This holiday season can be both the best – and the most stressful – time of the year for people in many ways, particularly business owners. One of the biggest challenges of course is the financial aspect, sometimes felt now, and sometimes in January once the holidays are over and the true cash implication of the season is realized. Follow these simple budgeting tips though and you may find you make it through it with a little less stress, and a little more cash left in your pocket.

holiday cash flow

Think of end of year ‘expected’

Whether in your business or personal life, there are end of the year expenses that come around annually that you can’t push to the side just because it’s holiday time. Factor in taxes, insurance, and membership renewals that may have due dates around now. Or, end of year expenses for services such as legal or accounting, or freelancers or subcontractors that may be billed on a quarterly or year-end cycle. It is these little, expected, but forgotten items that can often push people over the edge when it comes to cash on hand at this time of year.

Be prepared for seasonal gifts beyond the norm

Many people will have a budget in mind when it comes to gifts they intend to buy but then they forget to take into account the little extra gifts and thank yous that often come up, related to the business. You know what I mean, the little thank you for the courier or supplier who is such a big part of your business, perhaps bonuses to people you may contract work to or who provide services that keep your business running; or thank you cards for your loyal clients.

The holidays have a tendency to make us feel generous, and that’s great, but it’s also important to look at your historic spending on these items and to plan for them so it doesn’t hit your business too hard. 

Chase up unpaid invoices before the new year

Don’t wait for January 1st to chase up unpaid invoices – tie those loose 2016 ends in December. Unpaid invoices can mean lost profits and a disappointing bottom line which is particularly challenging in the holiday season.

So, how do you chase up invoices in a friendly manner? A little reminder can go along way in making sure you get paid. You can set up automatic payment reminders with Invoice2go, which takes the pain out of calling, texting or emailing your customer. Just set your timeframe, on the due date, three days after etc., and it’s all done for you. The sooner you chase up unpaid invoices, the sooner the income column on your budget increases. Plus, you’re 2017 self will appreciate it.

Start planning early for next year

Come January your focus will be on paying off the holiday bills and getting back to business but instead of moving forward, take a moment to look back, and then ahead. How much did you spend in total during the holidays, factoring in personal and business end of year expenses, gift giving, entertaining, donations, etc.? 

As you move forward through the new year, put a plan in place, at home and for the business, to set aside as much as you can each month to cover those end of year expenses. Look at assets or equipment that would potentially need to be replaced during the year that will require a cash outlay. Keep the money in a separate place so that next year your holiday and end of year spending will be covered, and that you have money to cover the expected but yet unexpected equipment failure, without the cash crunch that can sometimes happen.

From the team here at Invoice2go, we wish you all a happy holiday season. Thank you for your ongoing support in 2016 and we look forward to an exciting 2017.