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Sunday, 31 March 2013

30 ways to save money from your monthly expenses to fund your start up

Most of the start-ups require a decent amount of capital in the beginning. A home maker can accumulate a good sum for this purpose by saving from monthly expenses. It might look very hard to save a meagre amount in the beginning. But once you make it a habit, you will see cash piling up in no time. Following are the methods which you can follow to save money to fund your home based business.  

30 ways to save money from your monthly expenses to fund your start up

  1. Maintain an account book -First step with saving is noting down your expenses. Track your expenses for a month and categorise into regular ones, emergency, unnecessary, can be delayed ones. Start this from today; don’t wait for it to be the month beginning to start a good habit. Once you start, you will start spending less. 
  2. Prepare a monthly budget – Once you have the know-how of your expenses, you can prepare a monthly budget. This will help you to allocate the required money to run the house for a month and put the rest of it in good return investments.
  3. Keep emergency fund - Having an emergency fund helps you to save a lot of time and money when an emergency strikes. For example, if your kid get hurt and needs an immediate medical attention, you can rush him to the hospital without any delay. Thus avoiding last minute ATM or bank visits that could consume more on transportation costs.
  4. Save your monetary gains - Safely place any immediate monetary gain in a piggy bank or a bank account. For example, if you find some money in an old hand bag or a 100 rupee note in the pants pocket while washing it.This could also include a chit fund win or a bonus share from husband, or the money obtained from old newspaper sale. It is wise to open a savings bank account for this purpose in case you don’t have one already.  The urge to spend it can be easily overcome by realising that you can buy many of such material things once your business excel.
  5. Discard all unused stuff – Get rid of all non-used or rarely used utilities; say an extra telephone line or mobile connection or an internet connection.  This could also be a club membership which you have not used in last 6 months.
  6. Limit the bills - Limit the monthly bills to minimum. Try to save on utility bills by using electricity, gas and water efficiently.
  7. Avoid late fee payments - Never get to pay late fees. Be school fees or utility bills.
  8. Talk less over phone – Save on your phone bills by talking less over phone. If calls are unavoidable, look for cheaper call rates. You can save both time and money by limiting your phone calls.
  9. Join saving schemes - Join saving schemes that will help to grow the money you have in a stipulated time. 
  10. Shopping list a must - Always be ready with a shopping list before you go for shopping. You may keep a notepad to jot down required items as and when you remember it, thus ensuring not to forget the urgent items. The list can be made efficient if you include the quantity of the items as well. Also remember to carry shopping bags to save on plastic bags and thus helping nature. 
  11. Heavy shopping only once in a month - Make a habit to do the major shopping only once in a month.
  12. Buy in bulk and store - You can buy non-perishable items in bulk to avail more discounts. This is applicable to food items like rice and lentils as well as detergents and toiletries.
  13. Change your shopping preferences - Start buying things from local stores or whole sale markets. Unlike going to a hyper market, this will help you to limit the items bought to ones in the shopping list.
  14. Look for sensible offers - Never neglect any offer from the store, but if you have to pay something in advance just get out of it.
  15. Snatch good deals and bargains – You need not be a loyal customer at a particular store. Before you go for shopping at your regular store, check out cheap deals or bargains at different stores.  
  16. Ask for discounts - Never refrain from asking for a discount from the stores. Join for payback or discount schemes to add more value to your shopping bills.
  17. Say no to lucrative offers - Never get lured by any attractive offer that results in unnecessary spending. For example, if there is an offer on an item, say buy 4 packs 500 g toothpaste to get a brush holder for free. Or ‘buy one get one free’ for an item which you don’t need much.
  18. Avoid frequent visits to the store -Never visit a store to buy just one item. You will end up buying lots of unnecessary stuff along with it.
  19. Home Remedies are equally effective - Look out for home remedies instead of costly purchases, like kill cockroach with boric powder than spending on ‘hit’. Try home-made cleaning solutions using white vinegar, lemon and baking soda instead of costly ones.
  20. Try beauty tips at home - Avoid regular parlour visits and try preparing fruit and herbal cosmetics at home.
  21. Repair damaged stuff instead of buying a new one - Try repairing existing items rather than spending on new ones. For example, it is more sensible to repair your old suitcase than buying a brand new one.
  22. Postpone big expenses - Try to postpone all big expenses like buying branded apparels, gadgets etc to a later date and divert that money too into your savings. Of course, health is more important than wealth, and this doesn’t apply to health related needs.
  23. Luxury Later - Avoid all luxuries like eating out, going for movies and other entertainments to save more. Always cook at home as it is cheaper and healthier. Try the same with baking and snacks. For entertainment, rent out DVDs and watch them at home with the whole family.
  24. Say bye to brands – It is a fact that local ones will last almost similar span or 10% lesser but at the same time cost 50 times lesser.
  25. Do the maintenance by yourself - Try to solve the problems by yourselves before calling in a professional. Say fixing a leaky tap or changing a tube light can be done at home than calling a plumber or electrician. Thus saving a good amount as service charge.
  26. Love your neighbour - Try borrowing stuff from neighbours and friends rather than buying the same. Similar is the case with cooking utensils. Sharing is caring and you too can show that you care by providing your stuff when your friends need them. If you enjoy reading, take books from library instead of buying. This will help you to save on storage space too.
  27. Make gifting more personal -Try making gifts and gift cards by yourself. This will receive more appreciation and the one who receive it will treasure it a lot, as your hard work is printed on it.
  28. Stop being an impulsive buyer – Control your shopping habits by waiting for a while to understand if it is worthy or not. More than worthiness, this will reveal if you really need that item or if it is just another unwanted spending.
  29. Reduce your commutation expenses – Use public transport and try walking for short distance. Go with your friends and share your conveyance expenses. They will also be happy to save. By saving fuel, you are helping yourself and nature as well.
  30. Follow Do It Yourself - Do you really need a cook and a maid? Try doing all household chores by yourself, thus saving a huge amount on hired personnel. This will make you active and hence you will live healthier and happier. 
Follow these for a span of 6 months to 12 months and you will have a decent sum to fulfil your dream. Saving is always a good habit. Yet, if you are saving to fund your start-up, you should attach a specific target and timeline to it. 

Firstly, analyse how much capital you need and how much of it can be made from savings. For example if you want to start a pickle business and you need a capital of Rs.25000, in the next 6 months. The timeline chalks out how much you should be able to save in a fixed time frame, say Rs2000 or Rs.5000 in a month.  Once you meet your intermediate targets, move the saved money to good investment instruments where your money will grow. 

By limiting the expenses to minimum you are not compromising on your lifestyle but saving for the future. You can put these savings in to decent investments which will help it to grow by itself by the time you are ready to start off your start up. Every paisa saved is as good as one earned!