The Best Ways To Cut Your Expenses

Have you ever found yourself in the red at the end (or even “well before the end”) of the month? If so, or just that you are fair, you know that nerve-racking feeling of having to watch your daily expenses; avoid what is superfluous in order to focus only on the essentials: reducing expenses!

Are you looking to reduce your business expenses to increase your cash flow and profits? The coming New Year is a good time to get your finances in order and save some money. Beyond good budget planning, here are the best tips to help you get there.

The best ways to cut your personal expenses

Your budget is not quite right and you need to reduce (a little, a lot) your monthly expenses? Here’s where to start.

Analyze your financial situation

Have you already calculated your debt ratio, or your remainder to live? In this case, well done! You have taken the first step towards controlling your budget. Otherwise, we invite you to do so: knowing your remaining living allows you to better manage your expenses over the month.

Set goals to avoid overdraft

Now that you have a better idea of ​​what (de) makes up your budget, it’s time to tackle the resolutions part. Beyond protecting yourself from bank overdrafts, set yourself goals that are much nicer:

●Have savings to see it coming

●Finance your next vacation

●Make (or have) fun

●Prepare for retirement

Call your telecommunications company

Between cellphones, internet and cable, it’s often a (very) big expense every month. That it is often possible to optimize a little! Start by asking if it might not be possible to change your plan to something that better suits your needs. A few dollars here for an extra and a few dollars there for something else, it ends up adding up, especially when you consider the cost on an annual basis.

You might not need the highest speed internet if you don’t use it all that much at home. And promise, you probably won’t get too bored with cut TV sets if you change of cable package. Or do like more and more people and cut the cable entirely to watch only TV on demand, via Netflix for example. Be careful, however: in return, this type of service will probably require a larger internet / mobile data plan, instead of a smaller one as recommended above.

Shop around for insurance

There are often quite large variations in rates between one insurer and another for similar protection. Whether for home or auto insurance, the price difference is sometimes surprising! It is important to take the time to choose what best suits your situation in order to better reduce your expenses.

Some companies will offer a discount if the person has never made a claim; some others will instead offer a better premium even for those who have already claimed. Some offer discounts associated with associations (the Order of Engineers for example) while others may lower the premium if you are a member of the CAA, a graduate of a particular university, etc. It’s simple: the more you do your homework, the more you save.

Peel the flyers

Whether it is for food, household items or even the biggest expenses (appliances, etc.), the best thing is obviously to buy as much as possible on special!

For the everyday items that are necessary, therefore choose the cheapest option. If there’s a big special that doesn’t come back often, take advantage of it and stock up! Use coupons too, without necessarily making it a disease. And if the purchase of an item may be delayed, check the flyers week after week and pick it up when it’s on sale. Common sense, what?

Rethink the gym membership

If you go to the gym regularly, need it to motivate you, and it’s key to your balance / fitness / social life, that’s fantastic! But… that’s not the case for a lot of people. You probably already know that signing up to the gym and seeing the payment go by each month is not enough to get in shape.

Review bank charges

There is no small expense when you want to reduce your monthly expenses and here is the proof! It is almost inevitable that you will be paying bank charges every month, whether for over-the-counter transactions or withdrawals. But it happens very often that these fees are not completely aligned with your real needs.

So start by calling your bank or caisse to review these fees. You may be paying a fee for checks when you never write them, or your current plan includes many more transactions than you actually do.

Use loyalty points

Many companies have loyalty programs now: grocery stores, pharmacies, credit cards. Remember that the first logic is not necessarily to provide you with benefits, but to obtain data on your actual consumption habits –And sometimes, to make you spend more! So at least make sure you take advantage of those points. Having the will to save it for a trip or other similar big expense after years is fine… But most people don’t really do that and the points go unused. Rather, use it regularly to reduce your monthly expenses by paying for your small everyday purchases; it makes more sense.

15 Ways to Cut Your Business Expenses

Participate in the sharing economy

The sharing economy consists of exchanging services between individuals. However, this phenomenon is inspiring more and more business owners like you. Think, for example, of your workspaces, your operating tools or your parking spaces. Ask yourself if they are used regularly. If the answer is no, it might be interesting to offer these services on rental by the hour or by the day to other businesses or self-employed workers.

Just like exchanging services between you and sharing your human resources. Another way to participate in the sharing economy is by carpooling. By opting for this practice, you reduce the travel expenses that you pay to your employees in the course of their duties. You have to know, moreover, Quebec has several collaborative economy initiatives.

Negotiate your agreements with your suppliers

At least once a year, clean up your bills and compare prices with other suppliers. Check, too, if you can select just one company for similar services. So you could negotiate discounts. Especially if you have been dealing with the same company for several years.

Take an interest in marketing, advertising and public relations

There are many articles related to different ways of promoting your business available for free online. There are also private training courses and books on the subject to equip and train you. Expanding your knowledge in these areas will save you a lot of money. As far as I’m concerned, the fact of having kept close contact with several journalists, bloggers and researchers has helped me to create visibility in various media related to my sector of activity.

