Managing Large Payments: A Profit First Approach for Financial Success


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Hey there, I’m Abby Johnson from Matterhorn Business Development!
We’re a family-owned company dedicated to helping you grow your business and achieve financial success. Today I want to discuss a crucial topic that many entrepreneurs face – managing large sums of money, whether received upfront or after completing a project. This situation often applies to professionals like contractors, designers, and realtors. You might find yourself wondering how to handle these sporadic income streams that make it challenging to maintain financial stability. As a certified Profit First professional, I’m here to guide you through a solution to this problem.

Choosing Your Allocation Frequency:

One of the fundamental principles of Profit First is selecting an allocation day, a specific time frame to manage your money and distribute it among different accounts. While some may opt for a monthly allocation, I personally recommend a more frequent approach, such as bi-weekly or weekly, depending on your financial habits. This consistency will be your first step toward better financial management when dealing with substantial sums of money.

Creating a Drip Account:

To illustrate this concept, let’s use a simple example. Imagine you’ve received a $10,000 upfront payment for a project that will span ten weeks, and you’ve chosen to allocate your funds every two weeks. In this scenario, we’ll introduce the concept of a “drip account.” Instead of letting the entire $10,000 sit in your main account, you’ll gradually distribute it to yourself, much like an allowance system. This strategy prevents impulsive spending and ensures your money lasts longer.

Here’s how it works: Initially, deposit the $10,000 into your drip account, a separate bank account. Every two weeks, transfer $2,000 from the drip account into your various Profit First accounts or your primary business account if you’re not using Profit First. By doing this, you’re effectively giving yourself a consistent income, even if your payments come in large, irregular sums. This method encourages disciplined spending habits, preventing you from splurging on unnecessary expenses when you see a large balance in your main account.

Managing Post-Project Payments:

The same principle applies when you receive a substantial payment after completing a project. Suppose, for instance, you completed a ten-week project, receiving half the payment upfront and the rest upon completion. If you’ve already established a two-week allocation schedule, you can spread out the post-project payment across five weeks. This ensures a steady income flow and prevents the temptation of spending it all at once.

Flexibility and Spreadsheet Tracking:

Keep in mind that these examples use straightforward numbers to illustrate the concept. Your situation may vary, and it’s essential to tailor the allocation strategy to your unique income patterns and financial goals. In practice, you’ll likely need to maintain a spreadsheet to track your allocations accurately. Additionally, if you receive additional payments during the same period, be prepared to adjust your allocations accordingly. A Profit First professional can provide valuable guidance in these situations, helping you make the best financial decisions for your business.


Managing large payments, whether received upfront or after completing a project, can be challenging. However, by implementing the Profit First approach and creating a drip account, you can ensure consistent income and make better financial decisions. Remember to choose the allocation frequency that works best for you, maintain a spreadsheet to track your progress, and seek professional guidance if needed. With these strategies in place, you can take control of your finances and achieve long-term financial success.

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About Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson, is Matterhorn Business Development’s Chief Mentor, resident organizational genius and Certified Profit First Professional, helping our clients grow and organize their businesses. With a passion for empowering businesses to thrive and extensive experience in helping clients grow their revenue and manage their finances profitability, she’s committed to making a positive impact on your business.