This article will be of interest to self-employed artists. It aims to provide guidelines on how to manage and control the day-to-day finances associated with their work. What follows describes what a hypothetical artist, Karen, should do once she has finished at art college and has started exhibiting and selling her work. Karen should keep separate in her mind and in practice the finances associated with her personal life and the finances associated with her business of creating and selling art. In many cases, it is easy to determine whether an expense is ‘personal’ or ‘business’. In other instances this is not straightforward, particularly where a payment – e.g. for electricity or travel – may be partly business and partly personal. A key aspect to identifying and quantifying this differentiation is to adopt a systematic approach to keeping records and to preparing and reviewing budgets.