Opt for a pop-up store

Have you designed a new product? Be like Womance, the first Quebec company to have experimented with the concept of pop-up stores, known as the “Pop Up Store”. In other words, you travel to meet your customers through a space or premises rented for a short time in a busy place. You will be able to reduce your risks since you will not have to sign a long-term lease for a fixed premises. In addition, at a lower cost, you can feel the pulse on your product. If you own a shopping center, pop-up shops are an alternative to occupy your vacant premises.

Join professional associations

Several groups of entrepreneurs and business people offer exclusive advantages to their members. Before joining one of them, do a good analysis of the benefits they offer and choose the group that will best meet the real needs of your business.

Avoid intermediaries

When purchasing any product or software, make sure, as much as possible, that you are dealing directly with the company that designed it rather than going through an intermediary. You will thus avoid additional costs. This procedure also applies to all other services offered.

Go for second-hand furniture

Before investing in new furniture for your new workspace, take a look at the Kijiji, LesPAC or Facebook Marketplace sites that offer used furniture. You will be surprised at the finds and the savings to be made. Another idea is to go see business owners in your industry who are considering relocating. Maybe they would be interested in donating or selling furniture at a discount. Also, be aware of the opportunities that may arise during the moving period from late June to early July of each year. Personally, this is how I found chairs for my co-working space.

Review your shipping costs

Before sending packages, get in the habit of doing some testing by purchasing lightweight envelopes or boxes. Also compare the rates and services of major courier companies with FlagShip. You should know, too, that most shipping services offer a refund for late deliveries and unused labels. The company Buster Fetcher can take care of every step of your claims and provides data that will enable you to effectively improve your shipping strategies. Another tip is, of course, to support local businesses.

Hire interns and students

Many students, as well as disabled people are looking for concrete experiences in business in their fields of activity, in order to put their learning into practice. Some grant programs are offered for certain that you will reduce your business expenses. In addition, if these people are well integrated and supported for the tasks to be accomplished, they will be motivated to move forward with you and, thus, become employees you will not be able to do without.

Reduce paper use

The price of purchasing a multifunction printer for your business can be very expensive. There are several cloud-based storage options on the web that you can use. For example, on a board of directors of a cooperative where I sit, we use Google Drive and that is more than enough. By converting documents to PDF, we can send agreements to be signed by email. And if an administrator wishes to have a printed copy of the minutes, it is mentioned in the summons that he must print the copy from home. Thus, we save costs on the purchase of paper and printer ink.

Work with external collaborators

Managing multiple salaries at the same time can be overwhelming. Both morally and administratively. Especially if your business is in its early years. You need to make sure you have jobs for everyone. To give you a chance to breathe, but above all to help you reduce your business expenses, consider retaining the services of external collaborators for specific mandates. Whether on targeted Facebook groups, AgentSolo, B2BQuotes, Pige Quebec, etc. By doing so, you will have a more flexible and affordable compensation model.

Use free tools

Today in the market there are many free tools to help you. For example, Skype and Google Hangout can allow you to avoid paying for a landline to your workspace, and thus save on long distance calls. With the free version of Trello, you can effectively drive projects visually. Just like the free version of Asana which allows you to manage a team assigned to various mandates and promotes collaborative work without email.

Don’t have graphics software? Can gocan help you create compelling social media visuals. In other words, go free whenever possible before purchasing new software or calling on outside resources. Also take advantage of free trials over a given period. Especially if your budget is limited. In addition to saving money on the start of your new projects, you will have a better knowledge of your real needs.

Automate the administrative processes of your company

Face it, manual administrative tasks like sorting out accounts payable require extra time, effort and expense when there are entry errors. With Sage, automating payments can lower your expenses and help you make better management decisions. Just like having a fast follow-up anytime from your computer, tablet or phone. And this, thanks to one of the dashboards specific to your industry. For example, by choosing to automate your billing, you will be able to schedule your on-time bill payments and thereby avoid charges for late payments.

Use your creativity and that of your employees

To continue reducing your business expenses, consider involving your employees, as well as external collaborators that you trust. Encourage them to find and implement initiatives. For example, you need to promote a special event. The delay is short. You don’t have in-house graphic design talent.

Two of your employees, however, are very good at drawing. Handcraft your ads on recycled paper, and distribute them, in person, in strategic locations while sharing your steps on social media live or through photos. I, for one, spent $ 300 on print marketing tools that got me nothing at all. Writing being my strength, I wrote several blog posts related to new services that I wanted to offer. I have posted them on social media several times. The return on this investment was significantly higher.

Take care of your best employees to retain them

Finally, you know, recruiting is expensive. High-performing employees who share your corporate culture is a tremendous asset. To retain them, talk to them regularly to find out about their goals, both personally and professionally. Listen to what they are looking for as a career path and opportunities for growth. They can save you money.

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