Money is a trigger word for many people. So much emotion is tied up around this subject!
Childhood experiences with money can effect our relationship with it when we are adults.
Money means safety for me.
I clearly remember being 11 and at home with my mum in our lounge room. My Dad was away, as he was a truck driver, who owned his own truck and wasn’t home a lot.
The phone rang and it was Dad. I didnt pay much attention until I heard Mum say “What do you mean the truck has broken down and needs a new motor? That’s $40,000! We dont have that money! What are we going to do?”
In that moment, I got scared. Why was Mum so upset?
What would we do if we didnt have the money and Dad couldn’t work because the truck wouldn’t go?
Would we lose our house? Would we be homeless?
Big thoughts for an 11 year old I know, and it all worked out ok.
I’m sure there was financial stress for my parents, but I didn’t see that. We kept our house, the truck got a new motor and life went on.
But it did imprint on me that it can be scary if you don’t have money.
I think it is also why I am a buffer girl. I like to have contingencies and buffers in place, because you never know what is coming and you need to be prepared, with backups and options.
So when we run our business now, I am still a buffer girl when it comes to money.
I need to know that we have the money to pay our bills and cover our responsibilities, or I stress.
I have set up 4 accounts for our business that I use each week to move money into different pots or buffers.
It means we are covered when bills come and when the unexpected hits.
Here is what I do. My 4 accounts are:
All our takings go into our trading account. I then move money out of it each week this way:
Wages – when we do wages weekly, the main wages (the net portion our staff receive) is paid out of our trading account to our staff.
We move the PAYG (tax portion the Australian government needs us to keep and pay to them) and the Superannuation (mandatory contribution that employers have to pay employees in an account they can’t touch) amounts accrued each week across to the tax account.
This is not our money. It is the Government’s on behalf of the staff, and the government comes down hard on employers who don’t put their staff’s contributions aside. I don’t want the stress of dealing with the ATO (Australian Tax Office), so we make sure this gets done.
So when the PAYG and Super is due to be paid out, it is sitting in the tax account we don’t touch and we can easily pay those bills.
Buffer account – each week we transfer 10% of our net takings across into this account. It is our way of paying ourselves first, on top of our wages. Having this money here means we can do draws for ourselves if we want to. We have also used it to buy new equipment with cash, saving us having to finance something and pay interest.
It also leans out our trading account and when you have to pay bills with not a lot of money, it can make you make sure that you are keeping costs down.
Once wages are paid, we also do a number of set transfers each week to cover big upcoming expenses.
Here’s how we have worked it out:
We have taken the amount something costs us, like our Power bill, added say 10% to allow for increases and divided that by 52 to get a weekly amount.
For example, our power bill is generally $2400 per month x 12 = $28,800 per year. Add 10% to that in case of an increase, and that’s $31680. Divide by 52 weeks = $609 that needs to be put aside for power every week. To be extra safe, we chose $700 per week.
We then set up reoccurring transfer for the $700 from our trading account to our tax account and we then pay our power bill from there. The first bill might be a bit short when you first set this up, but you can take some $ from your buffer account to cover it.
Here are the weekly transfers we do:
Workcover – we get a 5% discount when we pay this in full, so it’s good to have the money on hand.
Business Tax Provision
Staff Holiday & Sick accrual – this goes into the holiday account.
10% of net sales – this goes into our buffer account. We are essentially operating the business on 90% of turnover.
These transfers are automatic and we just recalculate them from time to time, to make sure that we are moving enough across. With inflation being an issue at the moment and things like interest rates and utilities going up, we’d check this each quarter or so.
So by doing these transfers, the big guys who can make our life difficult if we don’t do the right thing –
the ATO, the Bank, the Fair Work Commission, our Landlord, the Power Company –
are all taken care of and we have money in the bank for us.
There are times for sure, when cash-flow in our trading account can be tight, as we are moving so much money out of it. But as scary as it can get sometimes, it is good.
All the money we move isn’t ours anyway, except for the buffer account.
By making sure that money isn’t there, we can’t overspend it. It makes us look at our wages and our expenses each week and bring them back in line if we are having a leaner week.
By doing this, I feel a sense of control over our money. Using these transfers I don’t get scared when big bills come in, because we have the money aside.
It feels easy, less stressful and I feel a sense of control.
Do you want control in your business finances too?
We go over this stuff, and how to get more money to pay for help, like a bookkeeper, in your business in our upcoming 3 day Parent Boss Life Challenge.
We get you set up with systems like this to make your life smoother, easier and less stressed.
So you have time for more fun and connection with your loved ones.
We start soon, so click this link here to register and get less stressed about money now!
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