Starting your own home business can be scary, especially when you consider the money that you will need to put forth the initial startup and upkeep. No matter what you envision doing from home, there are ways to decrease the amount of money that you put out.
To keep business expenses under budget, here are five easy ways to save money and keep your business profitable.
Coupons aren’t just for grocery shoppers. You can find high-value discounts for almost any home business necessities. Many times, there are coupons available for specific stores that specialize in home office supplies or discounts for specific products.
Right now is actually the best time to take advantage of coupons because of the back-to-school season! Bust out those sales ads in your Sunday paper or check online for sales and coupons to save on paper, ink, pens, pencils, tape, packaging supplies, etc.
You can also find coupons by checking the website of the stores you shop at most for your home business. Or you can simplify your efforts by checking out the website or app, RetailMeNot. They have a full list of available coupons for online and in-store coupons for your favorite stores.
Another way to save money is by shopping online through a third-party website like Ebates. Sign up for a free account and then when you shop online go through the Ebates site to see if the retailer that you’re shopping with is affiliated. If they are affiliated with Ebates, click on the link and start shopping. Most companies offer 3% – 6% cash back on your purchases, although there are some stores that offer as much as 16% cash back!
2. Track Every Expense
Tracking your expenses is an absolute must when it comes to saving big bucks during tax season. As annoying and monotonous as it can be, it can be a real life-saver when you prepare your taxes. To make your life even easier, keep all of your receipts together. Take my word for it; it will save a lot of unnecessary stress if you give your receipts a home.
You should also keep track of expenses that you’re not typically used to worrying about. For example, if you use your cell phone to make any business phone calls, you should maintain records each month for next years’ tax preparation. For an easy bookkeeping tool, check out Wave (which is 100% free) or GoDaddy Bookkeeping which is only $7.99 a month.
3. Buy in Bulk
Not interested in coupons? Consider buying items in bulk to reduce costs for your at-home business. Most office supplies are great items to buy in bulk because they don’t expire. Make sure to do the math before you consider purchasing your items in bulk, however.
Some key tips to remember when you buy items in bulk:
- Calculate the amount of money that you will save by purchasing a specific item in bulk before actually buying it. Sometimes you can get a really good deal when you buy in bulk, but there are times when you don’t save much at all.
- Always make sure that you will definitely use the items that you purchase in bulk too. Not only do unused items take up space, but it’s also a waste of money.
4. Buy Used
Check your local classified section or various online local group pages for used furniture or office-essentials. Don’t be afraid to offer less than their asking price, either. Unless people are absolutely firm on their price, then you should be able to haggle them down a bit from their asking price.
Wondering where you buy used items? Check out this list of 111 sites to buy and sell items online.
5. Get Organized
When everything has a place, not only does it save time, it also saves money! After all, “time is money,” right? A lot of misplaced items end up being re-purchased, only to find them buried under a heap of papers a day or two later.
A daily planner is an absolute must-have when you work from home. The more organized you are about your business, the more organized you’ll be able to be about your finances.
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Emily Belcher is the blogger behind TheUnextreme.com, where she enjoys writing about various topics from toxic mold to life as a work at home mom. She also writes for some of the top coupon and nursing websites as a freelance writer and editor. Some of her hobbies include hiking with her husband and young son in beautiful North Carolina, practicing yoga, and reading tarot cards.
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