Money-Saving Tricks for Individuals and Small Biz Owners

If you neglect to record your expenses, you will probably miss claiming a number of deductions. It is easy to forget to keep an eye on your transaction logs, but setting a reminder will help you avoid such mistakes.

Since many small business owners struggle to even cover the bills of their firms, one of the most important aspects is to cut costs. Small business owners have to be creative with cost-cutting to help their businesses survive. If cutting costs is a priority for your small business, or you are just interested in seeing what strategies are working, I asked a group of successful founders and leaders for their best suggestions. Members of Forbes Business Council share the frugality tips you never knew existed.

Refrain from buying unnecessary things

The first step is, as always, to stop buying stuff that you don’t need. That can be hard to do, but there is advice available: make your own coffee instead of buying it, cook at home rather than going out to eat, cancel subscriptions, and shop thriftily. Another great approach is the ‘one-in, one-out rule’ – buy an item, and get rid of an item (again, maybe donate it or recycle it) – a great way to cut spending without adding to your clutter. Opt out of store email and text marketing immediately after you sign up!

Keep a track of your expenses Keep track of your spending to stay on or below budget. If you do the budget based on income subtract each expenditure from an excel sheet, use a tracking app or write it down in a notebook. Handle all cash transactions with the bill for grocery, entertainment and restaurant expenses stored in different envelopes. Following your spending can further help you to identify patterns or habits you have that don’t match up with your long term goals, which you can change to free up money for saving or paying down debt.

Set a budget

No matter what your long-term savings goal, budgeting is essential to helping you get there, and the first step toward budgeting is figuring out where all your money is going every month. After all, before you know where and on what you should be spending, you have to know where and on what you are spending — whether it’s rent and utilities and childcare expenses, and maybe a little on paying down debt, or on groceries and going out to dinner and the movies. A spreadsheet or an online budgeting app or our loan calculator combined with Regions’ spending tracker and our budgeting feature in Regions online and mobile banking will make saving money easier and help keep track of how much you’re spending every month. Make a list of them all, then try to curb yourself by putting out only as much pocket money as you need for your next trip, and spending that on the cash savings envelope system.

Set aside a percentage of your income

    Saving is an important part of financial planning. Whether it is to create an emergency fund or buy a house, there are many steps and options you can consider to get started.

    It might mean, for instance, that if you’re paying more than 55 per cent of your after-tax income on utilities and rent, you should work on cutting expenses there. Perhaps it means negotiating with your landlord or looking for a less expensive apartment.

    One way to save more is by putting aside some money from each paycheck, be it in savings accounts or apps that automatically transfer a set amount from each paycheck into savings.

    Pay your bills on time

    Unless this system is in place and start working on financial discipline, it is difficult to take control of your monthly expenses – and you can easily go months or years without realising just how much constant financial pressure you’re under. Set up digital or paper reminders that your bills become due, methodically checking your bank account well before each of the due dates, so that money will be readily available when the bills actually hit your account. List with all your regular expenses that you pay on a monthly basis – your rent or mortgage, your car lease or payment, your utilities bills, your insurance payments, your child care payments, any subscriptions, and so on. List them by how often they are due and put the list in one place in an easily searchable document.

    Don’t overspend on entertainment

    One of the most helpful ways of curbing overspending may actually be budgeting, as a way to promote financial responsibility. Putting enough of your paycheque towards things like rent and groceries so that you feel comfortable about splurging it on fun stuff can make it easier to control yourself. Think about what kinds of experiences bring you joy, whether that be adrenaline-filled theme parks and outdoor pursuits, or museums and other cultural activities, or simply live entertainment. If you’re willing to splurge, join a loyalty programme to reap discounts and free gifts – entertainment is definitely one of those expense categories where it pays to be a frequent purchaser.

    Take advantage of online coupons

    Available via websites, mobile apps, social media and other channels, online coupons can be designed with various redemption rules and conditions to drive the acquisition and retention of customers. What’s more, online coupons can offer marketing opportunities at different stages of the customer journey and the customer lifecycle. Coupons cultivate an immediate association of your establishment with a discount, and result in some customers buying when they might otherwise not be able to justify the purchase. This is okay, but keep these discounts at or below the product value.

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