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.

Leo Andrei Raymundo | Photographer

The beginning has been a learning experience for me; as I honestly didn’t have a budget to start with photography. I had a steady job and this provide me with the opportunity to spend on equipment like a camera and lighting. Five years later this has changed. Most spending is planed. Specially if it’s over $ 100. I think it’s good to think of ourselves into the future when it comes to our finances. Not being in big debts or in complete lack of money is a priority for me now. Read more>>

Malik Waqqas Awan | Recording Artist & Songwriter

I wish I was a baller…..but like your average person, I got bills to pay. My main source of income, currently, is a 9-5 like most people, and my necessities come first; and with both of my parents being “retired”, it comes down to my big brother and I to take care of the household. Now, I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m taking care of the family, because that credit goes to him – mainly because I don’t make as much as he does, otherwise I’d make sure it was at least an even split. However, I try to help as much as I can, so about 70% of my income goes straight to the house. Now, I could easily be selfish and move out, but thankfully that’s not how I was raised. Anyways, you can see my budget isn’t the best off the jump, so it greatly affects my personal finances and lifestyle and spending decisions. Therefore, I constantly have to second-guess myself when spending money on “wants” as opposed to “needs”. One of the biggest ways this affects my business as an independent artist is promo – which we can argue is probably the most important expense in my career. Read more>>

Maximillian Anderson | Personal Finance Fanatic

I try to view my personal finances as if it’s my own personal business. As such, I focus on paying myself first in the form of savings and investments. Right now I invest about 50% of my income and I keep my expenses very low. I’ve got no debts and have fairly cheap housing as far as L.A. goes. The reason I save so much is because I don’t want to HAVE to work for 40+ years. I’d rather my mandatory working life be as short as possible so I can become financially independent and only work on projects that are truly fulfilling. I also want more flexibility so I can take a 3 month trip through Europe or Asia if I want. So, I save 5x more than the average American so I can hopefully be done with mandatory work 5x sooner. Read more>>

Ron Geffen | Music Producer/Writer/Mixer & Videographer

I must start with saying that life is too short to to not spend money on the things you want while you’re young! But aside from spending money on things like vacations or nice dinners, most of my money goes right back into my business. I spend most of my money on more audio or camera equipment, or software to use. Read more>>

David Logan | CEO, Akupara Games

I do have a budget! I record every purchase I make on a weekly basis. Sometimes it helps laying everything out and seeing the totals for the week. I log items by categories so I can track my purchases month to month, but I am not hard on myself if I overspend. I just make a conscious effort to spend less the next week. Read more>>