"Your business exists so that you can make money to buy investments that also make you money. That is how wealthy people think."
- Donald Miller, Author of Building a Story Brand.
Money is a big topic and often one we shy away from for a number of stupid reasons. I think we should talk about it more.
The truth is that for quite some time in my adult life, I was lousy at saving. Which is weird because I was a star saver in my childhood. Remember those ASB Kashin money boxes, anyone? Or am I showing my age (ha!).
I could make excuses about how there just wasn't any money left to save after paying the rent, feeding the kids, and reinvesting into my growing bookkeeping business, and for sure it was definitely a bit tight at times.
But it turns out that the key is just to start, and to be consistent.
You will never have enough left over to invest unless you pay yourself first - even with small amounts - and to be consistent and regular about it.
To be clear, the phrase "pay yourself first" is about saving money, not spending money. You can read more about it here.
When I started regularly saving and investing, even in small amounts, my fortunes changed (pun intended) and I really, really wish I'd started earlier.
If this is something that you want to put more focus on this year then I suggest you set up an automatic payment for an amount that you can comfortably afford - even if it's small to start with - into a savings account. Gradually increase that amount by small increments over time.
Or you could look into setting up a Sharesies or Hatch account. They're fun and an easy access way to get into investing in shares. Sign up for their newsletters and start educating yourself.
Or Craigs Investment Partners have an account called MyStart that you can consistently pay into and they buy shares each month for you - you choose which ones with their advice.
Do you have Kiwisaver? If you're self-employed you can voluntarily contribute and if you put in the minimum contribution to get the maximum return from the government, you'll get a return on investment you're unlikely to get anywhere else.
None of this is me providing financial advice by the way. Just sayin'!! I'm starting a conversation but you need to do your own research and get your own advice.
How many of us were educated about this kind of thing at school? Not many, if any. (that last sentence just sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole looking for that Scribe video but there aren't any clean versions that I could find for you, sorry. You're singing that song now, aren't you?)
The thing is, unless we take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves about money, investing, finance, and business, then even as numbers people we may find that we aren't looking after our financial future.
We've been talking about money quite a bit lately in the From Bookkeeper to Business Owner Mastermind group. Our businesses are a vehicle with which we can enable and enhance a great life. And part of that means being fiscally responsible both in our business and in our personal lives.
The key is consistency, and to just start.
I give the same message about consistency in regards to paying yourself from your business.
Do you "take what's left" or "take whatever I need whenever you need"?"
It's important to feel that you're actually getting paid for all the hard work you're putting in, and it's also important that you know what the business can afford so that you don't take out too much and run into cashflow issues.
Same deal - work out what the business can afford to consistently pay you every week, whatever that number is (and it's OK to start low if you need to), and set up an automatic payment. You decide, and get advice if you need, whether that's through the PAYE system or as drawings, but whichever you choose, that's your pay.
You will then need to set yourself a personal budget so that you live within that number, of course.
As your business grows you will be able to increase that weekly amount again, and then again.
Soooo much to talk about on this topic! I could go on for hours. Getting the finances right, from knowing your own numbers, to getting your financial systems house in order, is such a crucial piece of your business puzzle.
Is money and finances something you want to put more focus on this year? I can't give you financial advice but I can help you with your business, including your business finances.
I hope that something in this email has prompted you to think differently about money.
Get in touch with me if you would like to talk more about money or if you want to find out more about my business coaching for bookkeepers Mastermind programme From Bookkeeper to Business Owner.
In the meantime, have an amazing day!
PPS: A few resources I recommend: