Saving money is one of those goals that we often set for ourselves but take little to no steps to accomplish it. We find ourselves doing a good job at first, but then we fall into the trap of sales, discounts, credit advantages, or just our old spending habits.
Whether you are looking to save money to meet a personal goal, start a business, or cut back on your business expenses, here are 5 unusual steps to implement that might help you cut back on expenses and therefore save more money.
5 ways to save money:
- Go green
- Rank your expenses
- Embrace telecommuting
- Buy in bulk
- Use free online sources
Go Green: Using Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
There are many reasons why “Going Green” will save you money, one way you can start is by switching your light bulbs at home or your business with Energy-Star rated ones, as they last longer and will decrease your electricity bills.
Energy-efficient light bulbs are pretty common nowadays and mostly known for the environmental impact they have. However, opting for this kind of light bulbs for your house or your business can save you a significant amount of money in a year.
According to the National Department of Energy, “by replacing your five mostly used light fixtures, you can save $45 a year.” Now imagine what replacing all your light fixtures would save you! In addition, you would be contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by over 9 billion pounds.
Next time you shop for light bulbs, look for the Energy-Star rated bulbs that will allow you to save money while caring for the environment.
Rank your Expenses By Priority
It’s no secret that monthly budgeting will help you save money and have a financial picture of your finances. In addition to this, consider ranking your expenses first by determining which ones are fixed costs that you must incur and then discretionary expenses that you could forgo for the sake of saving some money. Your fixed costs would look like rent, utilities, car payments, while your discretionary expenses would be monthly subscriptions, travel, events, etc. After you’ve got your expenses classified, you can prioritize which ones you can and are willing to cut back on.
Get into the habit of questioning your expenses regularly to determine which ones are stalling your progress!
Telecommuting, work from home, or remote work– however you want to call it, — has become quite popular in the past years and even so in the last few months with the implementation of COVID safety guidelines. Whether you are a small business owner or an employee, embrace telecommuting as a great way to save money for your company and boost productivity. This new working method not only saves time, but it also cuts back on your business overhead costs. On the other hand, if you are an employee that has recently transitioned to a work from home schedule, think of all the money you are saving on unnecessary food or coffee expenditures, or even just fuel and transportation costs.
Telecommuting may not be a viable option for all businesses or all employees within the business, but even converting a smaller portion of the staff, will save both parties a lot of money and time.
Buy in Bulk
This can be very easy to forget, however, it can save you lots of money. Consider buying items like office supplies, coffee, nonperishable foods and similar items in bulk. Whether you are using these in your home or in your office space, buying in bulk will save you money and time.
Start keeping track of prices for items you normally use and compare with what you could save while buying in bulk. There is no need for this to be a hidden expense that would cause you to incur membership fees at wholesale stores, starting at places like Walmart & Staples can suffice. The trick is to save money, not spend it on other things.
Use Free Online Sources & Technology to Your Advantage
Sometimes hiring professionals in certain fields or outsourcing some of your tasks may not be the best financial move for your business. Fortunately, there are a lot of programs and websites that have free trials or very attractive user offers to do a lot of in-house work. Think about marketing, accounting, design or CRM; there are many online resources that can allow you to get the tasks done without spending too much money, therefore saving much more.
Consider this also for your personal finances, as you will find there are many apps and websites, along with many video tutorials and blog posts like this one, that will help you accomplish your goals!
While working on your financial goals, consider setting SMART goals for yourself. Meaning, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Try to focus on one or two goals and a time frame to accomplish them. Periodically you can review what has and hasn’t been working and adding more small changes that will later yield the results you want.
Changing spending habits, just like any other habit, will take time. So be patient with yourself and consider any of the tips mentioned above to help you get started.