Sick of feeling out of control when it comes to money? Here’s how to change your financial story in 2024
Am I the only one here that thinks new year, new you is actually quite de-motivating?
New year, new you doesn’t recognise the work you’ve done to get yourself to this point in your life.
You started a business. And you show up for yourself Every. Damn. Day. putting in the graft in to make it work.
So how about: new year, same you, bigger goals, better focus?
What if you went into 2024 with the same energy, enthusiasm and tenacity – but you had habits and systems set up to make all your efforts pay off?
The things is, you might have hustled your arse off in 2023 and yet you’re:
- Still unsure whether your business is making money
- Not paying yourself at all or enough
We’ve helped many women at this point in their business journey. The lack of money confidence can cause you to:
- Bury your head in the sand and avoid
- Live in hope but burn yourself out – “eventually everything will fall into place, “it will all work out”.
- Avoid bank statements and emails from your accountant
- Avoid HMRC letters and leave them unopened
- Feel sick opening up your bank app
- Worry yourself sick about paying the bills
I don’t want you to be in that place. So, let’s see the new year as a turning point. Today is the day things change!
Take back control of your personal finances
In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear said: “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems”.
Our goals are a really important driving force. But if we’re focused on outcomes, without setting ourselves up with daily, weekly, monthly habits in pursuit of those outcomes, we won’t achieve them.
Step 1: Start tracking your finances
Track your spending for a good two months using an app, spreadsheet, or just jotting it down. Write down every single expense, whether it’s bills, subscriptions, paying off debts, or your everyday spending. This will show you where you can cut back and save some cash.
Once you know how you’re spending your money, it’s time to make a budget. Start with the regular stuff like rent or mortgage, loan payments, and insurance. Then add in the variable but important things like groceries, gas, and household stuff.
Check in on your spending regularly, and after the first two months, take a look at your budget monthly. Adjust the amounts in each category based on how you’re doing financially and what’s important to you right now. It might be a bit tough at first, but sticking with your budget is the key to getting control of your money.
Step 2: Look at ways to reduce your outgoings
- Unsubscribe from brand emails to reduce promotional temptation
- Set yourself a 30 day waiting period to avoid impulse buying on bigger items.
- Set aside cash in envelopes to curb spending.
- Pack lunch and snacks to avoid spending unnecessarily on food.
- Get creative with free activity ideas – hikes, picnics, free museums
- Consider cheaper providers for mobile, internet, TV packages.
- Buy second hand or participate in clothes swaps. Sites like Vinted are a great shout.
Do not beat yourself up for the occasional overspend. This is your budget – budget for the things you want to budget for.
See more personal finances tips in our recent guest blog on Money Talks: How women can plan for financial freedom.
Explore ways to increase your business income
Have you thought about adding or improving a service to grow your business income?
There are basically 5 key ways you can make more money in your business:
- Increase sales
- Improve gross profit margin
- Increase profit by reducing overheads
- Increase cashflow
- Improve your return on investment (ROI)
We run through these in the video below:
Set your business up with a strong financial routine
Like a workout routine, improving your financial fitness in 2024 is all about consistency. If you can get into a regular routine of small consistent habits, you will start to see positive changes in pursuit of your goals.
Choose a day of the week and block these out in your diary/calendar:
- Check in with what you owe and who owes you money. Chase up those who owe you! Make this an easier habit to adopt by setting yourself up some standardised emails you can send whenever someone is late in paying.
- Keep on top of your bookkeeping. Good bookkeeping records will give you the information you need to understand your business and make decisions. It will help you keep on track with your goals – how do you know how far you need to go if you don’t know where you are right now? We do daily bookkeeping, but we’d recommend you’re doing it yourself at least weekly.
*Here’s a really great guide to help you if you’re doing the bookkeeping yourself. It tells you when to do it, how much time it takes and things to look out for.
Choose a day at the end of the month (or start of the next one) and block this time out in your diary/calendar:
- Review profit and loss and dig into the numbers – preferably with your accountant! Paired with good bookkeeping, checking out your business reports regularly will enable you to plan for the future, see how to scale and when and will stop you from falling into any financial pitfalls.
- Review the month – what went well? what didn’t? what you need to do more of? and less off? Are you on track for hitting quarterly and yearly goals? If not, what needs adjusting? and of course
- Put aside your pennies for those tax bills – business & personal. I cannot stress how much you will thank yourself for putting aside any money you can for future tax bills. This significantly reduces the stress you feel when it comes to tax time. Here’s a helpful blog on how much to put away for your tax bill.
YEARLY HABITS (quarterly if you can)
Select some time at the end of the year (or start of the next one) and block this out in your diary/calendar:
- Revisit your budget annually – but review quarterly to ensure on track and not way off and therefore unachievable – or too easy!
- Check back in with your goals every year as a bare minimum – Bigger vision goals should be okay annually, but check in quarterly if things are moving quickly. Get into a better habit next year by splitting your yearly goals into quarterly goals and spend time every quarter reviewing the previous one.
*I created a workbook for our big dreamers who are joining our upcoming Money Confidence course in January. This workbook is designed to help you think about your goals and break them down into chunks. Today I’m giving that workbook away for free. Download your Dream Big, Plan Smart workbook here.
We’ve still got a few spaces left on the Money Confidence Course starting in January 2024.
The Money Confidence Course is for women who want to get serious about making a change to their financial situation. They’re sick of working hard and not seeing the results they dreamed of their business providing.
The course starts in January and provides 6 months of 1:1 mentoring with the Pink Pig team where we’ll take you through our step by step process to money confidence. These are the same steps I follow myself and have helped me get to where I am today! There are lots of bonus features: training on reporting, access to accounting advice, products and processes, goal planners and actions sheets.
Money confidence looks like:
- Being real familiar with your living costs and savings goals, having a clear picture of what your business needs to provide for your lifestyle.
- Being clear on any debts, and having a plan to pay these off.
- Knowing what’s going on within your business financially.
- Setting reasonable targets for sales and profit and having an action plan to hit them.
- Knowing you are actually making a profit and can pay yourself, or give yourself a pay rise!
- Feeling in control of your business, rather than it filling you with dread.
- Knowing when to ask for help, and having the confidence to do so.
If that’s something you want in 2024, talk to us about joining the cohort. You can find all the details and directions here: Explore the Money Confidence Course.