Learning to Tighten Your Belt

tighten-beltSmall business owners…notch your belt! (If you’re not a small business owner then this applies to your personal finances.)

With the continuing economic crisis in America, you can certainly say that our financial situation is a bummer. No one is even sure when the down-slide will stop. It’s enough to lead a person to do things they know aren’t right! I know for our family and my business, it’s made me stop and take another serious look at what we’re spending. Reconsidering our spending habits is doing something right. I believe this is a bright light in this not so great situation.

For many people, they’ve needed to do something about the spending in their small business. When you know you need to tighten your belt (or just look for opportunities), ask yourself these questions.

What can I renegotiate or reduce? I’ve been watching the cost of my business phone line inch up over the last six months and have been “meaning” to call my phone service provider. I finally got off my duff to call and am now saving $60 per month! The real reason I didn’t handle this sooner is I hate dealing with phone company salespeople and I knew I’d be on the call for a long time. I needed to make the time and the urgency was finally here. Thankfully, it was a rather pleasant experience. Are you paying for your 20-something year old child’s cell phone? Maybe this is a good time for them to take on some of their own expenses?

What can I sell? Do you have a computer, a printer or some other piece of equipment you really don’t need or aren’t even using? How about an extra car sitting in the garage? Or that almost new set of gym equipment collecting dust in the garage? For most of us, the reason we still have these things has more to do with the inconvenience and time it will take to sell an item. Can’t you use the extra cash though?

What can I stop all together? Are you paying for a fax line when you can really do everything through the computer and email? Now that the kids are gone from home, I’m wondering if we really need a home phone? We’ve both got a cell phone and I have my business line. How about a monthly recurring service fee you aren’t even using? I have two teleseminars services and I really only need one. It’s time to log in and cancel one. That will be another $47 per month in my pocket.

It all adds up and every little bit helps. Go through your check register and credit card statements to look for opportunities. Heck, ask your bookkeeper if you have one – they’ve been dying to tell you anyway!

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