Budgeting 101 – Part 1: How to get started and what you will need!


Over the course of this month I will be sharing a 3 part series to budgeting! This series will help you get started with your budget, what to include and some great tips to really help you either start budgeting for your business or do it in a more manageable way!

Part one starts today and we are going to start at the beginning – where do you start when you want to make a business budget?

First before you do anything else, I want you to take a deep breathe in and out because I know it can be a bit overwhelming to get started but I am so proud of you for taking this step and if you can start using a budget for your business, I promise you will start to feel less overwhelmed when you think about your numbers.

SO….deep breathe in and out please!

Then I want to share with you the 5 reasons I really think a budget is so important for your business.

  1. It will help you set and REACH financial goals
  2. It allows you to look for ways to even out the highs and lows in your finances
  3. It sheds light on bad spending habits
  4. It allows you to PLAN for future spending
  5. It will give you peace of mind!

Now that you know why you should really have a business budget I want to talk about a few programs you can use to help you along the way.

You can of course use an excel spreadsheet to make a budget in. You can list all your income in one place and then all your expenses together and make sure you have enough income to cover your expenses (next week I will talk more about the specifics you want to include in your budget so stay tuned for that).

If you want to use a program to help you with your business I suggest either:

  1. Wave Accounting (it’s free!):

Wave is a free cloud based accounting software which a lot of entrepreneurs LOVE!! I also have clients that use it and I used it in the past when I was first starting out. It is a fantastic basic option for small based businesses and online entrepreneurs just starting out. Wave also has an app that allows you to take pictures of your receipts. Wave also syncs with many bank accounts, allows you to send digital invoices and run basic reports. It isn’t quite as robust as Quickbooks Online – but if you are just starting out, or are a small business, this is the perfect choice!

  1. QuickBooks Online:

I use this software for my business right now and many of my clients also use this software for their accounting books. I love this software as you can manage your different categories easier. It also includes an app for taking pictures of your receipts and syncing it to the transaction in the accounting system. It has more syncing capabilities with various bank accounts as well as other apps which makes your monthly accounting less chaotic. I do suggest that if you want to set up your books in QuickBooks Online to have someone help you with it so that you know it is set up correctly.

Something else that will really help you with budgeting accurately is keeping your receipts! We often “guess-timate” what we spend but if we get in the habit of documenting our receipts we won’t have to guess anymore and it will make your budget balance a lot easier.

You can keep your paper receipts in a safe place and write on what the purchase was for (i.e. Office supplies, client meeting, etc.)

OR…if you want something more electronic I suggest the following 2 apps:

  1. Forecipt (FREE): I recommend this for a lot of my clients if they don’t like using the app with the accounting software or don’t currently use an accounting software. It syncs with Google Drive so you would have an additional back-up system for your business receipts. You can also export a list of your receipts to a PDF.
  2. Expensify (FREE): I have used this in the past and I recommend it to my clients. Expensify allows you to snap pictures of your receipts and add memos and notes. You can also mark the receipts as billable and reimbursable and send them to clients if needed. The awesome thing about Expensify that I love is that it is both and app and a website – so you can login on your computer and from your phone!

Take a look at these programs and apps and figure out what you think will work BEST for you and your business because when you budget it needs to work for YOU!

Check back next week when I will go into more details about the specific things you should include in your budget (there are a lot of things we often forget!) and I will talk about the importance of having separate accounts for your business and personal banking!

If you have any questions – leave them in the comments and I would be happy to answer them for you!