Jenna Rainey


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I’m Jenna Rainey. 

I'm an artist, self-taught designer, and multi-faceted creative entrepreneur who is hell-bent on teaching everyone how to find their inner creative voice.



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A highly creative nerd with a unique breed of humor and the proud earner of a self-bestowed award for being the world’s most curious and driven human.

Hey I'm Jenna!

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It’s like Netflix-binging Bob Ross videos, but with a dose of dry + quirky humor and fewer happy little tree references. 

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5 Money Management Tips for Creative Business Owners

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Tax season is officially here, and if you're anything like me, managing money and staring at your P&L (profit and loss statement) isn't exactly why you chose to start your own business. But here's the thing: mastering money management is so important, not just for the survival of your business, but for living your best life outside of it. And as much as you try and fight it (and trust me – I've been there), embracing this aspect of your business can actually make a huge difference. So, today, I'm rolling up my sleeves right there with you to share some money management tips for creative entrepreneurs, based on my own experiences as a 7 figure entrepreneur and someone who has been in business for over ten years now.

Keep in mind – I'm not a CPA. Plus, your money decisions should never be made from a random blog on the internet. However, I AM sharing what has worked for me in a manner that I hope will help!

1. Learn the Basics of Money Management Tips for Creative Business Owners

Don’t turn me off yet, but before I share more specific money management tips for creative business owners, this has to be said. 

You just need to learn a few skills (and they aren’t complicated – so do some Google-ing or Youtube-ing to get started). I go into detail about basic bookkeeping for small businesses here, but here’s the short version:

  1. Open a separate bank account. Trust me – doing this from the beginning will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
  2. Invest in a bookkeeping service OR a tool like Quickbooks to keep track of your income and expenses (again… this is a lot easier to do with a separate bank account!). There are so many new tools coming out that can automate this process for you. Or find one that will automatically upload your bank transactions. Look for one that feels as easy as possible for you (and stick with it – this doesn’t need to be complicated!).
  3. Reconcile your bank accounts regularly. I recommend logging in and tracking transactions weekly if not DAILY (and this is coming from someone who used to completely avoid checking her bank account balances in the beginning which was a MISTAKE).
money management tips for creatives

2. Know your costs so that you can make sure you are making a profit.

You know how I just said I used to avoid checking my bank account? That’s because I had no idea what to charge for my work (or what my actual costs were). I can laugh about it now but oh baby – it was less funny at the time!

While I know as a creative business owner, sometimes our “cost” is our time, and that can feel hard to price, but knowing your numbers is key to making your business profitable enough to give you the life you want. I go into detail about pricing your art here if you are feeling seen right now.

3. I always have a side hustle idea in my back pocket

I can’t talk about money management tips for creative business owners without talking about this. The truth is, no matter HOW successful your business is, cash likely fluctuates or at the very least has the potential to fluctuate in the future. That’s part of entrepreneurship.

While I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, I do think it’s a good idea for all businesses to have a “side hustle” idea in their back pocket. For example, while website design isn't a service I offer, I know that I could potentially take on a few clients for projects priced between $5,000 to $10,000 each gives me a sense of security that I could bring in an extra $50,000 a year if I needed. 

I've put a ton of effort into building a strong community around me, which is something I'm really thankful for. And I really believe that no matter how well things are going, it's wise to have your own cash-generating idea in your back pocket for those just-in-case moments. Whether or not you ever need it, having a plan to bring in some extra cash not only keeps you from panicking but also helps keep your main passion project running smoothly. In my experience, I’m less likely to chase shiny objects knowing that I’m covered no matter what life or business throws at me.

4. Protect the money you DO have

Before you roll your eyes, hear me out. I know this isn’t the most exciting part about entrepreneurship (most money management tips for creative business owners aren’t exactly glamorous) but contracts really do help you protect the money you do make and you SHOULD think of them like your safety net. Contracts not only help you retain the money you earn by enforcing payment agreements and avoiding legal disputes but also benefit your clients. A solid contract lays everything out on the table—expectations, timelines, payment details, you name it.

This clarity not only protects your hard-earned cash but also builds trust with your clients (which is huge as a creative!). So, as much as you might not love the idea of dealing with legal stuff, getting those contracts in place is a smart move. I personally use Framework Law Group every time I need a contract for anything (and they also review everything before I sign!).

woman walking sharing money management tips

5. If money isn’t your strength, work with a professional

I’m a big fan of outsourcing (it’s one of the things that has made the biggest difference in growing my business). I don’t believe that as creative business owners, we should try and do everything alone. So if you know that money management isn’t your strength, you may want to hire help (whether that means regular meetings with an accountant, weekly reports from your bookkeeper, or whatever support feels right to you).

But let me just say this before I accidentally write you a permission slip to “check out” from the financial side of your business: I do believe that you need to understand your numbers and what they mean, regardless of who is creating the reports or reconciling your accounts. Giving into the fear of finances is one of the biggest mistakes I see almost every creative entrepreneur make. I know firsthand that it’s not worth it (and it’s not even necessary). I break down some more of the basics I think every small business should know about finances to get you started here.

Money Management Tips for Creative Business Owners

And there you have it, folks – a handful of money management tips for creative business owners that have personally helped me throughout the last decade of entrepreneurship. I know tax season can bring a lot of stress onto creative business owners, but it can also serve as a good reminder of why keeping your finger on the pulse of your finances is so important. It’s worth the journey! For more business advice (and to peek behind the scenes of what I’m up to lately), join my broadcast channel on Instagram for regular doses of real talk and inspiration.

by Jenna Rainey 

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