Do you have a budget? We’ve been surprised by how much variance there is among the city’s most successful entrepreneurs and artists and creatives. Some budget, some don’t. Some track every penny, others are less rigorous. We’ve shared some thoughtful responses from the community below.

Akilah Watts | Financial Consultant

I absolutely have a budget and make sure to live within it. It’s important to get in the habit of living within or below your means in order to grow wealth. If you consistently budget, you know where your money is going and will notice any out of the ordinary spending. I break my personal finances down into necessary spending, savings/investments, and fun money. If I happen to meet a savings goal, I reward myself with something that I’ve been wanting. Also, when spending money, I identify what I want and wait before buying. I heard a story once that if you see something you want, wait for 3-6 months before purchasing. If you come back to that item and still want it, wait another few months. LOL! Or you can purchase knowing you waited and have the money to spend on the item without going into debt. Read more>>

Blanca Altamirano | Creator of @ily_LA12x

It is difficult to have a budget as a Chicana Lesbian Deaf during the pandemic and being on unemployment status when resources are lacking its accessibility within Chicanx signing communities. Every dollar helps in order to survive my family needs as a single mother that constantly trying to make a honest living to earn with pride through my creativity in artivism. My personal finances are constantly evolving as long as I have the support system who believes in my work and it’s intentions. With that being said, I do not have the luxury to have good times as I would like to spend on but as I need to save up for printing machine in order to profit more through my products instead of going through third party that earned less on my end. It created my lifestyle more limitations but hopefully I’ll build connections to strengthen the artivism in Chicanx signing communities and living a better life for humanity. Read more>>

Alexis Dawson | entrepreneur

I ABSOLUTELY have a budget, both personally and professionally. At 22 I graduated with a BFA from a private art school and found myself in over six figures worth of student loan debt, racked up credit card bills and a horrible spending habit. I knew nothing about money except that my debt was out to get me. It wasn’t until 2019 when I decided to get financially literate and get control of my relationship with money and budgeting was the first step. I was constantly repeating the phrase “Live below your means” to myself when I wanted to buy something expensive. Before I became financially responsible, I would charge a large purchase to my credit card and wait for future Alexis to worry about it. Now my approach is thinking about future Alexis first. Does this align with her financial goals? Will this purchase be important and valuable to her in a year? In 5 years? I believe those questions have benefited me in the long run in my personal finances and are also asked when approaching my small business finances. Read more>>