Recently, USA Today ran an article about how many Americans are lagging in saving for retirement. Such bits of news never surprise me, for we all have times when we fall victim to thinking about the present at the expense of the future. What stood out to me was some of the things that are mentioned as ways to start saving more – all the way down to making coffee at home. Such a simple thing shows how easy it can be to spend less than you currently are.
For the most part, people’s income increases as they go through life. Even smaller, cost-of-living raises sends you through that dynamic. Often, though, that extra gets eaten up on the expense side of things. Those things can be very small, but it feels good to take those income advances and turn them into going out to eat more, a slightly bigger vacation, or such similar things. Once you get in that mindset, though, it can be difficult to halt and change to one that prioritizes saving.
Now of course, there are some people out there in unfortunate situations who literally barely make enough to get by. Most people, though, could benefit from an honest analysis of where their money goes and see where they could pull back and help secure their future. That is where some of those small moves mentioned in the article come in. That is great for almost everyone individually, but I also want to encourage business owners to take the same outlook.
Even very small business owners can quickly lose a handle on what their expenses look like. At the beginning, you may be very concerned about where money is going because there is not a lot of it. Once you hit a comfort zone, you start to put your efforts elsewhere and give less attention to every transaction going through the bank. Renewing some of that attention can help your bottom line continue to grow.
So the first step is just to make sure that you are keeping track of those financials and not winging it at the end of the year when it comes time to file taxes. It’s great if you have enough money coming in that you don’t have to worry about it and there is always enough to cover expenses, but that lax attitude definitely means you’re spending money that you don’t have to.
You may be surprised at software licenses you are still paying for and not using. You may find it shocking to actually see how much lunch costs when you calculate it on a monthly basis. And is it really possible to go through that much paper and that many pens?
Of course, it’s never going to be that no expenses are necessary. There are things you need to make your business work. You do not, though, need expenses that are only dragging your business down. The only way to ensure you are not paying for such things is to make sure you have updated books, giving you the ability to get the reporting you need to see such things. So if you need help with that, don’t hesitate to contact us. You could save more than it costs to do so.
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