Use Your Creativity In Your Financial Planning

by | Feb 2, 2016

Creatives tend to be great at visualising the broad outlines of an idea. It’s easy to see the big picture, but it’s even easier to become distracted or frustrated, when it comes time to focus on the finer details.

This way of looking at the world and processing information provides a big boost to our imagination and creativity; after all, it is this mindset that enables us to create things that are fresh and unique. But, this mindset has its drawbacks as well. This is especially true when it becomes necessary to take a time out from our dreams and focus on the more mundane and practical aspects of living – such as planning our finances.

Why Numbers and Financial Statements Are So Frustrating to Creatives

As visual processors, it can be difficult for us to find meaning from the row upon row of text and numbers found in typical budgets and spreadsheets. Many creatives become so frustrated that they simply put off reading their financial statements and completely neglect financial planning.

Creatives that neglect to pay attention to their finances and fail to set financial goals then tend to end up finding out the hard way that the adage that “those who fail to plan, plan to fail,” is heartbreakingly true. The ability to set financial goals and achieve them isn’t the result of luck, but planning.

How to Find Meaning in Your Financials – Make Them Visual

Just because you are a creative that is frustrated by figures doesn’t mean that you have to give up on getting a better grip on your money. The trick is to allow your natural creative ability to guide you when you make your plans and track your goals. As a visual processor, the key is to find a system that is easy to use and that will allow you to literally “see” your goals and progress.

Try the following tips to help you get a better handle on your finances!

Setting Financial Goals – Nail Down Your Vision

What does financial success look like to you? Rather than using words and long lines of text to describe what you want to achieve financially, try collecting images of what success looks like to you and make a collage of what you want your money to achieve.

Whether it’s a physical montage made of images you cut out of magazines or a virtual “vision board” that you create online, search and collect the pictures that depict the lifestyle that you want to achieve through your work and your business.

Check in with your vision board on a daily basis to gather inspiration and increase your motivation to help you keep working towards your financial goals.

Using a vision board to illustrate your financial goals doesn’t just increase your enthusiasm to keep working towards your goals. It also unlocks the power of your subconscious mind and gets it working for you, helping you maintain your resolve, rather than working against you and sabotaging your efforts.

Plan on How to Get There – One Step at a Time

Now that you have an image in your mind’s eye of what you are working towards, it’s understandable if you have mixed feelings. You may be excited, but also feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially if your vision of financial success is a big departure from your current lifestyle and standard of living.

The key to reaching these larger financial goals is to break them down into smaller steps, and then focus on each step, each day. In time, you will get there. Budgeting for each of these steps is simply setting aside the portion of your money that you need to help you achieve each of these smaller steps.

Putting Your Steps into Terms that are Meaningful to You

As you are thinking about the steps that you will need to take to achieve your goals, you might find yourself feeling a bit anxious, which is understandable. If you feel nervous during this stage, just focus on visualise how to divide and group your money based on how to achieve each step of your larger goal.

At this stage, you are probably worried that you will have to suffer through creating and reading long, tedious spreadsheets in order to plan out the smaller steps of your budget. The truth is that there are a number of tools that make budgeting for these smaller steps and your overall goals very easy. Many of these tools can gather your financial information together for you and can then turn it into meaningful visual information that is easier to relate to and understand.

Let Technology Do the Hard Work for You

Rather than focusing on complex charts of numbers, focus on keeping things simple. Take advantage of the simple templates that Google Docs has for budgets, or, if you use online banking, use the built-in features offered by many banks that automatically turn your spending into graphs and pie charts that can show you how much you’ve spent and how much progress you are making towards your goals. .

If your bank does not offer this feature, there are a host of online websites that offer basic planning, budgeting and tracking in the cloud, for free. One such site is Mint.com; it allows you to customise your budget and goals, as well as your accounts. The site updates your transactions automatically and then allows you to easily see how well you are doing by presenting the information in colourful graph form. Features like these allow you to easily break down complex financial information and understand it at a mere glance!

If you don’t want to use a cloud-based system, you can also gather your financial information yourself periodically and then create your own graphs and pie charts by hand on a poster, just as you can a vision board.

Regardless of what system that you use when you are making your financial plans and creating the budget that will help you reach your goals, the important thing is to choose one that is simple for you to implement and that makes understanding your financial information easy and meaningful for you.

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I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.

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Virtual Sales Strategy

2017-10-13T09:32:05+00:00

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I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.
I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.

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2017-10-13T09:50:01+00:00

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.
I got to know Sophie through my previous employer where Sophie still handles the bookkeeping side of things. While we worked together I have found Sophie very accurate, punctual and very pleasant to work with. And recommend her highly.

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Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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Galmatic Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:16:02+00:00

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!
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I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!
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"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"
Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.

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2017-10-13T09:21:50+00:00

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Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.
Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.

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Councillor at Warringah Council

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Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.
Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.

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2017-10-13T09:26:35+00:00

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.
Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.

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Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.