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Do You Have a Budget for Your Blog? You Probably Need One!

Do You Have a Budget for Your Blog? You Probably Need One!

If you read my post from last week about making plans, you know I’m on a mission to get my finances in order. And as I learned last year, blogging is expensive. One of my blogging priorities this year was to create a blog budget (and just as importantly, stick to it). Coming up with my blog’s budget was eye-opening, goal-defining, and even a little inspiring. 

I’m going to share some tips, and I’ve got a printable blog budget template for you, too – so you have no excuse and can get started working on your own blog’s budget right away!

Blog Budget

But first, let’s talk about WHY you need a budget.

Last year was the first year I spent “real” money (and time…OMG, so much time) on my blog. Previously, it had been a hobby (I’ve been blogging, off and on, since 2007), and a free hobby at that. But when I realized I wanted to make money blogging, I learned (quickly!) that I would need to spend money blogging, first. 

So, I spent money. And eventually, I started making money, too. Not a lot, but enough that I set up a separate bank account for my blog so I could track expenses and income. And this worked okay, but…I was never really sure when to pay myself. I wasn’t sure what upcoming expenses I might incur, when my next job might come, and all that fun stuff. So, I made up a super random formula to determine how to pay myself, and a couple of times each month, I’d deposit this random amount into our family account and hope that I was leaving enough in the blog account to cover future expenses.

This year, I sat down and penciled in my projected costs for 2014. Once I had an annual budget amount, I figured out the monthly cost.  And now? I know how to pay myself. Any amount I make over the monthly cost will go towards my family’s finances (and ultimately, paying off debt – woohoo!).

Sounds so obvious and simple, but really…until I had a budget worked out, my financial “program” was random and inefficient.

If you blog as a business, you need to treat your blog as a business – and that includes having a budget. If you blog as a hobby, but spend money on your blog, you can still benefit from a budget. Your blogging money has to come from somewhere, and I believe it’s easier to manage your personal finances if you have ALL of your expenses accounted for and mapped out…and that includes your blog’s expenses!

And now, let’s talk about HOW to budget. It takes some time to get it all worked out, but it’s pretty painless!

  • Write it down. It does not have to be fancy…mine isn’t!
  • Spend some time really thinking about all of your expenses. Mine took several days to write (and it’s short and sweet) because I kept thinking of things I’d left off, or wanted to add for the new year.
  • If you think you’ll need something, or want to go somewhere, but you’re not sure (for example, attending a conference or buying a new laptop), include it in your budget. 
  • Share your budget with someone if you’d like feedback. I made sure to share mine with my husband, because A) I value his feedback, B) he was able to think of a couple things I’d left off, and C) how much money I will be making matters and impacts our monthly family budget.
  • Edit. When I looked at my monthly operating costs (which I determined by simply dividing my annual cost by 12), I realized I was going to have to really hustle to make the income I want to make – and all that hustling would take away from a couple of other large projects I have in the works. So, I cut some costs and reduced my expected annual expenses by 20%.
  • Stick with it. This is the hardest part for me – budgeting is eye-opening, and helps draw clear lines about needs vs. wants and all that good stuff. But if you don’t stick with it, it’s useless.
  • And at the same time, be flexible. If you have an unexpected expense, you can always re-write your budget to include the new expense.

Some things to think about when budgeting for a blog:

  • Future technology purchases (will you need a new laptop this year?)
  • Ongoing monthly subscriptions (I have several low monthly fees I pay to various websites…but they add up!)
  • Things you need help with (need to hire an accountant? want to hire a virtual assistant at some point? need legal advice or want to set your blog up as an “official” business?)
  • Continuing education (if you’re investing in your blog, you might want to attend a conference or take additional trainings)

Is your head spinning yet? If you’ve never budgeted for your blog before, it might. You’ll have your own unique expenses, but if this is all new to you, I put together a template that should help you get started.

Printable Blog Budget Template

Click to download!

So, tell me – have you made a budget for your blog yet? How did it go?


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I really need to set-up a budget. A separate account would be good too. I’m sure by some point during the year I’ll have to do that. Everything is all combined is together right now. Luckily I do all of our money, so I have an idea of where everything is coming and going from. 😉

This is a good post and sounds very do-able. I haven’t actually set up a budget because I’m not making a lot at this point, and sometimes I get paid in gift cards…which is cool. I do have expenses and I am attending several conferences this year. I guess I need to keep account of it all. Thanks for the printable!

I have no problem with gift cards! I am going to Women Get Social…I’ll probably attend a couple (or all) of theirs, which is why I need a budget, right? Where are Blog Elevated and SoFavCon? Oh, and my family wants me to attend BloggyCon2014 because it’s at Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Excellent post, Carrie! Thanks for creating such a useful financial tool! I’m printing it now and intend to get started. BTW – I’m stopping by to today to let you know that we have nominated you and your blog for a Liebster Blog Award. This award is given to bloggers by bloggers for simply being great at what you do! I follow your blog on Bloglovin’ and think you are more than deserving! I hope you’ll accept this nomination, so please stop by my post, Breaking the Rules, at to get the details on how to accept this award and share the encouragement by giving the award to some of your favorite bloggers! Tootles!

Awesome! Thanks for doing all the work on this one! I need to do this…I’m afraid to really add up all my expenses from last year so I probably need to do a better job this year!

I need to do the LLC too….but I think I’ll wait until it actually starts making consistent money!

These are very useful tips. I was thinking about making a budget. Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday. We hope you hop over and share with us again next week.

These are really awesome tips. I would love for you to share this great post at our WIW Linky Party. I hope you can join us.


It’s really important to have a blog budget. Thank you for some great tips. Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

Thank you so much for sharing this.

Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

I have been at the same point this year – going from “it doesn’t cost much and anything it brings in is negligable spending money” to “this is an entity of my own and I need to get it organized.” What I found really tricky was the fact that the income is SOOO variable. So here’s what I did. (Time will tell if it’s effective or not.)

First I figured out what are the absolute, set expenses, and what they average out to in a month. Then I set my budget up in “tiers.” If I make up to that amount (the cost to run the blog for the month), it all goes back into the “blog expenses” account. Anything above that and up to another set amount is broken down by percentages into certain categories (including a bit more for business-building). And anything above THAT is set up by percentages again, but with a slightly different breakdown. For instance, after a certain point, I need to be setting aside money for taxes. But up to a point, I’m not making enough to change our tax bracket, so that’s not a necessary category until I’m hitting a certain income level.

(A lot of the categories overlap from the second tier to the third tier, but they’re different amounts.)

Like I said, I don’t know yet if this will be an effective way to handle it. But it sure made me a lot less crazy than trying to break down nonexistent numbers, not knowing whether they’d cover expenses or not.

I have spent the better part of this last month really focusing on my business goals and along with it, my budget. This printable helps lay it all out nicely. Thank you!

Looking forward to your next Tell Me About It Tuesday share!

This is a great idea. We need to do this. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Link Party.
Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above

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