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.

Sarena Udani | Founder & Designer

When I started the business about ten years ago, my husband and I were on a teeny-tiny shoestring budget; he was a third-year neurosurgery resident, and I was a freelance graphic designer. We had just had a baby and a new mortgage – both of which accounted for most of our $4,000 per month budget. We watched every penny, and it became a weekly challenge to stay within the numbers set for each category. I still remember them now: $75 per week for groceries, $60 per month for diapers, $16.58 per month for an unused gym membership that I really should have cancelled. Everything was accounted for, color-coded and organized by category, recorded diligently in excel. Read more>>

Chloe Bellande | Film & Video Editor

I do have a budget! It’s always been a priority ever since I moved to LA. For me, spending money is really a matter of “want” and “need”. For example, having a car is a luxury and not a necessity since I work from home, hence, why I don’t own one. Another motto I live by is “if you can’t buy it twice, you can’t afford it”. And that applies to literally anything from my living expenses, personal activities or business spendings (from attending conferences to purchasing work-related items). And that’s going to be my lifestyle until I’m debt free! Read more>>

Lauren Kleeman | Sound Mixer & Filmmaker

I’m an adamant believer that financial literacy should be part of the school curriculum because money is something that every single person has to deal with every single day. Through the years of freelancing I have gotten better at treating every month like it’s a “slow month” to make sure I always have a security blanket for emergency needs…or spontaneous trips. Living below my means is a big factor in saving money; it’s all about ratio of money in, money out. You can be a millionaire and still live paycheck to paycheck! Plus, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that valued saving money – though we took frugality to an extreme! What works for me is being hyper aware of every purchase I make by avoiding sales and hasty spending. Read more>>