To wrap up small business week, the most important small business you will ever know is you. Your home, your family, and how you manage your money is in itself a business practice. Whether you own your own business or not, the first thing businesses do after trying to make money is to not lose money. The decisions that go into how the money gets spent in your personal are often not too far off from the kinds of decisions that are made in corporate board rooms. You want to spend smart and spend less. One of the nice differences is that you don’t necessarily have to come up with an elaborate spreadsheet, much less a departmental presentation, to take action on saving your family money.
1. Shop Around
This may be stating the obvious, but how to apply the concept may not be. We regularly look for ways to spend less in weekly sale inserts from the local supermarket and local business coupons that get mailed to us monthly, but did you know that two of the biggest personal expenses, telecommunications and insurance, are worth reviewing and adjusting at least once a year. These are highly competitive industries that regularly offer special promotions that, while might not last forever, can save you hundreds of dollars when you map out a plan. Bundling your phone, TV, and internet is increasingly offered by cable companies at a savings. Depending on your area, satellite may be the better option over cable (or not), and maybe with a multiple cell phones in the family, there isn’t a need for a land line. Car insurance is a great example: raising your deductible will lower your premium, and does an older model really need collision coverage? You should get quotes annually, which you can do online in minutes.
2. Pay Your Bills
You may want to spend less, but you need to pay what you owe (consider this the smartest type of spending). The goal here is to have a good credit score, which in turn ends up saving money every time you apply for a loan. The easiest way to go about this is to simply open bills up when they immediately arrive and pay them promptly. These days, that might not be a realistic solution for some. Businesses want to maintain customers, so be sure to communicate when you are unable to pay bills so that they understand your personal situation. Payment solutions are often available that will get them paid without damaging your credit. Also, you should prioritize the bills that you know are going to get you in trouble if not paid sooner than later.
3. Repair, Don’t Replace
One sad fact of the way we live in this modern world is that we have become a disposable society. When clothes or appliances are damaged, we tend to rush out and buy a new one rather than use a little elbow grease to fix it ourselves. Shirt lost a button? Sew on another one. Although there are some things you should never fix yourself, getting out of the whole, “I’ll just buy another” mentality is an important step on the path to spend less.
4. Sell Off Unecessary Assets
Ok, so technically this isn’t a tip to spend less, and it might not be for the sentimental, but face it, people accumulate a lot of “stuff” that often just sits in the corner of the garage taking up space. If you have enough stuff, maybe a garage sale is in order. Otherwise, you could always partner with the neighbors for a community garage sale, or maybe try Craigslist or even eBay. You may even want to ask yourself if holding on to grandpa’s pocket watch or family silver that never gets used is really worth taking up space when they could command a decent offer from elsewhere.
5. Be Smart In The Kitchen
We consume food, but the process of feeding ourselves can consume us, and be a major expense on the household. Eat at home more often, with meals planned out ahead of time. When dining out, make it count. Whatever you end up bringing home, help it last longer with a BerryBreeze. The activated oxygen that BerryBreeze produces could save $2,200 per year per household by preventing food spoilage.
How are you spending smart? Leave us a comment below!