How I Track My Expenses As A Small Business Owner

Over the years, I’ve learned more and more about taxes as a small business owner.

As a small business owner, I think I’ve tried everything from Quickbooks service to taking pictures of all receipts to recording my own expenses. I finally found what has worked for me, even though I still DESPISE tracking my expenses and income. But I mean, does anyone enjoy it?! (Accountants: Don’t answer that.) I wanted to share a few things I do to track and record my expenses. This is just works for me. It’s definitely not high tech or fancy by any means, but it gets the job done.

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Since I pay quarterly taxes (and this year, Q1 and Q2 payments are due on July 15), I just had to sit and review what my tax payments will have to be for each quarter. I thought this would be the perfect time to share this post, and remind my fellow small business owners that payments are due VERY SOON!

Using labels

Since MANY of my expenses are done online, I realized that it was imperative to create tags for receipts in my email. I have a “receipts” label and whenever I make a business-related purchase, or have an automatic payment come out (Planoly, my SEO strategist, etc.), I immediately file under the label in my email. I leave it unread as well, so it forces me to go in and record it in a timely manner. Let’s be honest, who has time for 1380182309 unread emails?! By using labels, I can easily access the folder and then search what expense I’m looking for.


I keep my income and expenses in one Google Sheets spreadsheet. I’ve really grown to love Google Drive when it comes to business things because I can access it anytime, anywhere. I have a bunch of different tabs: Income (broken out by month), Travel, Monthly Expenses, Shoot Expenses, Photography, and Miscellaneous. Then I have a “Master” tab for my accountant (who is one of my good friends since high school). I have the data automatically pull on that master tab so he has a big picture view of my expenses, then can go into individual tabs if needed.

Schedule time to do your expenses

In the past, I’ve definitely let my expenses slip away…which only causes a huge headache for myself. Now, I try to set aside time once a month to review my expenses. This makes is SO easy when it comes time to hand in my expenses for the year. I not only go through my receipts, but also double check against my credit cards to make sure I have everything accounted for.

Hire an accountant

If you’re confused, hire an accountant. Or use a tax service. Taxes are NO joke. There are so many rules, regulations, and things no one who doesn’t do accounting for a living would know about. If you’re a blogger and run your blog as a small business, then I definitely recommend an accountant because there are a LOT of rules about what we can and cannot write off expenses.

At the end of the day, taxes are NOT fun. But they’re so important. And something we must do as Americans…especially business owners. While it’s something we usually hate to do, getting into a simple routine and knowing what works for YOU helps soften the blow come tax season!

If you have any helpful tips, I’d LOVE for you to share!

Disclaimer: I am not an accountant or lawyer. This comes from my personal experience only.

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