Every now and then our level of busyness can go into overdrive. We may have previously had a nicely paced flow to our work. Something changes and what felt like smooth sailing may now feel like rocky terrain when it comes to getting things done. While your efforts might bring in extra money, this type of pace can throw off your finances in other ways. Here are tips to combat this.

1. Schedule time to eat.

If business picks up and you suddenly book yourself solid with clients, eating well can go right out of the window. While planning helps, there’s always times when we are rushing around and put breakfast or lunch on the back burner. Other times we overpay for convenient meals. Keep healthy snacks you can store in your car or work space like nuts or seeds. This way you’ll be able to fuel up a bit when things are a bit crazy. Consider batch cooking as well. Crock pot chicken recipes and hard boiled eggs are protein-packed items you can make ahead of time. You can eat either throughout the week. You can also consume the eggs as a snack as-is or put together a quick egg salad sandwich.

2. Plan savings ahead of time when things get too busy.

Purchase discounted gift cards whenever possible to save on much-needed last minute items that you weren’t planning on getting. Stock up on cards from stores you frequent for office supplies such as Staples, OfficeMax and even Walmart. You can skip paying full price even if there aren’t any current promotions. If you fear not having the physical gift cards with you when you need them in the moment, house a bunch of digital ones all in one place on your phone using apps like Raise,  Gift Card Granny or GiftCards.com.

3. Temporarily bench your wish list.

Do a five minute spending audit. Take a peek at your bank statement to make sure you aren’t wrecking your budget. Doing so can dictate future financial decisions such as purchases for your business.  Maybe you postpone redesigning your website or buying a new laptop. Delaying purchases that are not urgent can be all you need to stay on course. Check your budget and only get what’s important and urgent. Hold off on items or services that are important but not urgent. They can be on deck until you have more time and let things balance out financially.

4. Be mindful of your time.

Are you taking on projects that whittle away at your bottom line? You might need to charge more or say no to work projects that are time drainers. Also, track your income so you know what’s coming and maybe change your shopping habits. Go to stores where you can knock out multiple errands at once. You could pick up milk and eggs at a store like CVS. If you’re not name brand loyal or a super picky eater, let the sales dictate your purchases. Cereal, granola bars and other basic groceries can be on sale. You can even use Extra Care Bucks to pay less for items like milk and eggs. You can be in and out of the store in minutes.

5. Get alerted regarding all purchases.

When you get busy, you might not have time to scan your credit card statements.  A recent article on WalletHacks.com details how setting alerts to your phone or email can help you make sure there aren’t any fraudulent charges. Be sure to set alerts on each card. Many cards will allow you to be notified on any purchase by setting the limit to .01 in order to notify you regarding spending activity. This can also keep you mindful of your spending while potentially catching thieves in the moment. Text alerts will be sent as soon as purchases are made. This is a quick hack to guard against fraud.

 

The Bottom Line

When you start making more money, you shouldn’t have to lose money in other ways because you are busy. Stay on top of your spending, get discounted gift cards in advance to guarantee savings and find affordable ways to eat healthier when you’re on the go to keep more of the money you make.

 

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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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