The 4 Components of a Restorative Money System

The purpose of your money system is to help you meet your financial needs and keep things organized. A good money system is financially and emotionally restorative. It helps you keep your money going where it needs to go, and it keeps you from stressing. It helps you integrate your personal and business finances seamlessly and without worry. There are many different mechanisms to a money system that help us achieve these objectives. Today, let’s talk about the 4 key ones:

A Spending Plan Aligned with Your Values

Having a clear spending plan that helps you align your expenses with what you care about most is an essential part of a restorative money system. Take the time to assess what you value most in your life, what feels best to spend money on. Oftentimes, there are things we’re paying for regularly that we don’t really value, or that don’t add value to our lives. Discerning the underlying desire beneath your expenses can help you better define your values. For more thoughts on this concept, I recommend reading
The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist.

Once you’ve assessed your values, it becomes easy to cull what doesn’t truly align with you from your spending. From there, you can make the moves to create a spending plan that will keep you on track financially, and in alignment emotionally.

Clear Income Target

Another wonderful thing about creating a spending plan is that going through the process means you get a good idea of what your monthly cost of living is. This means that you have what you need to create a clear income target for your business that corresponds to your tangible needs. Having an income target grounded in your financial needs and goals is a restorative element of your money system because it keeps you in touch with your reasons for putting in the work to take care of yourself financially and run your business. It’s much more powerful than the grand-but-vague “have a 10K month!” approach, because it’s personalized. Your income target reflects the amount of money you need and the amount of work you need to do to live a life aligned with your values.

Your Money Why

Absolutely key to a money system that seeks to restore and enrich your life, your money why is the purpose of your income. This is especially important for business owners, because whether your business is your side-hustle or your full-time income, your income needs a purpose. Vague goals like, “make extra money” tend to have vague outcomes. Your money why is a clear goal or intention you plan on using your income for. After thinking about your values and desires, identifying your money why is simple. For example, maybe you value adventure above all else, and you want your business to make enough to support you and pay for a grand cross-country trip. One of my values is family, and I started my business to support my daughters as they went through college.

Your money why is connected to your values, but it’s goal-based. It ensures that you have a goal connected to your money system that will lead to fulfillment and financial growth. It could be paying off debt, a big purchase, or supporting your family. Whatever it is, your money why keeps you focused and helps you create a good life for yourself.

All Needs Met – Especially Yours

A restorative money system helps you stay organized and save to meet needs – yours and your business’s. This means having a system that helps you save for taxes, pay operating expenses for your business, and pay periodic expenses in both your business and personal life. A restorative money system also prioritizes its creator – you. Your money system should not only account for those important expenses, it should also provide a regular paycheck for you as the owner of your business, even if you have fluctuating income. My ideas around this aspect of a money system are based on Profit First. This system also calls for a way to collect a portion of your income as profit, and distribute it to you, the owner, as a reward for your hard work every financial quarter.

If you enjoyed these ideas about a restorative money system, you will probably also like my series on money-mapping. Here’s part 1, part 2, and part 3 of that series. If setting up a system sounds like the thing to do right now, but you’d like to work with an expert accountability partner, check out my offering, 4 Week Refresh, which is designed to help business owners review 2020 and plan for 2021 from a systems perspective. I’m offering this through the end of January and I invite you to join me!

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Angela

How to Make Donating Money Way Easier On Your Finances

This time of year, many of us are thinking about giving. Traditionally, we come together to be thankful for our blessings and share generosity. While many aspects of the holiday season will look different this year, your giving doesn’t have to! I know many kind and generous people who wish to give money to organizations or causes they support, or simply other people in the community who are in need. However, sometimes being clear on how much you can really afford to donate is difficult.

To really clear this up, you need to develop a solid financial base for yourself. I’m talking about using a spending plan, a savings plan, and money mapping to really get clear on where your money is going. Let’s look at how each of these three tools can help you give way more easily:

Spending Plan

First, you need to know how much you’re spending and where it’s going. Take a walk through your income and expenses and figure out how much you’re saving, if you are saving. The point of developing a spending plan (also known by the less-fun-sounding-term “budget”) is to get clear on what your spending is like right now, and how it compares to your income. When you look at this, you can see what your spending priorities currently are, and you can start to think about that critically. Do you really want to eat takeout food every week, or would you rather be able to donate that $35 to a conservation campaign like Protect Juristac? Looking at your spending and weighing your priorities can make room for the giving you want to do. To develop a good spending plan, check out my article with ideas and strategies here.

Savings Plan

Saving money gives you serious options, whether you’re saving for an emergency fund or a big purchase. You can also decide to dedicate a portion of your savings directly to giving. Maybe, you decide to save 5% of your income every month and donate it to the COVID-19 Hopi Relief Fund at the end of the year. Whether the giving comes out of your savings or your spending plan, having both gives you a fuller picture of how you can spend, give, and save for your goals. You can read more about creating a savings plan for yourself here.

Money Mapping

Once you’ve got the spending and the saving figured out, you can put it all together into a money map! Money mapping is a visual tool for organizing your own money system. It’s super helpful for both your business and personal finances. I’ve talked about the how-to of money mapping quite a bit on this blog, so I won’t go into detail. I recommend reading my full series on money mapping, and especially How to Use Money Mapping to Give Back.  The big pro of money mapping is that you can visually parse out how you will allocate for giving money. Whether it’s coming out of your business finances, your monthly living expenses, or you’re saving a big sum, creating a money map helps you see that and stick to it.

Want to Give? Get Organized!

The bottom line here is that donating money from a solid financial base requires getting organized. You need to go over your financial priorities and see what kind of money you have to work with. From there, you can make an informed and generous decision about where to put your money, without putting yourself in dire financial straits. I hope you found this article helpful. Currently, I have a few openings in my practice for some personal finance coaching clients, so if you’d like to work closely on your personal finances and develop a giving plan with support, reach out to schedule a free consultation!

 

 

Happy giving!

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Angela

 

Don’t Let Your Taxes Sneak Up On You, Do This Instead

Taxes don’t come out of nowhere, yet somehow it’s easy for us as business owners to get caught unprepared. As both a bookkeeper and financial coach, I see this often, but it has a simple fix. This month I’m reviewing mistakes women told me they learned from early on in their solopreneur careers. Let’s unpack this one:

The Mistake

One woman I spoke with told me she regretted not setting aside money for taxes. Some women also told me they were initially surprised by the additional self employment tax. Clients often come to me after they’ve been hit with the tax bill. At this point, we have to pay off the tax debt and save for this year’s taxes. Doing both is tough, and can make a real financial mess for new business owners. 

The Solution

To solve this problem, I recommend two things. First, work with a tax preparer or bookkeeper who will help estimate a percentage to be held out for taxes. You can read more of my advice about working with a bookkeeper here. Putting money aside will help avoid that nasty surprise.  This can also be a precursor to implementing the Profit First system, which is designed to keep your business prepared to pay its expenses, and pay you a fair wage. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also read my article 5 Steps to Prepare for Tax Time. 

Although recovery from this type of situation needs to be thorough, it’s a chance to implement new and better systems and get your business organized. I hope you appreciated these insights, stay tuned for next week’s article!

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Angela