10 Commonly Overlooked Ways to Save Money
As a business owner and entrepreneur, the responsibility of managing finances often falls on your shoulders. To stay on top of your cash flow and abide by your budget, it’s imperative to take advantage of money-saving opportunities and look for new ways to cut back on spending.
Sometimes it is easier to see these things in our business life than our personal life. If you have an efficient accounting department, then you get clear cut reports, budgets, and forecasts for your company, industry, and niche. To be honest, it can be way more difficult to identify such financial opportunities and red flags “in real life”. On the up note, since the self-employed work hard to expand their businesses, we tend to handle our incomes more responsibly rather than falling into thoughtless shopping routines and unnecessary spending habits that other people develop.
While these habits might satisfy immediate wishes, the danger lies in the unconscious giving up of long term goals. In other words, don’t forego bigger desires for temporary pleasure. If you want to succeed personally, and in business, you need to have a long term growth mindset.
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In this guide, we’ve compiled some valuable, yet commonly overlooked ways to save money for business owners and ordinary individuals.
Saving Tips for Ordinary Individuals
1. Cash Back on Shopping
You have absolutely no idea how much you are losing by not getting your cashback for everyday spending. Everyone shops for daily necessities such as groceries, household items, clothes, etc., multiple times each month. Yet, most of us fail to earn the cashback after paying the bill.
If you start keeping track of how much you forgo on cashback every quarter or year, you’ll probably never leave without getting them. There are many cashback and saving apps that can help you kill this silly routine. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
If you wish to get serious about saving this year, download the TopCashBack app. With over 6 million users around the globe, this app is commonly used for day-to-day purchases. It transfers part of the commission it earns to you in the form of cashback.
This cashback app focuses on retailers, allowing you to earn cash when shopping on Amazon, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and more. Refer the app to two of your friends. If they sign-up using your referral link, you earn $50.
If you prefer a more rewarding cash back app, Swagbucks is the ideal choice for you. With Swagbucks, you not only save on everyday purchases but also earn rewards simply by answering surveys, searching the web, and watching videos.
When it comes to redeeming your earnings and cashback, the app also allows you to choose between cash via PayPal or in the form of gift cards.
Ibotta is the best cashback app available for grocery purchases. You’ll be amazed by the sizable chunk of change you save every month on simple purchases such as groceries, toiletries, clothing, and more. The company is constantly looking to partner up with retailers to maximize your savings. Also, the app’s user interface makes it incredibly easy to use.
Once you’ve signed up, send the registration link to your friends. Every time a friend signs up using your link, you get $5!
2. Utility Bills
Another way to save is to make simple changes in your energy consumption. By making a few simple tweaks, you can reduce your utility bills.
Did you know that your thermostat is responsible for around half of your electric bill every month? You can actually save 2% on your electric bill by increasing the temperature by one degree during the summer season.
Likewise, during winters, you can lower the temperature by one degree and save 2% on your electricity bills. Besides, this solution will also help you reduce the carbon footprint and make you more environmentally friendly.
Also, keep your appliances and electric-power equipment unplugged when no one is using them. Homeowners normally believe that they stop consuming energy as soon as you switch them off. That’s not true. As long as they’re plugged, they’ll keep pulling a minute amount of electricity, thus increasing the associated bill.
Some of the items that you need to unplug include TVs, DVRs, computer chargers, DVD players, and phone chargers. Some of the outlets might be hard to reach. If that is the case, consider using power strips for those outlets.
3. Insurance Policy
Most of us don’t keep an eye on our insurance policies. Very few take the time to compare their current rates with those on the market. If you haven’t looked into your insurance policies for a long time, you’re probably overpaying for your car, home, and renters’ insurance.
If you think switching your insurer is a hectic job, you’re wrong. All you have to do to get a quick, no-obligation quote from another insurer is filling an online form or making a phone call. This shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.
Depending on your individual case and claims history, you might be able to save tons of money on annual insurance expenses.
4. Discounts, Medical Coverage and Incentive Plans
If you’re an employee, your job might be offering you more benefits than your salary. Some employers offer discounts and incentive plans on various external facilities, such as gyms, movie theatre tickets, passes to festivals, medical facilities, computers, and more.
If you haven’t already done so, get in touch with the HR personnel in your place of employment and check what benefits you can avail. At the very least, most companies offer some form of medical coverage to their employees. This provides a great opportunity to save on healthcare bills as medical emergencies and appointments can be quite expensive.
