Tips to Prevent Money Loss

You might already have a decent income as a freelancer or business owner.

You may even book yourself solid with clients but you’d still like to somehow do better financially.

But how?

You may think you just don’t have the time to do one more thing but don’t get discouraged, your email might be working against you. There are some simple ways to fix this. If you ignore these tips, you can lose some of your hard earned dollars.

1. It’s not just a brain fart, it’s your phone.

There are times when I’ve sworn I emailed someone already but when I check to see if the email was sent through my phone, it’s not there. What you do on your email through your phone is recorded on your phone and your main account but not the other way around. To avoid overly emailing someone mistakenly, be sure to check first. You don’t want to irritate someone you’re working with and do damage to your working relationship.  If I’m not sure whether or not I got back to someone, I pull up my sent mail on my laptop when I’m home. You don’t want to lose clients or potentially strain relationships with people you work with by inadvertently annoying them or by botching an opportunity to get free publicity.
2. Not staying on top of invoices.

I recently hired someone to do work on my website. I told them to invoice me as soon as they started. I never saw the invoice in my primary email on my Gmail account. I thought maybe they didn’t get around to it. After cleaning out my other tabs, I found the invoice in there. I wasn’t late but I paid it 10 days after it arrived. I was so embarrassed. I must have looked like a big hypocrite writing for a site that focuses on invoicing since I ended up finding the invoice over a week later. It happens.

If you’re on the other end of this scenario and you have a hard time getting people to pay you promptly, their email might be the culprit. Let them know from the beginning that sometimes the invoice might end up in another folder or tab. Choose set times to invoice so they come to expect the bill at a certain time of the month and can plan accordingly. This can help them pace their spending and allow you to get paid faster.

3. Manage money distractions

I won’t lie. I’m a sucker for limited time offers. Concert tickets, baseball games, clothing, good makeup and online courses are my spending triggers. For this reason, I have a separate email just for offers, deals, coupons, email newsletters, etc. I like to have the latest deals come to me, but I make sure to avoid getting notified on my phone. I also stay away from it if I know I just dropped a big chunk of change on an online business course or needed supplies and equipment. I check that email when I’m ready to shop. It’s easy to clean out because many of the deals from weeks past have already expired. I can delete them in bulk and have a clean slate rather quickly.

I also ditch past email newsletters for business or anything work-related if the titles aren’t enticing or I know I won’t read it. If I find that email hard to keep up with, I ditch certain subscriptions altogether and follow those people on Facebook or Twitter to find out about their latest offers and updates.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes doing better financially is about being cognizant of money leaks in your email. If your clients aren’t finding your invoices right away or money distractions like flashy promotions are causing you to spend, become more conscious of this and use the tips outlined above to help you next time. You’ll be able to handle email better and boost your bottom line.

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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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