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The MAP’s Guide for Creatives -Budgeting Series - Part 1

If you earn a consistent salary, budgeting might seem straightforward. But for self-employed creatives with fluctuating income, it can be challenging. This guide is designed to help everyone, especially those who face constant change. (Change? What do you mean change? Life is always the same! #MeltingFaceEmoji)

Imagine your Budget as a living being

As my friend Virginie says in our Podcast Episode, "Your budget is pretty much alive!"

Regular budget adjustments are crucial. Like personal health, finances require constant care and adaptation. The best way to adjust my budget is to constantly take care of it. I see it as myself: I am constantly changing, my health is constantly changing, my goals are constantly changing, and I adjust to the changes by modifying my actions and behaviours accordingly. If not, I die! #kidding.

Think about it like this: “lf I’m sick, I won't be able to make any money at all” so I have to take care of myself. Same thing applies to your finances, both personally and for your business. If you can’t see it like that for yourself, think about how you do that for others that you care about.

Movement: Money Simplified

Money comes in, money goes out, and ideally, money is left over. Imagine food coming in, going out and nutrients being left over. Or you can also think of it as a board game—be strategic with your moves to get the best outcome, in this case the best outcome is where strategic moves can help you get the most out of your money.

Many times I see practical finance behaviours as similar to a weight loss diet; it only works when you are consistent. For it to work, we make the choice to stick to it or not, but ultimately it is our choice.

This applies to any habit in life; we have to practice to excel and see results. This is one of the challenging steps, but you know what? The good news is that we’ve all seen people succeed when they stay on track with their choices. Part of my money coaching practice is to help my clients stay on the right path for them, especially when it is challenging.

So, what I’ve seen can be one of the most challenging steps is Tracking Expenses. Keeping a record of all expenses is simple with modern apps, including banking apps. Despite their user-friendliness, we often lose interest because they're not our joy's focus, especially when funds are low. However, the main benefit of this practice is IDENTIFYING what we value.

The What, Why, and How

For me, I’ve realized how much I care about GOOD food. The truth is I can splurge on this almost too often. A lot of my money goes to either getting the food I want to cook at home or enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant. I saw this expense both in my personal life and in my business: this is how I tend to meet with mentors, collaborators and references.

I also noticed how this expense fluctuated based on how I felt. I order food delivery more when I'm not feeling great. After identifying WHAT and WHY, I realized that about 80% of my spending is on my credit card and 20% from my checking account. This last one is the HOW. Recognizing these patterns (the What, Why and How) helps me manage my finances better.

Sometimes, the word "budget" feels restrictive and intimidating, so I treat it like giving myself an allowance for the things that are important to me.

Budgeting Doesn’t have to be Restrictive

I view budgeting as giving myself an allowance for the things that are important to me. Knowing a big expense is food and outings made me realize the importance of budgeting for it.

Sometimes, the word "budget" feels restrictive and intimidating, so I treat it like giving myself an allowance for food and outings. Without this, I feel restricted, leading to frustration, anxiety, and stress. My Tyrant Money Archetype emerges, pressuring me with thoughts like, "How could you be so irresponsible?" (Yes, I can be hard on myself, which is why I regularly meet with my Money Coach.)

This approach prevents feelings of restriction and the resulting stress and anxiety, which to me translates into "A Taste of Freedom". So, if I overspend, I remind myself:

  1. I'm doing my best right now.

  2. Overspending doesn't have to be the norm. I can adjust my budget as needed. Budgets should be flexible, or as my friend Virginie says in our Podcast Episode, "Budgets are pretty much alive."

  3. I have the capacity to fix this, and if not, I can seek help or research solutions.

  1. If this significantly affects my regular expenses, I ask myself: How can I help myself? What are some ways to sort this out? For example, I might contact my bank for a payment extension. *This is a Resourceful Warrior Money Archetype!

  1. Regular budget adjustments are crucial. Like personal health, finances require constant care and adaptation.

In conclusion, by viewing your budget as a living, flexible tool, you can navigate financial changes with less stress and more confidence. 

Join The Money Awareness Community: Subscribe to our mailing list for FREE Money Empowerment Tools.

By the way, I’m in the process of creating a budget template for The MAP’s community exclusive Money Empowerment Tools.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 on The Budgeting Series!!!


For more insights on budgeting and work-life balance, listen to "TMAP | The Money Awareness Podcast's" episode: 

"From Pressured to Level-headed/Empowered: A Conversation with Virginie Lavallée."

In this episode, I sit down with Virginie, a seasoned animation producer and co-founder of The Happy Producers. We discuss the importance of work-life balance, managing stress in creative fields, and how to transform pressure into a feeling of empowerment. Virginie shares her journey and offers practical tips on maintaining well-being while achieving professional success. I hope this episode will help your  journey to  prosperity by making one creative decision at a time. 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The importance of a healthy work-life balance and how we can be the master and main architect of it

  • The significance of setting boundaries and prioritizing personal well-being

  • Tips of effective scheduling and budgeting in creative projects, emphasizing flexibility and adaptability 

  • The necessity of clear communication and data centric discussion to reduce stress 

How are these related to your Money Journey? Learn more by Booking a FREE Discovery Call or visiting our website for more.

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