5. Unsubscribe for Unused Services
Wasted services are another culprit that can rob families of their hard-earned money. If you are not using a service, there is no point in paying for it. If you’re too busy to track your unused subscriptions and eliminate them, consider using Trim. It’s a service that analyzes all your recurring expenses and keeps you informed on all your current subscriptions. Keep checking them from time to time and look out for subscriptions you don’t use. Request Trim to cancel a subscription for you, and that’s it, you will end up saving money!
Just by spending a few minutes checking your subscriptions, you can save huge amounts and avoid putting a dent in your wallet. Quite remarkably, Trim has helped users save $8,000,000. As a fast and secure solution, it’s one of the simplest ways to save money today.
Saving Tips for Business Owners
Let’s now study some saving techniques that will turn you into a money-savvy entrepreneur who should keep things running through difficult times:
6. Plan Your Budget Carefully
A well-planned budget sets the foundation for business financial management. As a business owner, you must stay on top of the anticipated business expenditures and how your spending impacts your cash flow and income. If you’re a new entrepreneur, follow these budgeting tips from FreshBooks:
- Determine the sources of your income and forecast your estimated income.
- List down all fixed costs such as the fixed monthly bills and subscriptions.
- Predict the variable expenses that are scaled up or down from one month to another.
- Recognize one-time expenditures, such as office furniture or new PCs.
- Pool all the information together using either a spreadsheet or a budgeting app or tool.
- Update the information every month.
Staying consistent with your budgeting should help you save a lot more money than you normally would. When you know things are expected to get out of hands, you can cut down on spending accordingly and keep making profits. Unexpected expenditures should be eliminated.
7. Utilize Free Trials or Open-Source Software
The high-tech industry sounds extravagant, but it’s also among the most competitive corporate sectors out there. Instead of subscribing to a popular brand immediately, conduct some research to find a more affordable option.
There’s a great chance that you’ll find a tool that offers the same service without charging a penny. This, however, doesn’t mean that you go for any open-source software. Do immense research and compare your options so that you end up choosing a reliable and valuable option.
CNET, for instance, is a trustworthy platform that allows you to compare and review products and services. In case you don’t find free software, look for paid options that offer a 30-day free trial. This not only allows you to save up to 30 days of the cost, but it also helps you to examine and decide whether the software is the right choice for your business.
8. Claim Your Tax Deduction for Home-Office
If you work from home, allocate an area of your home as dedicated office space so that you can qualify for the associated tax deduction. Consult your tax preparer on the updated tax policies, asking them whether you can deduct some part of your mortgage and utilities from your tax. They will let you know whether your home office even falls under deductible expenses or not.
Certain conditions must be met if you want to qualify for the tax deduction. For instance, you must be using the space regularly and exclusively for office work. You may need to prove that you don’t usually conduct business outside of this space. To check the regulations pertaining to this deduction on your own, visit IRS.gov.
9. Barter Services or Purchase Used Office Equipment
Brand new office furniture can eat up your budget quickly. To save money, visit Craigslist or similar sites where you can find used furniture. Used furniture entails refurbished items that look great while costing half the price of brand new items.
For simple items, such as chairs, desks, and shelves, you may even talk to your family and friends about whether they have old furniture for use in the office. This way, you can save plenty of money without compromising on the aesthetics of your office.
The same strategy can be applied to other office equipment— even to tech products. If you’re worried that you might have to spend more on repairs than you did on the original purchase, look for refurbished options that come with a guarantee. This will give you peace of mind and help you save money!
You may also choose to barter products or services with other businesses. Bartering refers to the exchange of services by two entities in a way that both parties benefit from the transaction. For instance, if you are a web designing company, you can exchange services with a tax preparer. You can create a website for the tax specialist for free. In return, the tax professional can provide tax preparation services to you without charging you.
10. Save on Health Insurance
When you’re self-employed, health insurance can be a huge expense. One way to save on this necessary business cost is to deduct your health insurance premiums.
However, you will need to check whether you meet the criteria for this deduction. To be eligible, your business must have made a profit during the year, as the deduction cannot exceed the amount of money you earned during a given year. Plus, the deduction is available to you only if you don’t have health insurance through your spouse or other sources. Lastly, remember you can’t combine the profits of two or more businesses to show positive cash flow.
Saving money now can prove to be difficult, but it can help you fulfill your ultimate dreams and achieve long-term business goals. I truly hope that these tips will help you to reassess your spending habits, while positioning you for strategic growth, both in your personal life and in business!