The Frugal Solopreneur: How to Keep Living Costs Down While You’re Building Your Business
Having gone from a cushy corporate salary to what can be a “feast or famine” revenue stream as a solopreneur, there’s
one thing that I learned quickly as a new business owner: Every penny counts.
Luckily, savvy saving habits have become in vogue given the general state of our economy. Where at one time it was in to flaunt extravagance, now people respect others for their ability to find ways to get what they need on the cheap. With no shame in wanting to save, why would you not want to flex your frugal muscles?
Here are a few livable ways to trim living costs as you build your business…
- Brew your own coffee – It amazes me how many solopreneurs, even those who work from home, drive to the nearest Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts for coffee on a daily basis. Is the $4 latte really worth it? Provided you have a coffee maker and know how to steam milk, you can do it yourself and save a bundle. Plus, you’ll save yourself on the fuel expense, too. You’ve seen the prices on the pump lately.
- Cluster – and kill two birds – when scheduling appointments –When you’re scheduling business appointments for any given week, try to arrange them so that you’re meeting on the same day and in the same general area. That will not only keep gas expenses in check, but it will also cut the time you spend in transit. Bonus!
- Shop discount grocery first, conventional grocery stores second – I’ll be honest, not too many years ago I would have NEVER stepped into a discount grocery store. But I’m on board now. We’ve got two in our area that offer tremendous variety and quality – especially on a lot of organic and gluten free products that typically cost an arm and a leg at health food stores. My M.O. is to shop at these stores first to buy whatever we can find there that’s on our list…and then my husband goes to the regular grocery store later (with coupons in hand) to pick up whatever else we need. The only downside to the discount stores is that they have a revolving door inventory, so a favorite item might be there today, but gone tomorrow. And be sure to check expiration dates!
- Wear it again, Sam – Recycling is fashionable – and stores like Goodwill and thrift shops are all the rage. Way before I started freelancing, I was a thrift store junkie. Seriously, it’s a rush to find really cool brand name clothes for “pinch me I must be dreaming” prices. Yes, it can take some time and effort to dig through the racks to find your size and specific pieces that you like, but it’s very worth it in my opinion. Treat it like a treasure hunt – there are gems to be found.
Whether you’re a brand new solopreneur or have been in business for a longer while, smart spending and saving never go out of style. In a way, it’s become a bit of a game…maybe even a sport…for my family. Bragging rights to whoever makes it to the end line with the best deal this week!
Has being in business for yourself made you more frugal? How have you cut your living costs to get more for your dollars?