My husband and I have four kids, and I make $50,000 a year. He runs a small business that has been floundering for a while now, so we’re basically living off my income. Part of that income is going into the business. Plus, we don’t have much in savings, and we’re behind on our house payments. Do you have any advice?
First of all, you and your husband have to get on the same page financially. Sit down together, and do a household budget and a profit and loss statement on the business. A profit and loss statement will tell you the money that comes in minus the money that goes out.
Here’s the thing. If you’re putting other money into a business account, that’s a clue that you’re not making money on the business. Put his rent, supplies and any other business expenses on the profit and loss list, and write out — step by step — what it will take for you to break even in the business each month.
If you don’t at least break even, then it’s time for him to do something else for a living.
I’m an entrepreneur and a business owner. I get the allure and excitement that goes along with running your own business. But family and your financial responsibilities come first. You don’t need to put any money into the business account, except for the income he creates. And while you two are sorting this out, use your income to get current on your house payments and attack any other debt.
Keep it simple
I’m looking for a good accounting program for small business. Do you have any suggestions?
The best one I’ve seen is called FreshBooks. I like it so much that we’re actually endorsing it on some of our podcasts and a few other places. It’s a cloud-based program for small business, and it’s a pretty simple accounting system.
Honestly, you don’t want anything super complicated for small-business accounting. You just need something that allows you to write out invoices and keep up with your expenses while categorizing them.
It’s important you know what’s going on in your business — to be able to continually analyze what’s happening — and have the ability to look in your rearview mirror and see if anything’s coming up behind you.
• Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week on 575 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.