You’ve finally achieved your dream of opening up your own business, and you want to develop better money habits.
You’re in need of some personal finance tips that will allow you to better plan for your financial future and come up with more ways to fund your company.
From helping you to increase your chances of getting a loan to making sure you understand how to plan for taxes, this article is here to tell you what you need to know.
Follow these finance basics to keep both your personal and business finances in excellent standing.
1. Develop a Strict Personal Budget
First up on our list of the top personal finance tips?
Now is the time to get serious about creating — and sticking to — a personal budget. First of all, it’s excellent practice for your business.
Especially if you’re planning on making a personal investment in your business, it will help you to save a higher amount in a shorter amount of time than you might expect.
Take a look at your past bank statements. You might be surprised by what you’re spending your money on — and how even a few sacrifices could help you to do more for your business.
2. Keep Investments Liquid at the Start
One of the most important financial basics is to keep your investments as liquid as is possible.
Especially if you’re running a new business, the odds are good that you’ll run into a financial emergency at some point.
You may need to sell off some of your investments in order to have money to cover your company’s basic operating expenses. For now, avoid investments that require you to be locked into them for a long period of time in order to see gains.
Talk to your financial advisor about keeping your portfolio liquid instead. You can always make more long-term investments in the future, when your company’s finances are more stable.
3. Get Smart About Loans
It’s also a smart move to start doing some serious research on loan opportunities available to you.
Figure out which business loans have the lowest interest rates, the longest repayment periods, and the smallest application fees. Determine what the best loan terms are for both yourself and your business.
Decide if taking out a personal loan is the best option for funding your company, or if you want to work with individual investors. Now is also the time to start dreaming up a business plan.
This isn’t just helpful for investors. It also helps to keep you accountable, and serves as a kind of road map for your company’s future.
4. Keep an Eye out for Tax Breaks
No one enjoys having to fork over a large portion of their earnings to the IRS every year.
However, the good news is that, as a business owner, you may be entitled to certain tax breaks.
For best results, you should always make an appointment with a tax consultant.
They’ll help to introduce you to potential tax breaks you might never have found out about on your own. Additionally, you’ll have a better understanding of what you should expect to pay when tax season comes around.
This is a huge help when it comes to financial planning — and ensures you stay out of trouble with the IRS, too.
5. Diversify Your Investment Portfolio
Earlier in this article, we spoke about the importance of keeping your investment portfolio as liquid as possible.
But it’s just as important to ensure that your stock and bond portfolio is diverse. It’s never a good idea to put all of your investing eggs in one basket (yes, even if it seems like the deal of a lifetime.)
If that investment turns out to be a dud, then where will you be able to find the cash to make up for a major loss? Will you be forced to close your doors or let some of your employees go as a result of a bad investment?
Instead, invest small amounts in lots of different funds. Remember the golden rule of investing for both your personal and business portfolios. Never invest more than you can truly afford to lose.
6. Know Your Credit Score
of people say that they have absolutely no idea what their current credit score is.
One of the most important personal finance basics is making sure that you do.
First of all, if your credit score is less than ideal, the sooner you start taking steps to repair it, the better. Remember that a poor credit score will also impact your business — especially when it comes to your ability to take out loans.
Now is the time to start proving to lenders that you’re capable of paying back the money you borrow. You might even consider taking out a small loan you know you can pay back quickly to give your credit score a quick boost.
7. Learn from the Pros
Warren Buffet. Elon Musk. Even your personal financial advisor or favorite finance and economy website.
If you want to develop better money habits, you should learn from those who have already done it. Think about someone whose financial habits you admire, and read interviews and books they’ve written.
Even if you don’t exactly have their level of capital, you can still follow their advice on a micro level.
In addition to learning from the best, it’s also a smart idea to closely follow the market. Not only will this give you better investing ideas. You might even pick up a few tips and tricks on how to better manage your company’s finances, too.
Of course, we think continuing to check back with our website for additional financial advice is a pretty good idea, too.
8. Start an Emergency Fund
About 50% of Americans say that they’re only one emergency expense away from financial ruin.
Even if things aren’t quite this dire on your end, the truth is that, especially if you’re starting a new business, you need to have an emergency fund.
This way, whether you encounter an unexpected business or personal expense (and you will) you won’t have to make serious sacrifices.
We suggest that you build up an emergency fund that’s equal to roughly one month of your business’s total operating expenses.
9. Start Your Retirement Planning Early
Close to 70% of Americans say they think there’s a real chance that they’ll end up outliving their retirement savings.
The truth is that there’s no such thing as “too early” when it comes to planning for your retirement.
We understand that it can be seriously tempting to dip into your retirement fund when things get tough. (That’s one of the reasons we suggested building up that emergency fund above.)
Do your research and sit down with a financial advisor to figure out which sort of retirement account is most suited to your needs. Even if it’s only a small percentage, put something from every paycheck you receive into that retirement fund.
Trust us when we tell you, you’ll be glad you did.
10. Don’t Mingle Personal and Business Finances
The final entry on our list of the top personal finance tips?
Never co-mingle personal and business finances.
First of all, depending on the structure of your business, this could get you into some serious legal trouble. Additionally, it could lead to some major headaches once tax season rolls around.
Finally, remember that separating personal and business finances adds legitimacy to your company.
You want to show that it’s able to run on its own profits — not because of a quarterly saving grace payment from your checking account. Even if, as is often the case, you need to use some of your personal money to make ends meet when your business first opens?
Make it a goal to separate your finances as soon as is possible.
Follow These Personal Finance Tips for Success
As a new business owner, we know that it can be a major challenge to keep your finances organized and in good standing.
The sooner you’re able to start putting these personal finance tips into practice, the better off you’ll be. Remember that one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is to keep learning as much as you can.
That’s where we come in.
Whether you need advice when it comes to surviving a tax audit, applying for a business loan, or anything else about financing your company, we’ve got you covered.
Bookmark our resources center and keep coming back for more tips and tricks you can’t afford to miss.