Small Business, Small Budget: Make Your Money Last

Efficiency is the name of the game at Agents of Efficiency (obviously) so we’re making it even more efficient for you to improve your business. Every week, we sort through all the boring stuff to bring you the best tips from the wide world of the web. For this week’s #2tips4tues, we look at how to stretch your budget and make it work for you.

Ruth, creator of Living Well Spending Less gives the following tips to use your money more effectively. Whether you’re focused on your small business budget or your personal finances, these two ideas will start you on the right track.

Always Have a List

When you go to make a purchase or go shopping for some essentials, always create a list ahead of time. Showing up to a store without a list is a surefire way to end up with a few impulse buys, and even worse, forget some of the essentials you actually needed. Over time, this habit can build and turn into a consistent budget drain.

Track Your Spending

Everyone, whether a business owner or not, should have some method for tracking their spending. Just glancing at your checking account or credit card statement each month is usually not enough. To effortlessly track purchases, download a finance app like Mint to set budgets for each area of your life. You will then know every time you go over your intended budget in a particular category. In addition, you can see a pie graph at the end of each month to see where most of your money went.

If budgeting apps aren’t your thing, try the good old fashioned method – write it down. “For a month, try to write down every single thing you spend money on—even if it’s $3 for parking or a $4 latte. At the end of the month, take a look at where your money went. You might learn some eye-opening takeaways—like perhaps you’re spending $40 a month on soda from the vending machine or maybe you’re filling up at the more expensive gas station,” Ruth says.