Creative Finance That Won't Get You Arrested

When you hear the words creative and finance together what comes to mind?

Tax evasion?
The Mafia?

Fear not!

I’ve got some great ideas for you and they are all completely legal.

Right Brain Finance – No Jail Time Involved

We’ll cover two common finance problems and then I’ll share my own creative finance primer. No bail bondsmen required.

Creative solutions to “I can’t afford that”

  • Barter
    Barter can be a great way to get the services you need now, even when you don’t have the capital. Personally I’ve had great experiences with barter. The key is to treat it like any other contract and client. You are simply cutting out the middle man (a.k.a. the Almighty Dollar). For a more detailed discussion read my blog post Geometric Barter

  • Negotiate Payment Terms
    What if the payments for the product or service you need could be spread out? Perhaps a profit sharing arrangement could be made in place of making an up front payment. As I discuss in a guest post for Dr. Shannon Reece, I firmly believe that Everything is Negotiable.
  • CrowdFunding
    Perhaps your business is looking to invest in a new technology platform, publish a book, or even promote a new product line. Then you may wish to consider crowdfunding. Inspired by crowdsourcing, crowdfunding allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to leverage the internet to raise funds for a specific purpose. I highly recommend as a great resource for running a campaign.

Creative solutions to “Finance and numbers are BORING”

  • Give it a theme
    Where do you usually see themes? At parties. Creating a theme for your finances or finance tasks can add some fun. For example, you could make it a murder mystery – “Who Murdered My Profits This Month?”. How about a scary movie theme? I did this with my blog post on 3 Easy Ways to Tackle Your Taxes
  • Get others involved
    Hate doing expenses? Have an expense party, virtually or in person. Sip cocktails and chat while filing away all those pesky receipts. Another idea is to co-opt a t(w)een in your life. Offer them a $50 iTunes card to get your filing in order.
  • Stalk The Numbers Whisperer ™
    Yes that’s me. And yes I’m usually having that much fun… talking about finance.

    Now you can too!

    Follow me on Twitter @NicoleAFende
    Become a fan on Facebook
    Connect with me on LinkedIn

    Or listen to my weekly radio show (infectious laugh included at no extra charge) on BlogTalkRadio.


Creative Finance Solutions Primer

That’s all great Nicole, but my problem is ________________.

No worries!

Here are some ideas to get those creative juices flowing. Remember when you brainstorm no idea is bad, silly or wrong. Write them ALL down. You never know which might lead to a viable solution.

  • Pretend your problem is a board game
    What does the board look like? How do you win? What are the challenges? Rewards? Think Monopoly meets your small biz.
  • Pretend it’s an episode of Scooby Doo
    Scooby and Shaggy always end up in dire circumstances, and then find their way out in crazy and creative ways. Imagine your problem as an episode, how would they react?
  • Open Pandora’s (music) Box
    Music can really get my creativity cranked up. Visit for some free tunes randomly selected. Just enter one song or artist to get started.

Final Thoughts

What creative solutions have you used in finance? For any problem facing your business? How do you spark creativity in your work?

Special Note: This post is part of a Monthly Blog Carnival to which I belong. Each month Tea Silvestre (@teasilvestre) will put out a topic that each person in the group must blog about. Visit website to get a complete listing of all the perspectives on this month’s topic.

© 2011 Small Business Finance Forum LLC | All rights reserved.



  1. You know, I’ve always thought of myself as the creative type but I never would’ve thought about some if these ideas. Especially like your suggestion to choose a theme each month. I’m a sucker for vampire romances. (Who is sucking the life blood from my biz this month, hmmm?)
    Tea Silvestre recently posted…Nominate Your Favorite Tastiest Small Business BrandsMy Profile

  2. these are some really cool ideas, none i would have ever considered. Creative juices are definitely flowing

  3. Love the idea of barter, Nicole. In fact, I used that a couple of weeks ago with a friend who needed help with a website. She’s a massage therapist, so we traded services. Great ideas!
    Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted…Creativity Alone is Not Enough!My Profile

  4. That board game idea can do more than just get your creative juices flowing. If you actually make the board game it can get the money flowing too :).

    I know there are a few people that became really successful selling finance related games.
    Eugene recently posted…8 Steps to Writing Successful Content that Drives ActionMy Profile

  5. I always giggle when I hear “creative financing” … being both a bean-counter and a creative type, I can really relate.
    Bartering is a great way to get goods or services that you want, but don’t necessarily have the cash at hand.
    We built a fab website in exchange for a GORGEOUS hand-carved teak cupboard from Java.
    You’ve got to make sure it’s a fair swap, so everyone is happy … win-win :-)
    Victoria Koning recently posted…Spice trail to BeverwijkMy Profile

  6. This is such a great post all about my favorite numbers whisperer!
    I am laughing about creative finance = mafia!
    I like your suggestion for giving finance a theme – in 2012, I may adopt a shoe theme to my expenses –> this may motivate me! REALLY! I think it will help to be more creative — rach
    Rachel Blaufeld recently posted…business trip (aka – aching heart)My Profile

  7. I totally agree with you that EVERYTHING is negotiable.

    My experience with ComCast tells me that everything from fees to the length of your contract is totally negotiable if they screw up enough.

