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.

Juan Sebastian Cruz | Entertainer

I don’t necessarily have a budget, but I am extremely conscious about my finances. I think this is a crucial component in the life of an artist. At this stage in my career all of my income comes from artistic related work. In the beginning, I absolutely needed to have some sort of additional job to sustain myself while I built my resume and my experience. At some point though, I decided that in order to make the transition to a full arts income, I would have to be very careful with my money and not indulge in lifestyle inflation. By keeping or reducing the expenses I had in my personal life and being very strict about saving, I was able to maintain myself solely off of educational and artistic gigs even though they were very inconsistent at first. Over time, as built up a name for myself, I was able to improve certain aspects of my life in sustainable manner. I moved out of my parents’ house, finished paying off my car, and now live independently. Read more>>

Donna Williams | Masters Human Resources Management/Leadership & Myers Briggs Type Indicator Practioner

I believe it is imperative to have a budget, I have several budgets: Budgets for my business D. Williams Consulting LLC, nonprofit S2S Facts Inc., and personal finances. I must declare, I am not a finance major therefore I utilize quick books and simple excel spreadsheets. Having a personal budget is important to me. My basic budget includes an emergency fund and what I call, In Case I Miss It (ICIMI) which means in the event I do not receive the income I am accustom to; I am still able to pay my bills. My lifestyle and spending decisions are typically based on a few things, necessity of the purchase, whether the spend will impact my basic budget negatively. and/or is it for an investment that will yield positive returns. Additionally, I adopted a philosophy, never lend money I cannot afford to giveaway. Read more>>

Wenting Xie | Creator & Outfit Repeater

I started Refinement House in an extra room of a bungalow I was renting in 2017. Unlike many start-ups that have initial investor funding, or pursuing those million-dollar venture capital money – I literally started off with less than $300 worth of inventory, most of which were my personal collection of vintage finds, and started an Etsy shop. The eco home goods side of the business started when I purchased in bulk some practical, reusable gift sets for my friends since I wanted to stop giving out presents wrapped in plastic, made of plastic, and considered seasonal. The initial investment for that was less than $50 on a few bamboo toothbrushes and stainless steel straws. At that point, I still did not have a full vision is what this refined home would be, I just knew I loved to host and wanted to continue to share my lifestyle and space with others. The more I fell into living a slow and sustainable life, the more money I actually saved. Read more>>