We asked successful entrepreneurs and creatives to tell us about whether they have a budget and how they think about spending decisions and have shared some of their responses below.

April Taylor | Thrifter & Photographer

I have a budget that is balanced to the penny. My approach to my personal finances is to not spend more than I make and to save what’s extra. I believe in using cash for everything rather than borrowing and owing, so spending decisions get made when I’m making my budget. While having discipline in sticking to my budget was the foundation of my success in getting out of debt, I still give myself leeway by accounting for the money I spend on leisure, so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Emergencies get budgeted for as well, so even unexpected expenses are accounted for. Keeping a budget and using cash keeps spending decisions less complicated, and gives me the freedom to dictate the lifestyle I want to live without drowning in debt. Read more>>

Valeria Rodriguez | Digital Artist | Brand + Web Designer | Founder of Shine In All Shades Empowerment Coloring Book Series

Budgets saved my life! Anxiety cripples my creative flow and peace of mind, not having a budget as a young adult taught me to value my earnings on a personal level. In dealing with and learning about my mental wellness and triggers, I realized I am an emotional shopper… I got in so much debt and when I needed funds I was stuck. Through my life journey, I forced myself to heal my views and relationship with money. Paying off debt, saving, and developing budget plans on a personal level. The work and discipline is real! These moves empowered me to become a full-time serial entrepreneur with my lessons and habits thanks to budgets. Read more>>

Call Me Ace | Independent Hip-Hop Artist & Businessman

I couldn’t have appreciate it budget when for the first 6 months after I graduated because I didn’t have a job, income, or a pace to live. But once I finally got my first official job, I learned about this budget principle called “the 50/30/20 rule” – 50% of your check spent on NEEDS (e.g. rent, utilities, groceries, etc.); 30% on WANTS (e.g. eating out, clothes, etc.); 20% on SAVINGS. However, once I started budgeting, it was more like the “40/10/50 rule” for me – I was saving half of my paycheck every time it came in. And this is back when I was living in New York City on non-profit money. I’m saying, I was ordering $3 egg sandwiches from the bodegas for breakfast and $5 chicken and rice plates from the halal carts that I’d split in half for lunch and dinner. I already learned how to survive off of little-to-nothing due to my upbringing, so acting like I had no money and putting the majority of it in savings wasn’t too farfetched for me. Read more>>

Yn-Nek Grice-Jones | Loctician Goddess

I honestly don’t have a budget on what I spend on my business, I just always make sure I replace what I use in a timely manner to where I never run out. I’m not an expensive person when it comes to my lifestyle finances. I make sure I get more needs than wants, I do budget myself when it comes to my personal decisions. Read more>>