Entrepreneur Joel Young has made good money habits a priority in both his personal and professional lives.
As a business owner, he works as a freelance voice actor and animator. Since starting his business 15 years ago, he’s learned a few things about money that have helped him along the way.
There are the two money rules he lives by that have helped his family thrive — and helped him grow his business to a total of $2 million in revenue.
1. He keeps a budget and sticks to it, in both his personal and professional lives
“Budgeting is a big part of my life and always has been, at least for the last 10 or 12 years where my wife and I have been trying to get out of debt and stay out of debt,” he told Insider. To other prospective freelancers, he said, “Have a plan for your money and make sure that you know what’s most important first.”
When starting his business, which he runs primarily through Fiverr, he did so with a budget in mind. “When I started this business, I started it with hand-me-down equipment that I had in my closet that was 15 years old,” he said. “I could have easily gone out and spent money on a camera on a credit card that I didn’t have, but I decided to use my iPhone for a year, and ran a business that made $35,000 that first year with an iPhone and an Ikea lamp.”
Keeping a tight budget is something he follows in his personal life as well. “There are those months as a freelancer where you have so much work that you don’t know what to do with it, or maybe your income goes up 25%, 50%, or 75%. There’s a temptation to say, ‘Wow, we did really well this month. Let’s spend it all; we can go out and get this and that.’ But you need to realize you have to save for the times when you have low months.”
Budgeting helps Young save for those months, and it’s something he says is especially important for anyone else living on an inconsistent income.