Do you have a budget? We’ve been surprised by how much variance there is among the city’s most successful entrepreneurs and artists and creatives. Some budget, some don’t. Some track every penny, others are less rigorous. We’ve shared some thoughtful responses from the community below.

Kerrin Pogozelski | Owner, Designer, Bag-Builder- BuxieJo Bags

The matter of money significantly affects my growth and decisions when it comes to business. When I went full time as an owner what that meant to me was that my business was now responsible for not only paying for itself, but also paying me. As a mom, I have a lot of responsibility in keeping the wheels turning, but also being a role model for following your dreams. Our kids are always watching. So the rule of thumb for me is to have fun, but also be accountable for your future. BuxieJo has never had debt, we’ve also mindfully kept overhead at a minimum. I don’t have a brick and mortar because it allows me to invest in materials and marketing differently. By being able to maintain quality over quantity, being available to travel to special events where I can be closer to new admirers, and one thing that I took for granted until 2020, being able to PIVOT quickly! Read more>>

Ashley Vanley | Portrait & Wedding Photographer

When starting my business I’m proud to say I never went into debt. I slowly paid for equipment as I booked jobs. My husband and I personally save and live below what we make. We have no car payments and we are completely debt free. It is nice to have a good savings and not having to worry about money. We love Dave Ramsey and recommend listening to him for anyone who is trying to be financially free! Read more>>

Jenn Uhen | Founder, The Pledgettes, a community for women to talk about money

Having a budget is similar to being on a diet. It can feel restrictive and can set you up for failure. Then, if you fail, you may quit. I focus on my Net Worth Tracker, which I update monthly. This helps me look at big buckets of money and see how my investments are performing. For example, it may be a good investment for me to purchase a house and rent it out. A budget might just look at additional expense of a mortgage, maintenance, insurance, and taxes…without considering the rental income and the property value increase. I am also an advocate for making sure you are values-aligned with your money (spending, banking, and investing). To keep myself in check, I’ll go through recent credit card statements and make a checkmark next to anything that doesn’t align to my values. Read more>>

Alli Kennedy | Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer

I was blessed to have parents who sat down with me and taught me the importance of financial stability and budgeting from the time I had my first job at 15 years old. I have a spreadsheet with all of my expenses and budgeting that I reconcile with my bank accounts at least once a week. Within the spreadsheet, I budget for living, equipment, expenses, client gifts, taxes–everything that I need to make my business successful. However, that doesn’t come without room for entertainment spending. I love to travel, so I save up for trips and try to use my credit card as little as possible. Being fiscally responsible gives me pride in my business because I can see that I’m actually continually profiting as a business and not just recklessly spending my way to success. I’ve learned that I should be able to work well with the little equipment I began with, which teaches you to really know your craft. Read more>>