Checkout 51 Home
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won't cost you any extra money, they will provide me with a little extra latte money!  Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!


Being a creative entrepreneur can be an incredibly time consuming undertaking. We spend many hours creating a product or service and building a brand, all so we can get paid and work for ourselves. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the process, we sweep something as simple as money under the rug. Are you guilty of this?



I recently watched “Make More Money and Discover Your Worth” on Creative Live. If you have a chance to purchase this lesson or catch it when it is on air for free, I highly recommend it. Amazing glamour portrait photographer Sue Bryce and money guru Tiffany Angeles teach you about money blocks, and how to give and receive money in your life. I guarantee you have a block or two, and you don’t even know it.

Below are five money lessons that I think are important as creative professionals.


Budget – As a creative entrepreneur, it is so important to have a realistic budget. You don’t have a recurring paycheck to pay bills, so you have to learn to live within your means. One month you can be rolling in the dough, and the next there isn’t anything come in.

I have been using the “budget to zero” plan, and it has been perfect. Budgeting to zero means you give every dollar a job. Every last penny. Even if that job is “carryover to next month” you assign every dollar to do something. A great program for this is You Need A Budget (YNAB, for short). YNAB is amazing. First, they start you off with a 34 day trial. This gives you plenty of time to truly get familiar with the software and try it out. After that, its $5 a month. That’s one latte, people. It’s worth it. Here you can watch the how to video.

This has been so great, because once I have spent the money in my budget for each item, I’m done. Oh no, you spent $20 out of your $20 budget on coffee this month? Looks like you are making your own until next month!

Make sure you are realistic. Enter all your monthly bills first, and assign your dollars to them. Then if there is something leftover, give it a job. Your dollars are dying for a job! If it’s spoken for, you won’t use it carelessly.



Don’t Chase Money – When you chase money, it runs away. You can decide, “OK, this month I just need $2000 to cover my bills” and think that’s enough. It’s not! You need to factor in what YOU are actually going to pay yourself. They say that realistically you end up with 20% of whatever your business makes. 20% people! But, it makes sense. There is the tax man (more on that below), the bill people, the business expenses, the things you need to pay for yourself since you don’t have an employer to do this for you (health insurance, retirement accounts, etc). If you choose to chase an amount of money, you are going to push it away. Decide what you want to make that month. Then, decide what you are worth and calculate how many clients it will take to get to that number. It’s less daunting to say “I need 10 clients this month” then to say “I need $10,000.”


Don’t Avoid Money (or your responsibilities) – Do not avoid money, or it will bite you in the end. If you owe money for expenses, you need to pay your bills. If you are making money, then you need to pay taxes. And it’s simple. Once you get paid, calculate your tax that would be do and move that money aside. It’s not your money, so move it immediately. The IRS is not going away anytime soon, so get to them before they get to you. Otherwise when its time to pay your taxes, and all you have left in your savings is enough to pay your tax bill you are going to be standing there saying “Well, where is my money?”

And at the same time, don’t avoid asking for money! You did a service, or provided a product – you deserve to get paid. There is no shame in asking for money when it is owed to you. Don’t block yourself from something you are entitled to.


Money Honesty – Find someone to be honest with about money. Because people lie about money. Trust me, in the past I was a huge liar about my money. I covered it up, and made excuses and never had an honest conversation with anyone about my money issues. I needed to have that honest conversation with someone and say hey – I am making some good money, but I have nothing at the end of the day. Where is it going? What am I doing wrong?

These days I am filled with joy managing my money. I get a slight thrill seeing money come in, money going out and money staying put. I have chosen not to lie, I now post my side income online every month. You guys are my accountability. You get to see my trials and tribulations. When you put it out there with someone, you are more likely to make the right decisions.


Get Creative – “You are a creative. Get creative with income.” Diversify it. As a self employed person, you need to think about having a few income streams. Some people offer a service, why not thing of a product to go along with it? Some people offer products, think about maybe investing some of your income as well? And speaking of investment, after you have paid the bills, and set aside money for savings don’t be afraid to take some of your leftover money and invest in you. Invest in your business. Educate yourself even more about your trade or niche, because most services are constantly growing.

I am sure there are so many more lessons we can learn about being a creative entrepreneur but this is a good easy start! Don’t forget, value yourself and your service or product. Own it, and show people that you believe in what you do or sell. And watch the dollars come rolling in! And don’t forget, Creative Live has a TON of great classes to watch for all kinds of creative niches!



  1. Nela Dunato | 15th Apr 16

    Hmm, there’s nothing in place where the screenshot and video should be, I’m guessing you forgot to add them? 😉
    I’m intrigued by the budget to zero concept. I’ve looked it up on the YNAB blog, will see how it works out..
    I don’t feel comfortable speaking about money with almost anyone. My close friends have never experienced anything but a steady paycheck, and the very thought of needing to “educate” them about my situation before we can have an honest conversation seems exhausting.

    • Becoming Wellthy | 15th Apr 16

      Thanks, I added the hyperlink!

      I agree about not feeling comfortable, I have yet to invite my friends and family to read my blog. Sometimes it’s hard finding someone, but even reaching out and eventually trusting a mentor is a good idea!

  2. Stéphanie | 20th Apr 16

    Dear Lauren Wittry, thank you for your article: your resources, tips, transparence… I LOVE IT! I’ve learned so much. You really know your stuff. Continue your great work!!!

    • Lauren | 20th Apr 16

      Thank you so much!

  3. Paula Niziolek | 20th Apr 16

    Hi Lauren ~ I just found you through the OH! She Blogs facebook group and really love this post. It’s the only one I’ve read so far but will be reading more. I’m really liking the idea of having a job for each dollar. Going to follow your links and check that out some more!

    • Lauren | 20th Apr 16

      Thank you Paula! Making my money work has helped me tremendously lately, and keeps me accountable. It’s tough at first, but once you get into the flow of it, it feels amazing! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions 🙂

  4. Vanessa Kromer | 5th May 16

    Love this post! Thank you so much for sharing and linking up!

  5. Buy Box Experts | 4th Jun 17

    As an entrepreneur, it is important to have a money flow chart in order to know what comes in and out of your business. Money must be stable in a certain business to help it grow. Being able to know how to manage the money of your business is a skill that every entrepreneur must possess.

  6. Prosper Show | 15th Jun 17

    This is very helpful to every budding entrepreneur. Money is important to keep the business going. Handling money smartly can reproduce a thousandfold in business.

  7. Vaishali Gautam | 26th Jul 17

    Hey. Thank you for sharing this useful article. This is what an entrepreneur has to know. Keep sharing such articles.
    Vaishali Gautam recently posted…Tenets Taught By A Father, Entrepreneurship Established By A Child

  8. B Whitfield | 8th Dec 17

    This is so true, money does sometimes get swept up under the rug and budgeting is something I am working and is a huge goal for January, which will be here quicker than we realize. I realized I already spent $30 at Starbucks and we are only 8 days in of December.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge