Easy Ways to Organize Your Money

by Galia Gichon on November 12, 2017

I’ve been giving many seminars the last few months at colleges, artist organizations and for entrepreneurs. For more information, click here.
Let’s face it we all have an old 401k lingering, IRAs at multiples firms. What surprised me recently when I was teaching my course at Barnard College Athena Center for Leadership “Keeping Your $20’s In Your 20’s”  someone asked what should she do about her 401k since she’ll be changing jobs every few years. She hasn’t even started working yet! But that is today’s reality- we switch jobs often or are Entrepreneurs or Freelancers working for ourselves.  I also have worked with so many entrepreneurs and freelancers over the last fifteen years and the one theme is they have multiple IRAs at various firms.  Plus a pension or bank account they forgot about.  Here are some easy ways to get organized – which helps you make more money!
Why?
Before I tell you what to do, think about why you should get more organized.
1. Seeing all your old retirement accounts in one place helps you realize you have more money saved than you thought.
2. You save money by consolidating accounts and examining fees
3. Motivates you to be more proactive and save more for your IRA
4. Chances are you have duplicate mutual funds or are not properly diversified.  Let’s remedy that!
How
1. Gather all your statements. This is the HARDEST PART!
2. Consider transfering them to a no-load low expense ratio firm such as Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard
3. Pick either a target date retirement date mutual fund or 4 mutual funds from the main groups (i.e. Large Cap, Small Cap, International and Bond)
4. You will be surprised how much you have saved and motivate to save more!

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Do Your Personal and Business Finances Mix?

by Galia Gichon on May 3, 2017

Many of you reading this newsletter are Entrepreneurs, Freelancers or Business Owners.  I’m giving a seminar “Develop a Winning Pitch Deck” on June 15th in NYC.  Even if you aren’t ready to raise money, it’s a great opportunity to articulate the key concepts of your startup in just one day.

When I first started working with clients years ago, many of them entrepreneurs and business owners, they usually had one checking account and all their personal and professional money matters were in one account.  Immediately, I advised them to get separate checking account and cards.  I advised to setup a legal business structure, even if only DBA (by the way- big fan of legalzoom.com).  Fast forward to present.  I still present my personal finance seminars and work with clients on an individual basis but as many of you know, I have been working with Entrepreneurs and Startups through It Will Bloom and Angel investing.  Recently I gave a seminar on “Finances for Freelancers” and compared profit and loss statements for personal and professional purposes.  They were more alike than you would think!  It is a great way to think about your business and not forget your personal finances at the same time. To see an image of how your personal finances and professional finances match up, check out image below.

CASH IN  

  • Personal Finances. Be clear about the income you are earning, pre and post tax, where it’s coming from and forecasting for the future.  I’m always surprised how many freelancers don’t have a handle on their income!  Own it! You’ve worked hard to earn that money.
  • Business Finances.  What is the revenue source? Are there multi-channels? Is it service or product based? What assumptions have you made for forecasting revenue – specifically for your profit and loss statements?

EXPENSES

  • Personal Finances. Do you know exactly your fixed expenses? Even though you are an entrepreneur or freelancer, this number doesn’t change!  It’s especially important to have a handle on your monthly and annual fixed expenses.  Then when you are analyzing your variable expenses, you can create a plan around it.
  • Business Finances.  If it is a product based business, get a strong handle on your COGS (cost of goods sold) and focus on getting that number as low as possible – especially if you want to scale and accelerate growth. You should separate your COGS out from your general expenses.  Understanding your general expenses and where you can continuously cut back.

PROFIT/MARGIN

  • Personal Finances.  Knowing your gross profit tells you how much you can spend for variable expenses and how much you can save.
  • Business Finances.  This is a very important number to know as a percentage – especially for investors and if you are raising money.  This tells you how profitable you are before you start spending money for general expenses.

SAVINGS/NET INCOME

  • Personal Finances. This is the end result.  Living within your income and still able to save.  The savings can then be split up among rainy day, retirement and vacation!
  • Business Finances.  This number tells you how profitable (or not) you are.  Also the end result.  It can also determine when you will breakeven from a cashflow perspective.

If you want to do more on your business or startup, please check out It Will Bloom. If your personal finances needs a checkup – please send us an email and we’ll give you an independent tune up!

Don’t forget to check out “Develop a Winning Pitch Deck” You can’t afford to wait….

Can’t make the live seminars? Check out recorded seminar “PERSONAL FINANCE FOR ARTISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS” by Creative Live. https://www.creativelive.com/courses/personal-finance-artists-freelancers-galia-gichon

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Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

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It’s been a busy – yet wonderful fall! The last few months I’ve been intensively involved with UberPitch, for Women-led tech companies partnered with Refinery CT, Uber, Kauffman Foundation and even NPR. I spoke at TechWeek in Kansas City and also started my 10th (!) year teaching Personal Finance at Barnard College.  I’m also super […]

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Time to Talk About Money

August 30, 2016

I haven’t posted an article in a long time but I’ve been busy.  I’ve been giving Personal Finance seminars and workshops (Barnard College, Athena Center for Leadership, Lark Theatre, Playwrights of NY) and have been working with female founded start ups.  After so many of you asked about my next article, I decided it was time […]

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Personal Finance for Freelancers and Artists

May 18, 2015

Personal Finance for Artists & Freelancers. 3 Day Video Course
Produced by Creative Live, Written and Taught by GALIA GICHON
Surviving and thriving as a freelancer or working artist requires strong financial management skills, but getting there can seem stressful and overwhelming. Join financial expert and MBA holder Galia Gichon for a course you can’t miss!  It’s […]

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Lessons From Young Women and Money Conference

February 11, 2014

In December, I was thrilled to speak at the YWCA Berkley  “Young Women and Money” conference in Oakland, CA. This was the same trip when I filmed my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers.” 
Valerie Coleman Morris  was the other keynote speaker. Many of our talking points were similar which affirms the importance of our […]

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Financial Literacy Expert for College Students

February 11, 2014

Even though today’s post is around college students, I found the message loud and clear for all my clients.  In fact, the message is: You are where you are today and then move forward.  If you need a push, you can still check out my Creative Live course “Personal Finance for Artists and Freelancers”.  I keep […]

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This Is What an Angel Looks Like

February 5, 2014

As many of you know, I took the Pipeline Fellowship Angel Investing bootcamp a few years ago.  Since then I have continued to be an angel investor, primarily through Topstone Angels.  I was recently interviewed for a series by Pipeline called “This is What An Angel Looks Like”.  It’s a fun interview that lists some […]

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