboTax can help you find every tax deduction you deserve. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

can i be really honest?
HAAAATE the budget.
i know, you're supposed to looooove the budget... it gives you freedom, etc. etc.
but, am i being clear enough? me? budget? no likey.
i usually operate under the "if there bank account balance doesn't say $0, we're in good shape" philosophy. ok, maybe not that extreme, but i have never been good about "telling" my money where to go in advance. I usually tell it where to go when i'm in the middle of target and it's true.
i really wanted this year to be different though.
i've had the best of intentions.
i even got quickbooks for christmas.
here's the problem. i don't speak $$$.
i make it. i spend it.
i am still so nervous about getting down and dirty with the family budget.
owen loooooves money.

with allora, it's always been pretty easy. i couldn't spend more than i had! i have always had a supplies and shipping budget and thanks to the help of my asSIStant (ooh, that was clever!) i now have a strict ad budget and a strict giveaway budget to keep things under control. it only makes sense to be smart when running a cash operation.
recently i opened a savings account for allora handmade, and while at the bank the woman helping me "wanted me to meet her boss." i knew this was keyword for "let's-upsell-the-sweet-little-business-owner-while-we-have-her-cornered." i got a little nervous, because while i am good at many things, i was a little less than confident that i knew everything there was to know about how i was handling my business. as the boss-man sat down to talk to me he asked a series of questions:

are you able to make any profit from this business?
are you able to save some at the end of the month?
are you able to pay your taxes without dipping into personal funds?
are you in need of a line of credit to pay for some of your expenses?

and he went on and on...
by the end, he was shocked. a business? that was profitable? that didn't require MAJOR investment and could operate cash-only and STILL be able to put some money away?
he left a little tongue-tied.
seems i knew more than i gave myself credit.
and while i don't know it all (read: SO much to learn), i have figured out a thing or two to make it work for me. (pat on the back.)
but i know i have a long way to go.

what works for you? are you a strict budgeter? what tips do you have for me? 

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At February 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

I purchased YNAB (You Need A Budget) when Bloom was featuring it. It seems really simple. I've had it for a year and haven't touched it, but I'm going to soon. I am the same way -- getting started is a lot of work, and keeping it up is a lot of work. Then there are the Target receipts with clothes, grocery and miscellaneous all in one. See, thinking about that made my stomach queasy. I'll email you when I've tried YNAB. It is supposed to be fantastic.

At February 22, 2011 at 5:47 PM , Blogger Angie said...

When you get this figured out, I think you should blog about it, so the rest of us can know too. :)

At February 22, 2011 at 6:28 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

Congrats on the business side!

On the personal side, the thing that works the best for us (and we've been married 17 years), is to pay ALL of our bills (and put $ in savings) the DAY we get paid. Then I know how much money I have left until the next paycheck and I don't have to stress that I'm spending $ at Target that should be used for something else.

We used to have a super strict budget but it was so complicated to keep up with that we never did. The new plan is much easier to track on a monthly basis, because I don't really care if I have $100 (for example) if it goes to restaurants, or target or the kids... I just know it was ok to spend it.


At February 26, 2011 at 11:08 PM , Blogger brooke said...

Hey girlie, just catching up on the blog! You know I'm loving the cash budget right now! I never thought I'd be on board but it has changed my life! :)


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