“When money realizes that it is in good hands, it wants to stay and multiply in those hands.” ― Idowu Koyenikan
Small businesses and startups have been changing technology and the lives of people. They create opportunities for individuals to follow their passion, be their own bosses, and build an empire that can thrive in the future. However, with business comes expenses, and the most difficult thing startups deal with is saving money and lowering their expenses.
Starting with a constrained budget and limited access to capital, most startups who find investors go on a spending spree, hoping that their ideas will thrive. However, neglecting the cost-cutting programs they can incorporate, they are brought down in no time while their productivity yields a negative return.
In order to realize profit, generate revenues, and stay efficient, startups need to learn how to manage their expenses. Here we list the top 10 ways startups can reduce their expense in 2016.Advertising
1. Try cloudsourcing
Several studies have shown that startups that do their own hiring spend more than those who outsource their work. Reports say that it costs around $4,000 to find and hire a new employee, and the time and money spent on training, vacation, and insurance costs way more.
Many small businesses and startups who want to optimize their budget need to start cloudsouring their work to compete with others. The process involves hiring qualified professionals who work remotely and even at a cheaper salary compared to traditional employees. You can find people on platforms like Elance, Freelancer, and Upwork according to your need and you don’t even need to have them on a full-time payroll.
2. Lease what you need
Startups and small businesses often tend to spend more on office needs. However, leasing all the items that are necessary can save a lot of money. Items including factory equipment, computers, desks, and tables can be found on lease at several marketplaces.
3. Hire interns
You might not find a suitable cloud worker or you might require someone who is available when you need them right in front of you. In that case, you can call your local college or business trade school and see if there are students looking to work as interns. Many college students, despite having the qualifications, aren’t able to find an internship. This is where you can get your job done while also helping them to fulfill their school credits.Advertising
4. Go inexpensive, but not cheap
Many entrepreneurs and small business owners spend a lot of money on services like marketing, web design, and software development — and end up regretting it later. There are countless numbers of tools that are cost effective and handy for business owners looking to save their money.
Tools like Moto CMS help you create a great-looking website, and using BaseCamp and Trello to manage employees can help you cut down on your expenses by a lot.
“Free tools can be a bad idea — they’re free for a reason,” says Raad Mobrem, CEO and co-founder of Lettuce Apps. Try finding items that can get your job done and won’t cost you more in the long run.
5. Try new advertising
Advertising is a must for any kind of small business or startup today. From connecting with people to finding customers, advertising plays a big role in success. However, if you depend on traditional advertising forms, including print, television, or radio, the budget is surely going to rise.Advertising
To stay on budget and cut a lot of money, you need to take time and invest on digital media. You can start a blog and start promoting it through social media. Opening up a page on Facebook and Twitter is not going to cost you anything and this will cut your advertising expense completely.
6. Shop around for insurance
Startups need to minimize their insurance costs, especially during the renewal time, as this can eat up a lot of your budget. Start with finding and comparing insurance policies, and if you don’t have time, seek out an independent agent or a good lawyer who can help you with your insurance needs. They are not financially bound to any company and they can help you find great rates based on your needs.
7. Don’t buy in bulk
You read that right. What most businesses and startups do is buy office supplies in bulk, thinking that it’ll help them lower the cost. However, imagine buying a thousand markers — is that really necessary? With several online shopping and e-commerce sites on the web, startups can get confused about what exactly they need. Searchub, an innovative e-commerce platform that uses machine learning algorithms, offers users a truly personalized shopping experience.
Well, your cost per marker is surely going to be less when you buy it in bulk, but will you ever use a thousand markers? You’ll either lose them or they’ll dry out before you even start using them. Spend for the time being and avoid getting things you don’t require immediately.Advertising
8. Cut financial charges
Many small business and startup owners spend thousands of dollars on expenses that are not essential at all. For example, think of the cost that can come with late payments on loans, membership fees on business credit cards, and processing fees. You need to stay on top of your bills and pay them right when they are due. Seek online payment services if you find balancing your personal checkbook difficult.
9. Evaluate and re-evaluate
Take a pen and a paper and write down everything you require to build your startup. From office supplies to furniture, employees, internet, insurance plans, electricity, communication costs — everything. Evaluate your needs and look out for options. For example, you can save the money needed for paper if you use your computer to store your information. Also, choose free plans like Skype and Gmail to communicate. Rethink your needs and see if there are any ways you can cut your costs.
10. Don’t waste time
When you are in business and working with startups, you seriously need to understand the value of time. As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you put in a lot of hours, and if you waste your time, it can cut your sales and hurt your business. The more you manage yourself, the more effectively your business will run. Stop procrastinating from day one and get on the right track to save a lot of your expenses.
Featured photo credit: stevepb via pixabay.com
Last Updated on January 2, 2019
How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money
Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!
Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.
Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.
This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.
Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.
Table of Contents
What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?
Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.
When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.
How It Leads to Financial Improvement
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.
Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.
Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.
It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.
Types of Personal Finance Software
When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.
Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.
For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.
Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.
When to Use Personal Finance Software
So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.
Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.
1. You Have Multiple Accounts
There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.
If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.
Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.
2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments
Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.
There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.
With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.
3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget
Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.
Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.
Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.
4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet
Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.
You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.
How to Get Started
From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.
Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.
It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.
When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.
Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.
Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.
In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.
Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com