Talking (GULP) Finances
I get a lot of financial-related questions about house flipping, and every time I get a question regarding budget, I want to run and hide. Why? Because I'm the WORST AT BUDGETS. And I don't feel qualified to answer in a way that would be actually helpful. (Maybe someday!) I guess you could say my financial personality type combo is a Spender / Flyer (Spenders are self-explanatory but I've heard that Flyers kinda just don't care about money at all - we are happy when we're poor and happy when we're doing well, it's not a big issue for us). Unfortunately, this is not great news when you're running your own business, let alone taking on large projects (such as real estate renovation and investing). Josh is very much my opposite, so I'm pretty sure my lack of responsibility and remembering things is not his favorite thing about me. (Sorry, deary). And as much as I want to rely on him to keep us in line, I'm a grown woman, and it's not really fair of me to lay that burden on him while I get to do all the fun stuff like planning, designing, and staging. Right?
Our budget for the last house was scribbled on some note papers and the end result was a folder stuffed with receipts. We were determined to start this house budget organized from the beginning. Josh put me in charge of managing the whole Cuter Tudor house so this is my own project home, but it's also my budget... my budget to manage.... gulp. On TOP of our personal finances! Pretty daunting task for someone like me who doesn't naturally stay organized.
We partnered with Mint (it's a FREE app!) on this post because I desperately needed something to help keep track of my budget, my savings for staging supplies, and remind me of when I need to pay my bills (it reminds me ahead of time and I'm able to pay them from my phone!). It lays everything out for you, so you can see at a glance how much you are bringing in versus how much your bills are adding up to be. This might seem like a no-brainer for those of you who have regular jobs that pay the same every two weeks with a steady income, but as our income varies greatly from month-to-month being self-employed, this is extremely helpful. I'm able to use the app to set savings goals (like saving for our next house!) and I can check it easily to make sure I can afford little pieces for staging (how's your cow skull game? Mine's just okay. JUST KIDDING MY COW SKULL GAME IS VERY STRONG).
And because our bills and income are organized, and our financial goals are set, I don't have that sinking feeling whenever we get a bill in the mail anymore. Oh! And get this - once we synced up our Mint app to our bank account, it sent us a friendly little email that let us know we were paying nearly TRIPLE what the average user pays for car insurance. So we are on the hunt for a lower rate to save some money! All of this gives me a little more time to relax and take a nice drywall dust bath.
If you relate to my fabulous disorganizational skills / fear of bills then I highly recommend giving Mint a try. It's great to have your ducks in a row so you can focus on fun things like cow skulls and staging decor (and buying things is a LOT more fun if you have the budget already set aside for it!). Did you set any financial goals this year? What are you saving for - do you feel like you need a little help getting a savings plan going?
I partnered with Mint for this post, but all opinions and cow skulls are my own. ;)
Photographs by the talented Constance Higley and Josh Rhodes. Photos edited with actions from the Clean + Modern Photoshop action pack from A Beautiful Mess.