7 Simple Strategies for Saving Money As an Indy

By Erin Ollila, Contributor, on May 1, 2018

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If you want to be a financially savvy business owner, you’ll need to save as much as you can so you always have something to fall back on. But saving money can be difficult when you’re growing a business, and knowledge of this fact often holds back many would-be indys from even attempting to go freelance. Luckily, it’s not as difficult as you think. In fact, there are many ways you can make small adjustments to grow your savings without majorly altering your lifestyle.

Round Up Your Change

Times have changed, and people pay less attention to the coins in their pocket than they once did. Saving money is easy when you round your purchases up to the next dollar and save the difference. Let’s say you buy new office supplies, and the purchase price is $49.12. That means you’ll move 88 cents to your savings account.

Don’t feel stressed about doing this every time you make a purchase. If you use one credit or debit card for your business, take a few minutes to sort through your monthly statement and add up all the “spare” change to move to savings. If that sounds like too much effort, consider getting a debit card like the Bank of America “Keep the Change” card, which automatically rounds up your purchases and moves the change to your savings account.

Cut Back on a Habit

Do you make it a priority to swing by the café every morning on your way to the coworking space for a large cup of coffee? If so, it’s time to change your routine and commit to saving the money you were once spending on a habit, like coffee, fast food or convenience store candy. Instead of getting a $3 coffee five days a week, commit to making it at home instead. You can save over $750 by the end of the year if you put this money aside and brew your own cup before you head out for the day.

Switch Subscriptions to Lower Plans

I love Netflix. I fully admit to being a binge watcher, and I don’t mind paying for monthly subscriptions when it’s something I enjoy. But just because I like it doesn’t mean I need to use the highest-tiered plan. If you’re currently paying for more service than you need, or you’re willing to move to a lower tier, decreasing your subscription can help you save money quickly. For example, if you’re on the premium Netflix plan, you can stream from four devices at a time for $13.99 a month. But if you drop to the standard plan, which allows two-device streaming, you’ll save three dollars on your monthly subscription. Over the course of the year, you’ll have an additional $36 in your bank account. Don’t just limit your savings to Netflix, though — this can apply to any subscription you use where a higher-tier service isn’t necessary.

Get Rid of Unused Subscriptions

Don’t forget about all those subscriptions you barely use but still pay for each month, like the gym membership or specialized software you never had time to learn. These under-used and forgotten-about subscriptions cost you money — sometimes a lot. Canceling these types of subscription fees can increase your funds for short- or long-term savings goals that matter more. Remember: If you’re not using a particular subscription, it’s not worth keeping — even if the associated cost is on the lower end.

Selling Unused Items

Has your child outgrown the heaps of baby equipment and toddler toys you have stored in your basement? Or perhaps you never got rid of old furniture you replaced long ago. By decluttering, you can make some extra space in your home, and earn some extra money by selling your unwanted items. Not sure where to start? Craigslist, Ebay and the Facebook Marketplace are good places to test out your selling skills. There are even apps you can download on your phone that help you advertise your items and sell locally, like Poshmark, LetGo, Wallapop and Close5.

Rent Out a Room

Do you have a spare room in your home? Consider taking on a roommate to collect rent and split utilities — which can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings every month. If you aren’t comfortable sharing your home long-term with a roommate, you still can use those extra square feet to your benefit by renting out on a temporary basis with a company like AirBnB or HomeAway. If you’ll be completely out of your home for a set amount of time, like a weekend away or a long family vacation, you can list the entire property for rent.

Cancel Services You Can Do Yourself

Take a look at where you spend money, both personally and professionally. Do you have a housekeeper come weekly? Or do you contract out work to a virtual assistant each month? While both of those services take a lot of work off your plate, you’re probably paying a good chunk of change when you can actually complete these tasks yourself. After you’ve taken some time off from your service providers, evaluate if you need to rehire them, and if so, how frequently. You may find you can use them less often, allowing you to continue saving.

Saving money doesn’t have to be hard, especially when you do it in consistent, small sums. Eventually, your savings account will grow large with all those little deposits. Just remember — whenever you cut back or cancel recurring payments, you need to manually save the money you previously spent. Then, you’ll really start to see the savings stack up.

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