Advertising
Advertising

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Ways to Keep Bills Down in the Summer Months

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Ways to Keep Bills Down in the Summer Months

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

How do you keep office bills down in the summer months?

1. Keep the Temperature Comfortable

Maren Hogan

    We have the benefit of having a small space to heat and cool, but those bills still come, and it’s always nice if that number is small. But at the end of the day, employees are more productive when they aren’t bundled up or sweating through their shirts. In the summer, we keep it cool and keep working. We all know how frustrating it is to be uncomfortable. It’s a perfectly avoidable situation.

    Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

    2. Wear T-Shirts and Shorts

    Advertising

    Matt ehrlichman

      The biggest expense next to rent is HVAC. Porch gives our employees flexibility to dress for their comfort, which generally means no one is boiling in button-up shirts and wool slacks. To enforce it, when I don’t have external meetings, I lead by example and wear my favorite pair of shorts!

      Matt Ehrlichman, Porch

      3. Rotate Fans Clockwise

      Andrew Schrage

        During the summer, fans should rotate clockwise. Also, offering more telecommuting opportunities for your staff during the summer helps, as fewer staff members at the office means reduced energy bills. Requesting an energy audit from your provider can also help you find other ways to reduce energy costs.

        Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

        Advertising

        4. Provide in-Office Beer

        Robert J. Moore

          We keep a dual-tap kegerator in our company kitchen that is always stocked with high-quality beer. This means that most company “outings” take place in the office, which allows team bonding to happen more often while keeping bar tabs low.

          Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics

          5. Have Summer Fridays

          Brittany Hodak

            Celebrating “Summer Fridays” — letting your employees work half-day Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day — is a great way to boost morale and job satisfaction while trimming your summertime office cooling hours by 10 percent! Motivated employees will work harder on Friday mornings to ensure they’re ready to go home by lunch, and you’ll save cooling costs without sacrificing workplace productivity.

            Advertising

            Brittany Hodak, ‘ZinePak

            6. Run a Virtual Company Year-Round

            Chuck Cohn

              If you run a virtual company year-round, you never have to worry about office bills. Save the money that you might spend on office space, and pass along the savings to your customers. If you can provide the best product and the lowest price, your company will do well.

              Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

              7. Designate a Day to Work From Home

              Advertising

              Andrew Saladino

                To save on operational costs, we select a few days each month in the summer that we all work from home. It gives employees the chance to run errands and get personal things done, and we save money on utility bills and other costs since the office is closed.

                Andrew Saladino, Just Bath Vanities

                8. Have a Three-Day Office Week

                Allow employees to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. It greatly reduces our overall electricity bills during the hot summer months.

                Jeff Wright, Phusion Projects LLC

                9. Quote the Oracle

                Sam Saxton

                  Whenever I read about some company undertaking a cost-cutting program, I know it’s not a company that really knows what costs are about. The really good manager does not wake up in the morning and say “I’m going to cut costs today” any more than he wakes up and decides to start breathing.

                  Sam Saxton, Salter Spiral Stair and Mylen Stairs

                  More by this author

                  9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

                  Trending in Money

                  1 8 Best Finance Apps For Effective Budget Tracking And Planning 2 How to Start Investing Without Taking Major Risks 3 13 Books on Money to Transform Your Finance Management 4 How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them 5 25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Published on November 5, 2020

                  8 Best Finance Apps For Effective Budget Tracking And Planning

                  8 Best Finance Apps For Effective Budget Tracking And Planning

                  Looking for ways to effectively track, plan, and manage your budgeting? Well, there is a multitude of apps for that! Finance apps are the best options around for tracking and planning your budget and keeping you accountable. After all, using a pen and paper can make it cumbersome to track.

                  The apps that we’ve listed below do a ton of the heavy lifting for you and provide a wide array of functions to help you with your financial needs.

                  How to Pick a Suitable Finance App

                  When looking at some of the best finance apps that are ideal for budgeting, we found these particular features to be important. Keep these in mind when looking for ideal finance apps.

                  • User interface – Navigation is key in any circumstances of an app. This is especially true for helpful apps like finance apps. You want to be using them regularly. As such, the interface should be simple to navigate.
                  • Habit building – Finance tracking is all about building money habits, and apps have unique ways of building those habits. There is the app itself but features like push notifications are also essential in some circumstances.
                  • Syncing – You should be able to connect your bank account to these finance apps, and that process should also be pretty easy to do, too.
                  • Usefulness – The number of features that the app has should be relevant and make it something you want to check. Sure, some of these finance apps work in the background, but those on this list help significantly when you check them regularly.
                  • Data presentation – The number of reports and analytical data is a core focus for these finance apps as well since it allows you to make sound financial decisions.

                  1. Best Finance App Overall – Mint

                    If you’re looking for an overall quality finance app, Mint is the first that comes to mind. It’s one of the most well-known personal finance apps around and for good reason. It provides you with a complete financial picture all in one place.

                    By connecting your debit and credit cards to your account, Mint will provide you with a list of transactions and break them into categories, showing you exactly where you are spending your money. You can also track billing and create a budget on the app to help you stay on track of your savings goals.

                    A new feature that Mint rolled out recently is the ability to see your credit score. Through this feature, you can also see the factors that are contributing to your credit score. Beyond that, you can also track investments and schedule routine utility payments.

