8 tips on how to become fiscally responsible

8 tips on how to become fiscally responsible

Are you interested in how to become a fiscally responsible content creator? Being fiscally responsible is important for all adults, especially small business owners who need to make every dollar count.

Being fiscally responsible means that you care about your financial health and are financially responsible with your personal and business finances if you are a business owner.

While financial responsibility is key to a healthy and happy life, unfortunately, traditional education doesn’t teach us how to become fiscally responsible individuals or practice financial responsibility over the long term.

So, if you want to learn how to master your finances, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss what fiscal responsibility is and the financial strategies you can employ starting today.

{{tableofcontents-component="/blog-shortcodes/table-of-contents"}}

{{digitalproduct-component="/blog-shortcodes/popups"}}

fiscal responsibility

What is fiscal responsibility?

Put simply, fiscal responsibility means using your money wisely. Examples of fiscal responsibility are:

  • Earning money in a sustainable way
  • Having a budget and sticking with it
  • Not spending money irresponsibly and impulsively
  • Setting financial goals (short and long term) to work towards
  • Having an emergency fund and saving money to meet your financial goals
  • Investing a portion of your money for the future (stocks, pension, etc.)
  • Not taking on too much credit card debt or taking out too many loans
  • Having a healthy credit score or working towards improving it

As you can see, fiscal responsibility is an encompassing, comprehensive philosophy and skillset. It’s not one thing you do; it’s how you approach monetary use overall, including managing money for your business.

For individuals, fiscal responsibility usually means things like paying bills, saving for retirement, etc. As a business owner, you also want to be fiscally responsible, meaning: you are saving up a nest egg for a bad economic period, not taking out predatory business loans, and so on.

Fiscal responsibility is slightly different for everyone, but it’s universally important.

The importance of being fiscally responsible

Being a fiscally responsible individual is important because, unless you are extremely fortunate and wealthy from birth, you’ll have to be careful with your money to avoid running into financial trouble.

If you spend your money unwisely, you’ll eventually run into debt, which can impact your credit score and cause you to be unable to take out good loans or open up new lines of credit. Bad financial habits have a way of snowballing on themselves.

One big mistake can cause you to make another mistake, and so on. You’ll end up living paycheck to paycheck, unable to reach your short-term goals or manage your money and personal finances.

In contrast, good financial habits have a way of yielding dividends long into the future, which is part of why they can be tricky to adopt. In the end, though, being fiscally responsible is crucial. It will allow you to build up your business successfully and make it so you don’t have to stress about money, no matter where you work or where your money comes from.

business finance glossary

How to be fiscally responsible

Luckily, there are several ways in which you can be financially responsible. These strategies should be used simultaneously so that you can reap maximum benefits.

Set financial goals

First and foremost, be sure to set financial goals for your future. No money plan is complete without concrete goals you believe you can achieve in one, five, 10, 15, and 20 years or beyond!

For most Americans, common financial goals include:

  • Saving up a certain amount of money for retirement. Many online retirement fund calculators can tell you exactly how much you should try to save, given your age and annual income level (including passive income).
  • Saving up for college or the college education of your children
  • Saving up enough money to start a business
  • Paying down all debts to improve your credit score
  • Tax planning and managing the tax returns and refunds
  • Getting your credit score high enough to qualify for a mortgage, etc.

If you don’t have these goals in mind, take a look at your life and ambitions and decide what you want to plan and save for. Then you can set some financial goals to achieve in the short-to-mid-term future.

Build a budget

Once you have your goals lined out, you should build a budget that will help you accomplish those goals. Budget planning might look intimidating if you are not used to it, but it is essential for being on top of your money.

Take a look at all your streams of income, including the paychecks you get from your steady job and income from side hustles. Then decide how much money you have to devote to necessities, like bills, debt payments, etc. Next, figure out whether you have any money left (and how much) for fun spending or saving.

Not sure where to start? Consider following the 50/30/20 rule. In a nutshell, this rule means your money should be divvied up and budgeted accordingly:

  • 50% for all must-pay bills, like utility or mortgage payments. This also includes any debt payments.
  • 30% for putting money into your savings or investment accounts
  • 20% for fun

Aggressively pay down credit card debt

Part of being fiscally responsible means having as little debt in your name as possible. Debt management is very important for your long-term financial health, especially if you are a business owner. Having less debt means that you can have less anxiety during months when your business revenue is lower.

