Cash Budget Challenge Update: Taking My Business on Vacation

At the beginning of July 2014 I found myself with over $3,000 of credit card debt. This was due to business expenses that occurred throughout the past year (since quitting my full-time job), for things like a new blog design, paying a business coach and buying equipment for the business.

While all of these are great investments that will help a startup business succeed, I still have to deal with the aftermath of paying off the debt. So I went on a 60-day cash budget challenge. August 31st was the last day of the challenge, so it’s time to evaluate my results and how everything went.

Getting Back on Track

As you may know, midway through the challenge I encountered an issue with having to get my wisdom teeth pulled and it cost $1,645. Eeeeek! Thankfully, I was able to cashflow most of it while putting the rest on a credit card.

I’m proud to say that this past week I paid off the entire credit card balance. The incident with my teeth are now behind me and that $1,645 emergency is over — thank goodness!

Although it feels like I’m back to square one, without having made any other progress on my $3,300 debt bill, I keep reminding myself that I cashflowed all my expenses and didn’t add any more debt to the final total.

That was essentially the purpose behind going on the cash budget challenge — to get my spending habits under control and learn to live on a cash budget for my business. So for that reason, I feel like I passed the challenge with flying colors!

August’s Income and Expenses

I warred a bit with myself during this 60-day period because I wanted (read, needed) to take some time off from client work to push the reset button and enjoy the summer. The downside of this of course is bringing in less income, but I was able to phase out a few lower-paying clients and now have room for bigger and better projects.

I’m excited to announce that I’m a Neatologist Pro and brand ambassador for the Neat company, and will be writing monthly articles for their website. Additionally, I’m testing out their Neat products and will review them here on the blog soon.

Here’s how August’s income and expenses ended up, which you can compare to July’s budget during the halfway check-in.

aug 2014 income graph

Click the link to get access to the free Business Budget Template I created.

aug 2014 exp graph

Business income/expenses for August 2014, which only includes business transactions, not personal ones.

If you know of anyone who’s looking for a freelance writer or blog management/editing work, please forward them to my HIRE ME page. 🙂

Scenes from a Workcation

This month was quiet compared to the previous month, so I decided to take a last minute workcation trip to visit my husband’s parents in Denver, Colorado. I planned to work a couple hours every day, while taking time to see the family and enjoy the sights.

We had such a great time that we ended up staying 3 days longer than we originally planned. Even though it put me behind in my work schedule, it was totally worth it.

We had a blast, and the weather was so beautiful (compared to the scorching 100+ degrees here in Texas). Here are some scenes from our workcation trip.

My husband and I getting ready for a train ride tour in Cripple Creek. (I’m obsessed with trains.)
computer working
Taking time to get some work done at a local Barnes and Noble.
ryan and carrie
Hanging out with the in-laws and new baby cousin.
petting the horse
Spending time with one of my favorite animals — horses. I grew up on a ranch so I love these creatures.

Cash-Only Budget in the Future

Now that I’ve developed a habit of only using a business debit card and paying bills straight from my bank account, I plan on keeping this up indefinitely.

I thought I could embrace the idea that running a business the traditional way — with debt product and using loans to get it jumpstarted — was a smart idea. But this conventional moneyvice just doesn’t work for me, because it doesn’t help me reach the financial goals I have for my freelance business.

So I’ve decided to buck tradition and carve out my spending plan. If you want to join the rest of us to stay accountable for your own spending plan, you can join our Google community.

The past few months have been difficult since watching every penny that’s come in and gone out. I’ve stopped working with certain clients, cut ties with projects that were sucking the life out of me, and re-evaluated where my business is headed.

So far, I’m happy with the results and have some fun projects in the works. Not only that, I landed an awesome speaking opportunity at the FinCon Media Conference on September 17th, where I’ll be answering questions related to Freelancing and the Gig Economy.

So things are looking up and going on a cash budget challenge was one of the best experiments I’ve ever done!

How did your cash budget challenge go? Did you take time off for the summer? Head over to the group and share your progress.

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