What are your thoughts on budgeting? Is it necessary? Is it helpful? Harmful? Does it make us focus on the wrong things? Is it irresponsible not to budget? We asked folks we admired to share their thoughts with us.

Ty Chen | Actor and Photographer

Right now I’m still in the experimental phase of my business, seeing what works in terms of getting new clients. I have my set bills to pay, and with whatever money I have left over, I play with certain services that can open my reach to people who may be looking for photographers. I try to cut spending costs as much as possible, so I’ve invested in equipment that will help me save money in the long run. For example, I scan my own film at home, which helps reduce costs for my photoshoots. Read more>>

Allie Banks | Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” (Ghandi) is a quote that has been a motivation behind a lot of decisions in my life. For me it means, be a solution finder, a problem solver. See a need, fill a need. If there’s something you don’t like–something you want to change–then do it. If you’re not going to be that change you wish to see, then stop complaining. So for me, that quote roughly translates to “be the change or stop complaining.” I think that too often we think that we aren’t powerful, we can’t do anything about the problems we’d like to see fixed. So instead of doing something about it we just sort of sit back and watch it happen. This quote gives me the motivation to be the changes I wish to see. Read more>>

Lois P. Jones | Poet, Radio Host, Poetry Editor

What Survives Who says that all must vanish? Who knows if the flight of the bird you wound remains, and perhaps the caresses of flowers survive us, in their ground. It isn’t the gesture that lasts, but it dresses you again in gold armor —from breast to knees— and as much as the battle was pure an Angel wears it after you. (Trans. various) ORIGINAL FRENCH: Qui te dit que tout disparaisse? De l’oiseau que tu blesses, Qui sait s’il ne reste le vol? Et peut-être les fleurs des caresses Survivent à nous, de leur sol. Ce n’est pas le geste qui dure, Mais il nous revêt de l’armure D’or, des flancs aux genoux, Et tant la bataille fut pure, Un ange la porte après nous. I suppose I’m cheating a bit by quoting an entire poem but this is a work by Rainer Maria Rilke which I return to again and again as much for its shimmering enigma as the sense of metaphysical satisfaction it brings me. Read more>>

Nicole Calhoun | Nursery Worker & Professional Native Plant Enthusiast

Before there were memes there were refrigerator magnets. My dad had one that read ” ‘To be is to do’—Socrates / ‘To do is to be’ —Jean-Paul Sartre / ‘Do be do be do’ —Frank Sinatra”. Small business owners know our businesses inside-out and backwards. With all the hats we wear and tasks we juggle, we gotta infuse a layer of humor into our day-to-day to stay sane… or at least entertaining. Read more>>

Suede Silver | Artist & Business Owner

Budgeting is really hard… I’m sure my fellow artists and freelancers agree. A steady income increasingly seems to be a long forgotten myth of our parent’s pasts. However, I have student loans and financial aspirations that mindless spending (albeit careful spending) could not properly address. Eventually I got fed up and made a decision that changed the entire trajectory of my finances and budgeting. That decision was to take an hour at the end of every month to note everything I spent, everything I made, everything I have, and any debt I have, on a simple spreadsheet. The biggest shift from this habit came immediately, and that was a recognition of the wishful thinking that was going on in my finances. Read more>>

Angela Anderson | Wealth Activator & Financial Counselor

Yes, I do a budget at the beginning of every month and then I update it weekly. I use my Quickbooks online accounting to match up transactions in my budget so I can see where I may need to adjust my projections for the month. My personal finances are a main artery to what supports my life. We have our work, our relationships, our health … and our money! I look at money like I would a pie. You need to learn how to cut up the pieces of your pie and NOT overfeed nor underfeed certain areas in your life. When you can divide up your pie, you can spend money on anything you desire. It may take some time and some planning, but making lifestyle and spending decisions is about connecting with your desires, figuring out how much it’s going to cost money-wise, and then making a plan so it will happen. Read more>>