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Deciding What to Pay First When Living on Limited Funds a Money Management Tip


A Money Management Tip - Deciding What To Pay First When Living on Limited Funds

A challenge most people face is trying to decide which bills to pay If you earn less than you spend in a month.  This in itself can create lots of stress. Creating a budget or spending plan is fun and it creates Freedom.  Use a budget to help control spending.

Most people view a budget as the enemy that ends ALL fun.  You may have to give up spending in certain areas to allow spending in another areas.  Why, unless you make enough money to do everything you want to do or have, you will run out of money.  The budget helps you to see how you spend your money.

I found freedom in knowing what I could pay and it gave me a clear path on what I needed to do to earn extra money.  By using a budget, I could determine how many additional hours I needed to work.  I wanted to determine additional hours because it cost me time away from my family and my 1st money making gig.

There will be adjustments when your income is less than $3000 or $2000 or even $1000.00.  Determining which bills to pay will be a major challenge.

Here are a list of the top five expenses that I put first and it has given me peace of mind.  I can focus on earning more income for all other expenses.

Tithing (optional and depends on the person)

I begin with tithing.  This is my personnel decision and is not forced.  Tithes are a portion of the money that we earn and give to our church or your home of worship.  The church uses the funds to pay for programs to help the community, the sick and less fortunate.  This is up to you and is usually 10% of net increase.  Don’t give if you do not feel it’s from your heart. Example: if I earn $800 for the month than I give $80 to the church.  Yes this means I cut $80.00 out of something else but I think it's worth the sacrifice.


Put back 5% of your earnings for savings.  Put back more if you expect a large repair, renovation, move or other large purchase or invest. Savings is used cover: Home Repair, Car Repair, Medical Bills, Vacation, Investments, Special Occasions, like parties etc. What if you have to use the saving later in the month for expenses?  That's why the savings is there...the money will be there for you to pay a bill that comes in before the next pay date.  It's also a little cushion in case car maintenance come before expected.
Living Expense

Pay living expenses after savings.  You need money to live and this includes shelter and utilities, personal items, and household items.  You will may need to adjust the primary expenses to fit your current income.  If you bring in $800 a month and your rent/mortgage is $940.00 you will need to seek help to reduce your mortgage, bring in a room mate, earn additional income or move to more affordable housing.


If you do not cook you will want to budget your dinning and seek sales to keep your spending down.

You have to have a means of travel.  We need a way to earn money, travel, or visit.  This would include fuel and/or car payment.  However, avoid car payments whenever you can purchase a car outright.

You need clothes to live.  Clothing does not have to be expensive.  I love the thrift shop and a great sale to keep my clothing expenses down.

Medical Expenses

Put back money for any upcoming Co-Pays to the doctor.

Practice paying your top necessities and use any additional money left to pay for other expenses such as debt, investments, gifts, offerings, special vacations and fun.

Leave a comment below with tips on how you choose expenses.  If you have questions join me on Ask The Accountant session to brain storm to save you money!  B&P Personal Cash Management

4 Tips to Avoid the Cash Drain of Emotional Pricing

Shopping Image for Pricing 2 198x300Financing and running a business can be very challenging. Pricing takes a money plan to break-even and to reach a higher level of profit. Most business owners find it difficult to charge if they have a passion for their business.

Individuals who have never learned to charge, say we should not charge a fee for services and products that we have a passion for performing or creating. However, these passions and gifts are given to use to help us earn a living and to serve others. If we do not earn a leaving, usually, we don't have a way to pay for the cost of living.

My top 4 emotional pricing mistakes are:

Lack of Confidence in Pricing

A large number of small businesses close each year due not lack of cash flow and income. Having clients comes with a fee. There is a cost to order product for clients or the materials to produce a product. There is also a cost for services that we provide. When receivables or collections are slow or the fee is low, the business does not have enough money to cover the client or the business.

Emotional spending lowers the business owner's income if we give away services because of lack of confidence in pricing. Business owners tend to give away products at a very low price due to a belief the consumer will not pay the price. Giving away services and products too often reduces your bottom line income. If a product is not moving off the shelf or services are not selling, perhaps marketing needs to be reviewed.

Testing products before mass purchases or production will also eliminate the chance of failed sales. Test and know your target audience to save money. Sometimes creating a product because we like the product will not benefit the business.

In the accounting and tax world, business owners create a spending budget for R&D (Research and Development). Testing and developing the product before stocking the shelves will give you an idea of the products for sale. You can also donate the value of the product for to charitable organizations or use the product for advertising giveaways later.

Emotional production usually leaves us with more product than we need and can be discouraging.

Here's an IRS article about deductible R&D expenses: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/current-year-deduction-of-research-development-expenditures

Not Charging Family Members or Friends
I believe in helping family however at some point we do have to charge for services. Family and friends know you need to make a living and should appreciate your services enough to pay full price.

I have seen situations where the family member would not pay the business owner but was willing to pay someone else for the same type of services. You have to know your value. Avoid the guilt trip from being related or friends, just because we are related or friends does not mean I do not have a business to run. Giving away services without return on investment will cause lack of cash flow for your business and a possible shut down.

Working for Free out of Guilt
 I believe we all can donate services and products when properly managed. Abundance is overflow for which we help others who need help or giving out of kindness and support. However, never charging enough will not allow us the opportunity to earn overflow to give to someone else.

Select certain individuals you can serve for free or low cost. A small group of clients will balance out the services that we donate, and we can still make a living. Example, perhaps you can give away services to 2-5 people. Once that limit is met for a certain period, we have, to charge the normal rates to support the business.

