Are you wanting to start a blog but don’t know if you can financially do it? Whether you’re blogging on a budget and/or have goals of making money from your blog one day, these blogging budget tips are for you!
This blog post is split up into two sections:
Section 1: The 3 Bucket Budget & the Emergency Fund
Section 2: 5 Blogging Budget Tips You Can Use
I invited my friend Tori from @victorimedia to share what the 3 Bucket Budget is to get you thinking about where your money goes. Then I’ll be sharing blogging budget tips you can use plus a few examples of how I budget for my blog.
The 3 Bucket Budget (from Tori)
Before you can even start getting your money together, you need to identify your priorities and where you want to intentionally spend your money. For example, I’m willing to spend money on a great dinner out without feeling guilty — because I don’t spend that money somewhere else too (like a purse or daily coffee.) You can afford almost anything, you just can’t afford EVERYTHING.
So many people don’t budget because they think it’s too complicated, or they haven’t found a system that works for them. But I’ve devised the most simple budget ever — called the 3 Bucket Budget
Bucket #1: Necessary Expenses
This is everything you absolutely have to spend money on to live. Rent, groceries, insurance, etc.
Bucket #2: Savings
Emergency fund, retirement, etc.
Bucket #3: Mad Money
Everything that you spend that isn’t necessary. Concerts, dinners out, extra clothes, travel, etc.
What should I save for first? The Emergency Fund
Start with saving an emergency fund – ideally 6-9 months of living expenses, but start first with $1000, then work up to 3-6. Like the name suggests, this is ONLY for emergencies (unexpected job loss, medical bills, etc.) Then start paying down debt, while contributing money each month to retirement (here’s the skinny on retirement savings!)
Advice: If you’ve never budgeted before, I recommend sitting down and identify what your necessary expenses, savings, and mad money are.
After you’ve figured out your necessary expenses and what you want to save for, let’s talk about budgeting as a fashion/lifestyle blogger.
5 Blogging Budget Tips You Can Use
How you decide to budget as a fashion blogger depends on your ultimate goals. If you love blogging as a hobby, then you may not care how much money you want to make. If you want to eventually turn your blog into a business, then you’re probably interested in making a profit from your blog.
Blogging Budget Tips #1: Define your blogging financial goals
Do you have a monthly or annual goal you’d like to make from blogging?
Last fall, I made it a goal for my photography cost to be covered by sponsored/paid brand collaborations. At the start of this year, I made it a goal to make at least $500 in paid brand collaborations. I wanted to cover the cost of photography and actually compensate myself the time it took to write, edit, and submit the blog and social media copy to my brand partnerships.
Advice: Even if you just started blogging, I would recommend setting a high level timeline for yourself and creating financial goals. Where do you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 5 years?
Blogging Budget Tips#2: Identify your monthly expenses
Like any other business, blogging can quickly become expensive if you don’t know how much money you’re putting into it and not getting any returns. I would list out your expenses and identify what’s fixed costs (what you have to pay no matter what) and variable costs (expenses that are dependent and may not actually be spent).
Here are my monthly blog expenses:
- (Fixed Costs) Photography – I’m shooting up to 4x a month
- (Variable Costs) Clothes/Shoes – I’ve always been a shopper, but I try to budget at least $200 a month to new items.
- (Variable Costs) Paid media – $50 to put into Facebook Advertising
I will ALWAYS hire a photographer for paid brand campaigns, so photography is a fixed cost to my business. But I can always spend less or more on clothes/shoes and on paid Facebook Advertising.
Advice: Can you name your monthly blog expenses? If not, I highly recommend sitting down for 30 min and writing down these costs. Even if your just blogging as a hobby, you should still be aware of the cost you incur.
Blogging Budget Tips #3: If your goal is to breakeven….
Make sure your income = your expenses. I always use breakeven costs to help other bloggers determine whether or not they should take gifted brand collaborations or not. For example, if a brand wants to gift you a $20 t-shirt but photography cost you $50 an outfit, then you’re operating at a loss.
Even if you aren’t making money off your blog yet, I would highly encourage you to think about your breakeven cost. Make sure the expenses incurred are covered by an income or at least the value of the gifted items are equivalent to those costs.
Blogging Budget Tips #4: If your blog goal is to make a profit from your blog…
Make sure your income > (greater than) expenses. After your expenses are covered, you should still be taking home a portion of that money.
For example, if a brand wants to pay you $150 for one Instagram post + one story and photography is $50, then your profit would be $100.
Advice: If you really want to start making money from your blog, you have to recognize and ask for your value. If you’re trying to figure out how much to charge as a blogger or negotiation tips, you can check out 15 Tips for Pricing & Negotiating as a Blogger.
Blogging Budget Tips #5: Identify how much you want to save and reinvest back into your blog
If you’re further along the blogging journey and you’re making money from your blog, take 30 min to sit down and identify how much of your profits you want to save and reinvest back into your blog.
For instance, I want to buy a new laptop for my blog. I’m writing new blog post 2-3 times a week, answering emails every day, and I’m hoping to move into creating videos next year. My current laptop is over 3 years old and can barely handle editing videos. I’ve made it a goal to save at least $2,000 that I make from blogging to purchase a new laptop by the end of the year.
Like any business, you invest into its infrastructure to make sure operations run smoothly, help you increase your rate of production, and/or improve the quality of your work.
Here are other ways to reinvest back into your blog:
- Move to a self-hosting wordpress site
- Purchase a nicer camera or camera lenses
- Book a conference to find brands and bloggers to network with
- Invest in educational courses (like copywriting, SEO optimization, or social media) to help build your skill sets
There you have it friends! 5 Blogging Budget Tips You Can Use as a Fashion Blogger.
What are your blogging budget tips?
For more financial related topics, feel free to check out my friend Tori at http://www.victorimedia.com!
For more blog advice, lessons, and other info:
5 Reasons I filed as a Business as a Blogger
The Business of Blogging: Blogging as hobby? Here’s what you need to know.
To Buy Instagram Followers or NOT Buy Instagram Followers? Why this is NOT the Question
Shop my outfit:
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec