If you want to be rich, start a business, they say. If you want to experience freedom, become an entrepreneur, they say. If you want to enjoy unlimited earning potential, launching your own company is the way to go…so they say. Yet here you are with a small, fledgling startup that’s growing, but still not producing enough money for you to take home in the form of a monthly paycheck. And with bills to pay and food to buy, you aren’t sure how much longer you can keep going.
Of course, your business income will impact your personal finance management. There may be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, but you have to hold on long enough to reach the other end. Here are some practical ways you can keep your personal finances in order until a regular paycheck becomes something you can depend on for fiscal sustenance.
Develop A Detailed Budget
The first thing to do is come up with a detailed budget for your household. Detailed means you need to know what bills you have every month and how much cash is coming in every month. Every single dollar needs to be told where to go. From fixed expenses like housing and health insurance to variable ones like groceries and entertainment, there needs to be a dollar-by-dollar breakdown.
There are plenty of budgeting tools available online or in app form. Do some research and find one that fits your fancy. You can download one of the best free options (it can be connected to your bank account for a small charge), while there are mobile apps that are also pretty popular.
Reassess Your Needs
The first time you develop a budget, you may find that you’re actually spending more than you’re bringing in. Clearly this is problematic, but it doesn’t have to be. In order to balance your budget, you simply need to adjust your expectations and learn the difference between needs and wants.
A need is something you must have in order to survive. A want is something you’d like to have, but can do without. Very few things fall into the need category. There’s food, shelter, basic clothing, and healthcare essentials for healthy living. Everything else is essentially a want. At the current stage of life you’re in, you’ll realize that many of your wants aren’t feasible. Just remember, this is temporary and that sacrifices made now will lead to greater financial stability in the future.
Get An Emergency Loan
Occasionally, you’ll run into an emergency expense that really sets you back. If you don’t have enough money to pay for these expenses, it’s easy to get stuck in an even worse place than you already are. To cover something like a home or auto repair, medical bill, or sudden expense, you can get an emergency loan. Emergency loans typically come in the form of installment loans, which are paid back with a fixed number of equal payments over a period of time. But because of their flexibility and speed, they come in very handy.
Find A Side Job
If you don’t have any money coming in from your startup, you’ll have to find some source of income to help you survive. In this regard, a side job will serve you well. In fact, there are many entrepreneurs that have started their own business while holding down a full time job. At the minimum, your part time job can give you some income to provide for your family. While you might have to work a bit harder, you can still have income and make your startup a success.
Develop A Plan of Attack
Time is of the essence. Develop a rigid and detailed plan for your personal finances. Otherwise, you’ll have to pull out of your growing business venture prematurely. Start with a budget, find some extra income, and get your startup moving in the right direction. If you are tracking the right KPIs for business performance, you can turn a profit. It may take time, but this is a recipe for success. As your startup begins to turn positive cash flow, you can grow the business accordingly.