Charging a fair price for your value of services/products is different from purposely overcharging or taking advantage of people. We charge for value services and products. We reap what we sow and then we can support others. Work this into your money plan.

The bible has many instances about business owners and earning money. I will go into this more in my "Mastering Your Money Plan."

Unsure of Pricing
 Most business owners have to invest personal money into their business, or they never have enough money to pay themselves, cover taxes, or reinvest back into the business with the income from sales, avoid repeat owner investment due to weak pricing. Many business owners have had to close due to lack of cash flow.
Track expenses, calculate pay to pay yourself and cover taxes and then have the confidence to increase pricing for a more profitable business.
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Snapshot 55

Y. Michelle Coard, BA
President/Accountant/Profit Strategist
B&P Accounting Solutions, Corp.
Phone: 919-249-5156 ; Fax: 919-249-5156
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Holiday Shopping Plan a Personal Money Accounting Solutions

The holiday season is upon us and most people are shopping for gifts or just great deals for ourselves.  Perhaps you have developed the ability to wait until shopping season to make your large purchases and that is a great idea!  You are showing the ability to save and plan for shopping.  Also, this season allows for some very nice deals! While you are shopping this season, first sit down and calculate the entire cost of a purchase.

norbert levajsics 203627 unsplashMost children would like systems such as Xbox or PlayStation. Plan for the entire purchase which turns out to be about half the cost of the system.  If the system cost $300 plan to spend about $475.00.

What is included in this purchase?

  1. The gaming system $299.99 (sale) J  (but most of us know that’s the price all year long)

  2.  The game controller.  Most of the systems come with 1 controller.  Really!? Now you need 2 or more - $9.99-$39.99 (pricing depends on the type of controller)

  3. Headphones with mics – the player will need a mic to talk with the other players online $19.99-59.99 (depends on the type of headset and benefits)

  4. Getting online – I know Xbox has completely changed the package and access to get online.  Online play will allow for your players to play with anyone else in the world that is online. However, as parents we have to monitor and the parental feature is now $99 for gold, for the year, and there are different levels.  There are lesser packages with lesser features. 

  5. The actual games – The system will usually come with 1-2 games.  (2 if you are lucky) and the additional games can run $9.99-59.99.

  6. Other “necessary” accessories.  (Deemed “necessary” by the players)  Can range from 9.99-$129.00 and up. 

The cost turns out to be more than that fabulous $299 sales price.  I recommend spreading the purchase out over time or plan to save more than the sales price plus tax.  Some players are more than happy to have the game system, one controller, and 1 game.  Usually, additional players have to bring their own controller and headset.  Game Night BYOC (Bring your own controller!)

This is a great example of  the importance of counting the cost by creating a money plan.  The same plan would apply to a home purchase and/or sell, travel, a new recipe, starting a business, moving, major changes in life such as having a baby or going to college.   We have to plan for the actual and the estimated because things happen.  We use tax planning to get credits for certain purchases, but more importantly we need to have a method to earn the money or save.  Planning takes the stress out.

Author:  Y. Michelle Coard

Accountant, Profit Strategist, Owner of

Business & Personal Accounting Solutions, Corp.

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How to Give Free Resources and Have Cashflow

How many of us think, “what’s the catch?” when we see “Free.” And many business owners loath the clients who always try to get something for free (the poverty mindset).  But you can give free resources and have cash flow

Overflow Image Free Resources BlogI have the heart of a giver but I did not know that there was a downside of this gift. If you do not have boundaries you will give away too much.  Many coaches and mentors said, “People will not pay if you give it all away.” Not giving makes me feel empty but not earning money made me feel worse. I struggled for many years trying to find the right point for giving. How can I share my resources with wisdom?

The process does not cost extra resources and was already a part of my services. I have watched many business owners hire people to develop a free offer (Rich minded mindset). I am confused because this should be a portion of what you are already developing. If you have to increase costs to develop a free offering are you offering your best?

When you give your best even for free you will feel appreciated. Clients who can pay will be more encouraged to pay for more services. Those who won’t pay will eventually hop over to someone else.  If they follow someone else, let them go because they are not your clients.

Author: Y. Michelle Coard

Accountant, Profit Strategist, Owner of Business and Personal Accounting Solutions, Corp.

One of The Top Millionaire Money Habits

Many business owners do not know the full advantages of having an accountant because most people believe accounting is only bookkeeping. After leaving school and working in the field, I learned it’s more important to be proactive instead of reactive as an accountant.

dylan sosso 779357 unsplashDiscussing our financial ideas with an accountant is one of the top millionaire money habits. Waiting for consultation also delays gratification. And if your goal is to increase your bottom line, like most millionaires, you will need to practice delayed gratification and consulting wise counsel.

Accountant’s advice is wasted because we are consulted as bookkeepers and tax preparers only. An accountant is an advisor for financial guidance. We do not make your financial decisions however we allow you to view your options. We give you options that are best for maximizing your dollars.

The accountant doesn’t just guide in money management but in various ways that help to save time and money. Because time is money. Time can be equated to money and time is a major resource just like money. If we don’t have the time to complete a service or produce a product we lose money.

This year consider the benefits of having an accountant work with you. Waiting to speak with an accountant before a major purchase indicates the ability to delay purchases. Delayed purchases determine if you are making an emotional purchase at the moment. Millionaires have learned to separate their emotions from their purchases. We need time to consider the cost. Costs include the things we would have to pull from to complete the purchase.

When you seek God first, you will become a wise godly steward of the resources God has given you. Also, allow him to direct you to wise professional godly accounting counselors.

Author: Y. Michelle Coard

Accountant, Profit Strategist, Owner of

Business & Personal Accounting Solutions, Corp.