We are racing upon that dreadful time of year – TAX TIME. Thankfully I have been better about keeping track of my business expenses this year, so I don’t expect it to be as bad as it has in years past.
Anyway, as I was going over my papers and receipts to get ready for tax time I realized there are more than a few things I could live without. Last year was a hard one personally with many changes which ultimately affected my business. One of those changes is a divorce, which in my case does happen to be a good thing. But as you might expect it meant crunch time. I had to take a hard look at my expenses and see which ones I could live without and which ones were a must.
What to Toss & What to Keep
I am a BlackBerry addict. My life is in my phone. Giving up my T-Mobile Broadband was not an option. And, besides, I have a grandfathered rate that is cheaper than someone signing up today. While looking at my expenses, I finally got smart and added insurance for my BlackBerry which costs around $8 a month. You might be wondering, how is that saving but trust me it is. I’ve been known to get my BB wet and I’ve also been known to pay over $400 for a replacement. With insurance, the replacement is $90. It was less than a week after I signed up for the extra insurance that I dropped my phone in the bathtub < /true story>. See? Totally worth it.
That said, in some instances, jumping the gun may not be a good thing. Before you get cancel happy to save a buck make sure you won’t be screwing yourself up later if you ultimately realize you need that item or service but now you won’t get the pricing you had before canceling.
These items will vary depending on your line of business of course but I took a look at the services I was signed up for but wasn’t using. For instance I have an account with Aweber but I hadn’t used it in a while. They had an option to put my service on hold for a minimal fee until I was ready to use it. The best part is I get to keep my discounted pricing when I am ready to use the service again (which happens to be now).
Another thing I was forced to look at was the domain names I owned. There were so many that I never used and so many that made me wonder what the heck I was thinking about when I bought them in the first place. I said goodbye to several of them and I can’t tell you the relief I feel. For me, 2012 is all about making money and focus.
This one was most painful for me, being a book hoarder and all, but I stopped buying business books. If it isn’t a book I need right now, for something specific than I don’t buy it. The library is right by my house – in walking distance – so if I need a book that badly I can borrow it. I’m not going to touch on returning them on time, that’s another story. I didn’t say I got organized overnight.
This is a total aside but goes in hand in hand because I find I work better with a cup of coffee. Another huge money saver for me is buying a bag of coffee from Dunkin Donuts rather than buying a cup of coffee every day. My butt is as thankful as my bank account.
So there you have it – in some instances you can add a service that will save you money later, some things you can put on hold or cancel altogether and even some things that you can find an alternative to such as the coffee I mentioned above. I was resistant at first because no one wants to give up things they like but when you really start taking a close look you aren’t giving up as much as you may have thought.
Chrissie Cole is a freelance writer for various blogs, including Speedy Incorporation, which helps new small business owners incorporate online as well as offering advice and information about running their business successfully via their small business blog.