Much of the material available regarding personal finances is directed towards W-2 workers, or what we would consider a traditional “employee.” This makes sense, research from 2019 showed that roughly 72% of Americans are traditional employees.1 But, the other 28% of our working population has some specific financial planning needs as well. Today we want to touch on a few tips to help self-employed workers keep their financial house in order.
Self-employed individuals get fooled into thinking that because their business and personal finances are separate—they can be managed differently. In reality, the common principles that we teach our clients for managing their personal finances are just as appropriate to use in business management.
1. Effectively Manage Your Cash Flow.
When your household expenses are higher than your household income you have a recipe for disaster. The same logic applies to a business—you want to ensure that in the long run you maintain a positive cash flow. One entrepreneur we know says that many business owners are "dripping nickels" - spending a little here and a little there without realizing that it all adds up! Careful management of expenses and income helps you to keep your bills current and could allow you to pursue an expansion opportunity in the future.
2. Build Up Short-term Cash Reserves.
Similar to an emergency fund in your personal life, having a sum of cash set aside for emergencies can help your business through lean times and avoid headaches when your focus should be elsewhere. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the stress that an extended period of unusually low revenue could place on a business. While the pandemic was an unforeseeable event that affected nearly all businesses and may only (hopefully) happen once in a lifetime, every business has risks that threaten their success each and every day. Making sure you have cash reserves in place can help you get through those hardships as they come.
👉Read more about the Accounts you Need for a Solid Financial Foundation.
3. Plan for Retirement!
One major difference between a traditional employee and a self-employed individual would be the absence of employer-provided retirement plans that many companies offer. As a self-employed individual you are solely responsible for preparing for and funding your retirement. Luckily there are many solutions available to help self-employed individuals take care of this major responsibility. You may have heard of retirement accounts such as a Simple IRA, SEP, or Solo 401k. These are just some of the options available to entrepreneurs and they all have different features and uses. As true financial planners, the advisors with Creekmur Wealth Advisors can help you navigate the numerous options to settle on the best solution for your personal situation.
The same common-sense principles that will help you build a healthy financial life at home, can help you build a strong balance sheet in your business!
Owning and growing your own business can be rewarding for so many reasons. However, working for yourself has its own challenges and opportunities that many traditional employees may never experience. As always, we are here to walk through those considerations and make sure that your business is doing its job to help you accomplish your True Wealth goals.
Do you have other questions about retirement?
Text our team for answers at 309-925-2043!