                    Download Mint here.

                    2. Best Finance App for Debt Management – YNAB

                    Advertising

                      You Need A Budget (YNAB) is an app that is built on four rules:

                      1. Give every dollar a job.
                      2. Embrace true expenses.
                      3. Roll with the punches.
                      4. Age your money.

                      Based on these four rules, the app will help you build a better budget while also allowing you to gain control of your spending. You can import transactions from your checking account and apply them to each budget category to get an accurate look at your spending.

                      This app also provides detailed reports to show you your spending habits while you are striving to keep a balanced budget in the various categories. YNAB will also point out other spots that you can improve your spending.

                      According to YNAB, the average user will save about $600 in the first two months and can save over $6,000 in the first year. It sounds promising for a debt management app.

                      Download You Need A Budget here.

                      3. Best Wealth Management App – Personal Capital

                        Another solid choice is Personal Capital. It focuses on wealth management but also serves as another personal finance app. Through this app, you can manage assets and investments along with setting up a budget for everyday spending accounts.

                        This service integrates with over 14,000 financial institutions, allowing you to link your bank account(s) directly to the app and through it. By linking your bank account to the app, you can track your spending, too.

                        That said, the app really shines when you connect it to your investing accounts. By doing so, you have a convenient spot to track your portfolio by account, asset class, or individual security. The app can also show you opportunities to diversify, manage risk, and find any hidden fees that you could be paying.

                        Advertising

                        You can also compare your own portfolio to the major market benchmarks to help you keep track of whether you’re on track to reaching your goals. You can also get financial advice from this app as the financial advisors here are registered and can provide you with advice tailored to your goals.

                        Download Personal Capital here.

                        4. Manage Your Subscriptions – Clarity Money

                          One of the popular business models that companies are moving to these days is subscription-based. While this model does have its merits, one of the many problems that we face with this model as consumers is that we find ourselves subscribed to things we don’t need. Paying for a streaming service is nice, but many people often are subscribed to multiple streaming services.

                          Because it’s so difficult to remember and even track all the subscriptions we’re paying for, this particular app can provide us with clarity. Clarity Money is all about bringing to light what you are paying for and providing you with a convenient way to cancel and throw away unused subscriptions you’re not using.

                          Beyond removing unnecessary subscriptions, the app also looks at your spending behavior and offers suggestions for ways to improve your financial health. You can even make deposits to your savings account through this app.

                          Download Clarity Money here.

                          5. Best Bill Paying App – Prism

                            If you’re looking for a convenient app that shows all of your bills and financial apps, this is the app for you. Prism takes pride in having 11,000 billers on this app. This is the highest amount of billers on bill-paying apps you can find. From billers like large banks to even small utility companies, chances are high that the company you’re paying for accepts this app.

                            Advertising

                            In terms of actual function, you can add your bills to the app and the app will then automatically track it. It’ll send you date reminders to pay the bill as well so you won’t get hit with late payments. On top of that, you can schedule payments to be made the same day or several days in advance as well. Prism is a nice app that allows you to pay bills in one sitting without having to log in to several accounts.

                            Download Prism here.

                            6. Best Shared Expenses Management App – Spendee

                              Many of these apps are focused on providing services to a single user. This is natural considering most of these apps are asking for your banking information. However, this is one of the few apps on here that allows multiple people to use it.

                              With Spendee, the idea is to create shared wallets with your friends and family that you can then use to manage shared expenses for a household budget. You will need to get bank transactions for this to work, but that is fine. After that, the app will categorize all of the transactions and tally how you’re spending money every month.

                              You’ll be able to add cash expenses manually as well for accuracy. Beyond those features, you’ve got bill tracker functionality to ensure you pay your bills and avoid late payments. There is also a budget component that will allow you to save and ensure you don’t overspend.

                              Download Spendee here.

                              7. Best Visuals on Finance App – Mobills

                                Mobills is another bill management app that offers a great presentation of information. The app focuses on bill management and offers typical features you can find in these apps. These include categorizing your bills, paying them through the app, and setting up budgets to ensure you stick to them.

                                Advertising

                                That being said, Mobills delivers these features remarkably. It presents you with charts that are completely interactive and can help you analyze your financial life. Also, moving bills to various categories is easy and smooth to do.

                                Download Mobills here.

                                8. Best Finance App for Budgeting Overall – EveryDollar

                                  Dave Ramsey is a personal finance expert who urged people to follow a zero-based budget method. This method is the idea that every dollar serves a purpose in your budget. It’s this concept that has inspired the name of this app: EveryDollar.

                                  With that in mind, the app provides a monthly expense tracker that you can connect your bank account to. This will take note of important transactions to ensure your spending is in check. You can even split expenses between multiple budget items. The tracker also provides you with an overview of how much money you’ve spent this month and what you’ve got left.

                                  Staying true to the name, EveryDollar also has a money management aspect that will help you set up a money management plan. You’ve got access to money management experts who will guide you through financial planning.

                                  Download EveryDollar here.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  Many financial apps are available to help you achieve your financial goals. Each app has its own perks and benefits to consider. The nice thing about many of the apps on this list is that they have free trials that allow you to get a good feel of them before fully getting them.

                                  More Finance Apps

                                  Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                                  Read Next