We asked successful entrepreneurs and creatives to tell us about whether they have a budget and how they think about spending decisions and have shared some of their responses below.

Gabriel Cardenas | Visual Artist, Muralist.

For me, budgeting and keeping track of my spending habits regarding my artistic labor has been very important. This allows me to know how much a painting costs in supplies as well as how much my creative labor should be priced at. Budgeting allows me to recognize how much capital I have currently and projected capital I can make off of paintings, murals, and/or prints. In addition, When I sell a piece of art, I tend to make a log of my sales and put that money into a pot so to speak where I classify it as art money for art needs (materials, supplies, etc.) I have personally been focused on making money from my other jobs that are not art related and then using saved money there to go toward my artistic career. I can understand there are financial barriers for some and also recognize my privilege in being able to have had capital to expend on my artistic ventures and not only housing and utilities. for me it started around 2015 when I first started getting paid for making art and slowly but surely putting money away to save and use for future art endeavors. Read more>>

John Clinebell | Music Producer / Songwriter

I track every cent I spend, and since I started doing that 6 years ago it’s completely changed my life. I’ve got complete clarity on what my real expenses are, and having that makes it a lot easier to set myself up for the kind of lifestyle I want to live… as well as plan ahead for my future. Read more>>

Hersh Chopra | Financial Coach

I didn’t always have a budget, but I grew up being a numbers person so by default I resort to calculating my expenses whenever I felt guilty of spending too much. Math was my favorite subject, so I didn’t think twice when choosing Accounting and Finance as a focus for my undergraduate and graduate (MBA) degrees. Even while being a numbers guy, one thing I didn’t fully keep track of was the amount of student debt I was accumulating over time and what kind of an impact interest rates were going to have on my balance. After having paid down most of my undergraduate debt, I still ended up $125,000 deep in student debt upon completing my MBA and ironically without much education on how to tackle it. Once I decided to aggressively pay down my debt within 5 years, I realized I had to make a plan. This is when I officially created a Budget for myself. So in short, yes I do have a budget and I’m so glad I stuck to it. Read more>>

Tamber Weiersheuser | Executive Pastry Chef

I don’t rely on it so much now as I did years ago when I first created my budget spreadsheet. Initially, I had my budget spreadsheet set up by month, and then each month was broken down into set expenses (those I knew the exact amount of every month) and variable expenses. Some of the variable expenses were even broken down into weekly amounts, like groceries, to better track what was being spent. From there I was able to see, that if i make this much income each month and spend this much on bills, I am then able to save this much at the end of each month while still having x amount for discretionary spending. This really helped in the beginning, as I was able to really see the areas where I was spending way too much and needed to cut back. I tracked my monthly budget pretty religiously for several years, and was able to start seeing how the changes I made to my spending were greatly affecting my ability to spend money more smartly and to increase the amount I was able to save each month while still having money to spend on items I wanted. Read more>>