With that in mind, try to aggressively pay down all your credit card debt, starting with the lowest debt and working your way up to the debt with the most remaining money.

This is a good strategy, since it will allow you to knock out small debts with separate interest rates early, reducing how much money you have to pay every month when all the debts come due.

Track your credit score and spending

Fiscally responsible people are aware of their credit scores and pay attention to their credit health. A credit score is very important because it determines whether you can get a loan, a mortgage, or apply for an apartment. It’s a good idea to track your credit score and spending using online accounting software or your phone’s bank app.

Expense tracking will help ensure that you don’t accidentally slip up and spend money where you shouldn’t. Many of these apps also let you track your credit score, which will show you how quickly you’ll be able to apply for quality loans.

Build up an emergency fund

One of your savings goals should be to build an emergency fund. In the earliest days of becoming fiscally responsible, try to tuck away as much money as possible into a savings account for an emergency fund. Ideally, you want one to three months of money saved, in case you lose your job or are injured, but even $1,000 can be a great cushion to have.

Invest (wisely) in the stock market or savings accounts

You should also try to invest wisely in the stock market or put money into separate savings accounts for your retirement. The more money you have saved up, the more financially stable you’ll be and the less you’ll have to worry if you run into an unexpected problem in the future.

Diversify your investments

If you decide to invest in the stock market for retirement purposes, diversify those investments by buying stocks of multiple companies, exchange-traded funds, etc. A diverse investment portfolio protects you from stock market dips and plunges and prevents you from hinging your financial future on the success of a single company.

You could also consider investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but be sure to keep the allocation of these risky assets under 5% of your portfolio.

Separate your finances

As a business owner, you want to make sure that your business and personal finances are separated. While it’s not a must, it can be very useful and make financial management much easier for you.

Separating business vs personal (credit, bank accounts, etc.) will make it easier for you to see how much money you spent, and where you should cut down. It will also allow you to better handle tax write-offs for your business.

If you are a small business owner, you might be wondering about the business formation – do you need an LLC? The answer is – it depends on your business, and your business goals. It might be worth setting up an appointment with a tax professional to help you make a decision and set up an LLC if you choose to do so.

Get insured

Lastly, look into insurance, like life insurance and health insurance. Unexpected medical problems can bankrupt you, even if you save a lot of money, but the right insurance policy will protect you from this negative outcome.

how to be fiscally responsible

Wrap up

You can become fiscally responsible by making a financial plan and sticking to it. Plan out your financial moves well ahead of time, and you’ll be much better equipped to minimize financial headaches, whether you’re a business owner or an average American.

FAQs

What does fiscally irresponsible mean?

Being fiscally irresponsible means being irresponsible with your money. For example, maybe you don’t save any money, or you spend new income as soon as you make it. Fiscal irresponsibility might also include taking out predatory loans that you know you can’t pay back or not paying down your debts on time.

Why is it important to be fiscally responsible?

It’s important to be fiscally responsible, so you don’t have any financial strain in your life. Fiscal responsibility can lead to financial stability in the future, allowing you to start a business, save for retirement, and much more.

Why is fiscal responsibility important for online course creators?

Fiscal responsibility is important for everyone, but it is especially important for online course creators because often they work for themselves, and business revenue might fluctuate.

Being on top of your finances and responsible with your spending allows you to alleviate the feelings of anxiety and uncertainty and ensure that you can build a long-term successful business and life.

How can I become financially stable as an online course creator?

The process of becoming financially stable as an online course creator is fairly simple, but it will require time and patience. One great way to ensure that you are financially stable is to have more than one stream of income.

For example, as a content creator, you might want to sell online courses, have an online shop with a selection of digital downloads, offer coaching sessions, and if you have a following on social media, work with brands on sponsored content.

This way you have four income streams. It’s useful because if one month you sell fewer online courses, you still have three other revenue streams bringing in money.

What does financial responsibility look like for course creators?

Financial responsibility will look different for every content creator, but here are key things you need to keep in mind:

  • Tracking your business and personal spending
  • Separate your personal and business spending
  • Set financial goals for your personal finances and your business
  • Monitor your revenue
  • Ensure you are saving money for taxes
  • Have an emergency fund saved up of at least $1,000
  • Build multiple streams of revenue

More like this

Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies, Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

Teachable Updates

Your weekly dose of creative chat and Teachable updates. Get our weekly newsletter.