You know that keeping track of your expenses is important, but when you’re in your first year of business, it’s not that high on your priority list. You may be wondering if there’s a way to easily track business expenses when you have a new business. There are so many other things to think about, like how you’re actually going to make money.
What if you don’t make any? Will it still matter? Well, YES it will!
I almost made the mistake of not keeping track of my expenses in the first year and I’m glad I didn’t. I had a great biz friend who kept reminding me how important it was until I made it a priority, and man was I happy when tax time came around.
That’s where this blog post comes in. You’re going to learn:
- Why you need to track your expenses even if you haven’t made any money yet
- How to handle your accounting in 20 minutes per week
- What to do when tax time comes around
Get The Business Expense Tracker in Google Spreadsheets – no opt-in necessary!
Here is the exact spreadsheet that I used for the first 2 years of my business. It works great when you’re just starting out and building your business instead of having to spend a lot of money on software or cloud accounting when your capital is low.
It includes 4 tabs for:
- CASH Tab – track money booked and banked
- EXPENSES Tab – track monthly expenses- cash out
- SUMMARY Tab – at-a-glance, Month over Month summary of your sales, cash in, and cash out
- START HERE Tab – to show you exactly how to put your numbers in and what it means
This spreadsheet is great for:
- Content/Course Creators
- Service-based Business Owners
Tracking Your Expenses In The First Year Even If You’re Not Making Money Yet
When I was just starting my business, I didn’t think tracking my expenses needed to be a priority. I was investing into my business and I hadn’t even launched it yet to start making money (a waste of time btw but that’s for another post).
I started my business in mid-September 2015, so I was only accounting for about 4 months of that year.
I thought, “If there’s no money coming in, what is there to track?”
Well, it turns out, there was plenty.
By having those expense accounted for when I did my taxes, I ended up getting a way bigger tax return than expected. You definitely want to claim your business expenses when you’re investing your own money that you’re probably getting from your 9-5.
Spend 20 Minutes A Week Tracking Your Expenses
When you get in the habit of tracking your expense (and income) every week, it will become and easy breezy tasks that you can knock out in 20 minutes. I’ve even broken down some ways to make this a cake walk.
- Set a day and time every week that you “do the numbers” and stick to it like an appointment with the IRS (that’s if you don’t want one IRL!)
- Keep all your receipts in one place so that you can get to them on your “Finance Day”
- Make it fun! It’s your money we’re talking about so, grab a glass of wine, play some of your favorite band and get it done
Making Tax Time Your B*tch!
It’s takes a little getting used to, but once to get in the weekly habit of using this spreadsheet you’re going to have so much fun with it! You’ll be able to make cool projections on what you want your income to be, see where you may be overspending and set even better, more extraordinary goals for yourself.
Remember: While you’re spending time and money building a brand that stands out from the rest, don’t leave this out.
And when tax season rolls around, you won’t have a worry in the world about what your money is lookin’ like.
Click here for the spreadsheet. It’s a ‘read only’ document, so be sure to make a copy of it, so you can use it.