It can be hard to grow your business when you don’t make enough revenue to reinvest back into your business. According to a survey, 29% of business founders pointed out that a lack of startup capital was to blame for their startup’s failure. So what can a business owner do before their business potentially tanks? Use these tips to trim your personal expenses and turn them into real savings for your business. Here are 5 creative tips to equip you to do so.

1. Fool yourself.

Set a spending limit and stick to it. Purposely set budgeted amounts for your personal finances lower than what you would normally spend. If you spend $100 on groceries per week, try to dial it back to $90 or $80 dollars each week. This way you’ll build up a cushion that you can use towards your business by “tricking” yourself. It forces you to automatically try to make due with less money. The amount that isn’t spent can be set aside for your business.

2. Remembering why you’re doing this is key.

Put a screen saver on your phone with a picture or quote meme that symbolizes your business savings goal. This might help you remember why you are making the extra effort to be strategic. It can keep you motivated too. Also, remember tucking away small amounts may not seem like much, but it brings you that much closer to your big goal. You’ll be surprised at how these small amounts saved regularly snowball into large amounts over time.

3. Stash cash after you spend.

In the beginning, you may have to dip into your own funds to get money for your business. So maybe after getting a deep discount when purchasing  an item, consider taking the savings amount from the purchase and depositing it into an account for your business. For example, if you find a new pair of jeans on sale for $30 and the original retail price was $70, put the difference into a savings account. So take $40 and stash it away. If you don’t currently have that amount of money to deposit, think about at least trying to sock away half of the amount or reevaluate your spending habits. Also, steer clear of purchasing something just because it’s on sale.

4. Make strategic shopping add up to better bootstrapping.

Don’t let too many extra dollars sit in your checking account. It’s tempting to spend it on something else. If you can trim costs on a regular basis, consider automating roughly how much you trim off of your everyday purchases in categories like groceries, gas, etc. and transfer that amount into a separate account for your business money goals. The money that hits the account could help you redesign your website, outsource some work or purchase inventory.

5. Reward yourself and save.

If you handle credit cards well, they can benefit you. Use a rewards credit card for shopping purposes and you can receive cash back or potentially stockpile frequent flyer miles for a business trip or networking event. This approach can blow up in your face if you carry a balance or overspend just to get the rewards. Stay on top of your spending and only use rewards cards for purchases on needed items.

The Bottom Line

Real saving happens when money is deposited into an account, not just by getting a discount while shopping.  Transfer the savings earned from smart spending into an account to help grow your business. The ideas mentioned can not only free up extra money to put away towards money goals for your business but they can help you establish good habits.


Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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