Budgeting For Upcoming Expenses

Having enough money in the bank to pay your business expenses is pretty basic unless you enjoy bankruptcy.

Last week I wrote about how I handle retainers and I mentioned that I don't take money out of the bank until the cakes are delivered. Once they're delivered, though, I don't trot on over to the bank and transfer the money over to my personal fund.

In order to pay bills that are going to come due, you need to know what's due at what time of the year. I know the basics like estimated taxes, advertising that renews annually, and professional association dues are due at a certain time each year, so I generally add those amounts up and make sure that much is in the bank a month or so before those fees are due.

That's IN ADDITION to the retainers that are on the books.

So let's say that I have 50 retainers of $100 each in the bank, and I know that I have a $900 ad that renews in November. I'll make sure that when I take out my salary and profits from the business account in October I still leave at least $5900 in the bank. That way I don't have to worry about having the cash on hand to pay my bills, or with the drop-dead scenario, to refund any money to clients that I'd need to refund.

You can ALWAYS figure out what your recurring expenses are going to be and plan for them. There should really be no reason that you should be surprised when you get hit with a bill that you get each year.

Things like ordering supplies has to be taken into account also. If I know that I pay for $1000 worth of supplies every month, you need to make sure that you have that to pay your bills. So add another $1000 or whatever it is that you have for expenses to the total that you need to keep in the bank,

If you do that and you still don't feel like you're taking enough money out of the business to justify the amount of time you put into it, you can either cut expenses, work more, or raise your prices. That's totally up to you.

But it doesn't "behoove" anyone (to use a snotty word) to take more out of the bank than you've actually made. If you're dipping into the money that should be earmarked for expenses it will come back to bite you in the butt.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com