    But, that being said – there’s a reason why my WIFE manages the finances of my business. Some people are just not meant to handle, look at, or know about, money. And I am one of those people! :-)

  8. Wow Nicole, I love this post. Truly my biggest weakness…It just gives me the heebee jeebees…and I know how important it is. I LOVE your suggestions, I am really curious about the crowdfunding…Have been seeing that term and never checked it out….You are THE Numbers Whisperer…
    Michelle Church recently posted…Create Balance and Harmony Through CreativityMy Profile

  9. Great Post. I really until today thought Creative Financing was code for illegal doings!
    Haralee recently posted…WelcomeMy Profile

  10. Wow, I get wrapped up in client work for a day, and am a bit behind here on comments. Thank you to everyone who left a comment. Since I’m still fighting with my theme to get nested comments, I’ll break up my responses into a couple chunks,and be sure to @ each of you individually.

    I value you taking the time to leave your thoughts, and want you to know that I have read them!
    Nicole Fende recently posted…These aren’t the shakes you’re looking forMy Profile

  11. @Tea – Themes are a great way to add fun to even the dullest thing. I love the idea of vampires meet profits. Perhaps a good one for October 2012?

    @LaTersa – Thanks for the feedback. I’m glad they are flowing and hope that some of them flow right to your bottom line!

    @Sharon – Yes barter can really open doors for small business owners. I’m sure you know this, but for anyone reading this. Get a contract and agree to terms up front, just like any other biz arrangement.
    Nicole Fende recently posted…News Flash: Serial Profit Killer on the Loose!My Profile

  12. @Eugene – Hmm… I’m going to add that to the list of possibilities for 2012. I DO have a product launching shortly that combines poker chips, the concept of placing bets and budgeting!

    @Annie – Thanks I’m glad you enjoyed it. The pressure was really on as the one in the group not considered to be in a creative field. And I LOVE your new header.

    @Victoria – I’m glad it made you giggle. Let’s hope the IRS has the same lighthearted attitude (Kidding!). I absolutely love the handcarved teak items from Indonesia. Saw some while there, but didn’t have a way to get them home.
    Nicole Fende recently posted…These aren’t the shakes you’re looking forMy Profile

  13. @Evan – Thanks, I’m glad I continue to show the world finance doesn’t have to suck.

    @Rachel – oooh I love the idea of a shoe themed budgeting approach. Actually have ideas percolating. We should talk!

    @Nick – yes a lot of people assume that big companies don’t negotiate. They do. You just need to work at it a bit more.
    Nicole Fende recently posted…These aren’t the shakes you’re looking forMy Profile

  14. @Michelle – Thanks. We certainly don’t want the heebee geebees, so I’m glad to provide the antidote. You might want to listen to this radio interview I did with the co-founder of Peerbackers on BTR.–learn-how-to-raise-funds-now

    @Haralee – LOL Well in some circles it probably still does.
    Nicole Fende recently posted…News Flash: Serial Profit Killer on the Loose!My Profile

  15. The monthly theme has really got my head buzzing – stirring up those creative juices while working with numbers! Perhaps you could stretch it a bit to a really big goal – like an overseas holiday and then do a spread sheet where you count down what you have contributed to the goal each month (rather than count up which is always a tad disheartening).

    For a person with serious number’s avoidance behaviour, I am grateful for the inspiration, thanks Nicole.
    SandyMc recently posted…The right brain, left brain thing and content curationMy Profile

  16. All are great ideas. Another one is factoring your business to business accounts receivable to create cash flow. It’s an advantage to businesses to have their cash right away instead of waiting on their customers to pay 45-90 days down the line.

  17. will you marry a completely heterosexual-plutonic-finance-only kinda way?!

    i can tell just by reading what you write that you’re genuinely passionate and equally excited about what you do. it makes making the decision to work with you a no-brainer.
    miss donna recently posted…Paying The Price For GrowthMy Profile

  18. @Sandy – Numbers don’t have to be the villain. Glad you enjoyed it!

    @Anne – yes factoring is absolutely a great option to consider.

    @Donna – ROTFL. Sure we can have a great plutonic finance only commitment ;) I absolutely love what I do, and I love sharing it with others in a fun and entertaining way.

  19. I want to thank the blogger very much not only for this post but also for his all previous efforts. I found this site to be very interesting. I will be coming back to this site for more information.

  20. Knowing that, the world’s economy today is unstable, it is very important that we people must create unique ways to earn, and not only that, we must have also a secondary income just to be sure you can manage your daily expenses.
    Cathy Daniels recently posted…Ways to Make Passive Income through Non-Internet MethodsMy Profile



  1. Creativity and Your Small Business - [...] Fende, A.S.A. of Small Business Finance Forum: Creative Finance That Won’t Get You Arrested @BizFinanceForum [...]

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