How to pay yourself constantly for creative solopreneur

Today let's address a question I hear quite often: How do I pay myself constantly? As a creative solopreneur who also happens to be an accountant.

So many of us creatives put paying ourselves last on the priority list. If you aren't paying yourself it's most likely because:

  • There are just way too many other things to do in your business.
  • You have no idea how to pay yourself
  • You don't think there's enough money to pay yourself

How exactly are you supposed to do that? Is there a right way or a wrong way? What are the rules?

Blueprint Paying Yourself 'FOR REAL'

I am going to help you understand how you get paid on a regular basis.

Before we start talking about how we pay ourselves, we need to better understand some terms you might hear.

What is Owner pay?

Owner pay is you as the business owner getting paid. It will take draws out of your business for personal use.

There are different terms based on your type of business entity.

OWNER DRAW -used by sole Proprietors

MEMBER DISTRIBUTION -used by LLC

SHAREHOLDER DISTRIBUTION- used by S Corps

Whatever, the name you hear it all means the same.

While your owner's pay is based on your net income it is not recommended to pay yourself all of your profits.

Do you remember the days when you got a paycheck constantly every two weeks for the same amount?

You can have the same constant pay with your business.

Let's start to calculate your owner pay

We start with the foundation of your business finances.

here are 3 Key Numbers you will need to know before you can answer any of your business's financial questions.

INCOME - EXPENSE- PROFIT

Those 3 numbers are what you need to know in order to pay yourself, how much you need to save for taxes, or how much you can invest back into your business. Those questions are answered through your income and expense tracking.

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Income and Expenses Tracking System

What is Income and Expense Tracking?

This is known as your bookkeeping.

Record of all your gross income (aka revenue).

Keep a record of all your expenses (aka tax deductions).

You are going to keep a record of what’s left (aka profit or net income).

What do we actually have to keep track of?

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The expenses that you categorize are your tax deductions.

How do we actually keep track?

  • Paper ledger or notebook
  • Spreadsheet
  • Digital Bookkeeping software aka Quickbooks Online (this is my favorite method)

TAKE ACTION!

Update your income and expense tracker, get it up to date.

But I have not touched my bookkeeping since January!

I understand you have been so busy building your business and helping your clients.

Option 1 is setting aside time one day to go through and update you records.

Option 2 outsource your bookkeeping. This is where I come in and I can help!

Average Monthly Net Income

This should be simple since you have just updated your bookkeeping records.

Go back to the last 3 months then take the average.

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Average Tax Savings

You will need to account for your Taxes because if you pay yourself all of your net income/profit, you will be really sad come tax time.

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You will need to account for your Taxes because if you pay yourself all of your net income/profit, you will be really sad come tax time.

Move the money into a tax-saving account and put a big note 'do not touch'.

Debt Payoff Plan

It is very common for new business owners to have debt. Debt can stop your cash flow because you have big payments to make while you are trying to sustain your business.

Make a list of your business debt and next pick the way you want to pay off your debt. There are a couple of options Avalanche Method you pay off the high interest first. 2nd option is Snowball Method you pay off the smallest amount first.

Which one you pick is up to you. What method resonates the most with you?

Make a payoff goal do you want to pay the debt off in 6, 12, or 18 months?

Remember paying off debt does not happen overnight.

Calculate your monthly debt payment.

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Checking Account Cushion

You want to have a cushion in your account for unexpected expenses or if a client does not pay you on time.

Decide how much you want your cushion goal to be 12 months from now. Many business owners do $1000 as their cushion amount.

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Business Savings

Investment Savings

This can be for a new computer, a course to take, or building a website. Make a list of everything you want to save for. Pick 1-2 items decide when do you want to purchase them?

Vacation & Sick Time

We don’t have paid vacation or sick time being self-employed. You need to start setting aside a little at a time. Start off with a small amount like $20 a month. You are worth investing in!

Retirement Savings

Start talking with a Financial Advisor to determine how much needs to be set aside each month for your future retirement.

Personal Lifestyle

Do you know how much you need to bring into live each month? you budget your personal finances that are great then you know how much you need to be paid to live each month. If not you should consider building a budget for your personal finances.

How much money do you need to have each month?

If you follow these steps you should come up with an owner pay schedule that actually works.  Don't forget to download Blueprint Paying Yourself 'For Real'.

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welcome

Hi friends! I'm Marinda and I help creatives understand and be organized in their business finances.

Are you ready to learn QuickBooks Online for your business?

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