Okay, so you could just allocate a portion of your pay-cheque to go into your business expense account. Easy. Done.
End of article. Why did I even show up?
That’s the obvious answer and that might be sufficient for some of you. But it could mean you miss the opportunity to snatch extra dollars from other places. There is more to tracking your spending than just setting up a few bank transfers.
Are you trying to fund a small business and finding hidden costs along the way? It might seem that a few dollars here and there isn’t going to make a difference to some of those larger business expenses. Website design and online courses can be costly.
But every bit counts and tracking what you spend each week is a big step towards making the most of your money. As you progress towards your dream of a successful online business, every dollar will matter.
Here are a couple of easy suggestions for tracking your spending and adding money each week to that business expense account.
As we travel through our routine, little bits of money flow in and out of our hands, our bags, and our cars… Do you ever find money in the ashtray? My impulse is to hit the drive thru when that happens, but that’s not the only choice. YES IT IS, rebuts my inner self. But then I’m a huge fan of giving advice I don’t intend to follow.
It might be just a dollar or 2. Another 70 cents is bound to show up in a jeans pocket or at the bottom of the washing machine. Keep your eye out for all those rogue coins and stick them in a tin. When it’s full take it to the bank. Most branches have coin counting deposit machines that make your life easier. Pop it straight into your business expense account.
It might not seem like it’s worth the time, but like everything in life, small repeated efforts amount to a lot over time. This is your money that you’ve earned after all. You may as well use it to fund your project. Why should $2 sit under your driver’s seat when it can go towards your business expenses?
Do you tell people to keep the change? Don’t do that. Billy the checkout guy doesn’t get to pocket that $1.50. He’s on CCTV.
If you’ve just handed a ten dollar note to a homeless person then sure, asking for change is rude, but otherwise there is no reason to be leaving dollars and cents behind just because you can’t be bothered putting it back in your bag. Take your change and throw it in the tin. Track all that unconscious spending.
COUPONS & SPECIALS
Use the discount vouchers. Get the 2 for 1 deal. Read the junk mail and chase the bargains.
Not using coupons is a wasted opportunity. So many people throw them away. But if you’re going to have pizza delivered anyway, and you can get more for less? Do it. I was at McDonald’s recently and I was going to get $6.10 worth of deliciousness, and the girl that served me suggested I buy the $4 cheeseburger deal. $2.10 cheaper and I got an extra ice cream! Winning!
Now if I were even smarter, I wouldn’t have gone to McDonalds at all and I could have put $6.10 into my account. But like I said, I’m just here to share the tips not be some shining beacon for logical spending.
Don’t be bound by one service provider either. If a shop you don’t normally go to is doing a great special, change your routine this week.
Maybe you received a mechanic’s promotional letter suggesting you take your car in for a half-priced service? Well why not try it out? Sure they might murder your car, but you can always research them first. Look up their website and any reviews available. If they aren’t operating out of Greg’s caravan 30 kilometres into the desert, it’s probably going to be okay. Although I imagine Greg wouldn’t have the sort of marketing team that’s doing promotional street drops.
You’ll never know if something’s good until you try it. You might find someone even better. At the very least you’ve saved some cash, and that is the aim of the game.
Another savings trick to look out for is after you do your food shop. Sometimes on the receipt it will show you how much money you’ve saved by buying special or discounted items.
If those items were full priced, you would have still bought most of them right?
If you can afford to pay full price and have found a way not to, then that is some instant savings right there. Tracking your spending in this way will give you a new range of control over your expenses and how much you can save.
This is a simple one. Are you about to spend money on something that you know is frivolous and will not ultimately serve you or your goals? Are you purchasing something that is taking away from vital business expenses?
Stop yourself. Have a think. If that loss of money isn’t going to be noticeable to you, and the purchase is wasteful, what happens if you don’t spend it?
I’m not going to give examples here, because what might be frivolous to you may not be frivolous to me. This is a deeply personal decision. Only you will know if this purchase is the right choice or not.
And if you don’t make it, consider what you have achieved in terms of self-control. Any entrepreneur will need a lot of self-control throughout the journey of building their business. Take the opportunity to exercise it like a muscle. Don’t buy the thing.
So what to do with all those little dribs and drabs of savings?
If you’ve saved $100 on your car service, you don’t automatically have $100 extra in your business expense account. You need to do 2 things.
Step one, get the discounted product or service. Pay for it.
Step two, calculate what you’ve saved with this discount and transfer that same amount into your business expense account. Immediately! Make the transactions back to back! Don’t leave it till later.
This also applies to purchases you were going to make and didn’t. If you just held back from blowing $50 on something you didn’t need, take that $50 and put it immediately into your business expense account.
This might seem completely obvious, but it’s really very easy to just accept that you saved money on one thing and leave that money to get eaten up by something else.
If you’re aware you’ve saved a bit on the food shop one week, the inclination might be to spend that savings on something else, just because you can. Maybe on something that you might not have bought if you’d been paying full price for everything.
That’s the key. The whole point to tracking your spending this way is to increase the business expense account balance, not to have more cash to blow each week. Sure, the more you save on your regular purchases, the more you CAN spend on recreational things. That’s not a wrong choice. It just doesn’t put that money into your business.
However, if you’re reading this because you want to build your business fund up faster and get to your goals quicker then don’t skip step two.
Every little bit really does count. I can’t say that enough. Just take a look at your subscriptions that you’re paying for. If you’re in the throes of a start-up you’re bound to have a few. Are you paying for DropBox and Hostbaby every month? You could pay for both of those with what you save on one weekly food shop.
One moment of self-control could pay for your Internet service for the month.
You deserve the benefit of every dollar you earn and so does your business.