Bootstrapping 101: How to Save Big During the Holidays

Bootstrapping 101

Are you in start-up mode and need to save every dime? Here are our top five small business hacks to save you some dough during the holidays…

by Kevin James Culp

Our Top 5 Bootstrapping-Your- Way-Into-The-New-Year List:

  1. Use every product you have in your house that you normally wouldn’t use. Caswell-Massey Soap? Heck, go ahead and use the vanity soap your Aunt got you ten years ago or those soaps you got ten years ago at that hotel. You know those sponges under the sink? Use ‘em! How about those five bottles of shampoo that you have in your shower that you bought and disliked, so you changed to another brand, leaving those sad and neglected bottles unused? Use them too. Well, my friends it is time you used them all…down to the clarifying shampoo and toothpaste from your luggage. Drill down and take a hard look at everything that can be used, and then look again. You will be amazed at your stock of unused items, everything from make-up to the body butter you got last year. Come on, dig deep and use that last bit of whatever.
  2. Go on a diet to not only cut the amount of food you are eating but more importantly to change the type of food you eat. Most of us, especially when we are stressed, tend to eat and crave fatty foods, salt and/or sweets…and that leads to problems, such as weight gain and oftentimes higher cost. Cravings may mean you eat at McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, Taco Bell and so on. But when you buy in advance and even in bulk, prepare all of your own meals and stay away from anything delivered, you will see big savings and a trimmer waistline. Resign yourself to not dining out until 2019. Look at it this way…you can dine out at all of the holiday parties that everyone complains about attending, but that have tremendous spreads of food and libations galore. Attend them all this year!
  3. Check your spouse’s or significant other’s benefits package at work for any potential perks you might be missing out on. For example, some utility companies offer company discounts. Same with cell phone companies. Take a hard look at your mobile devices and how you use them, and then touch base with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint to compare prices. Recently, we got a discount of 10% per phone based on a yet untapped part of our benefits package. We also got a one-time $100 loyalty credit with Verizon. Make sure to check what type of insurance you carry on your phone. Oftentimes people pay upwards of $8 bucks a month for insurance when they might need only the $2 plan. Second, make sure to check on your data package to see how much data you really use. This can save you big. Lastly, make sure to check and line-item all charges. We also found four small charges for services we never ordered such as “viewable voicemail” for $26 bucks a year. When all was said and done, our bill just for Verizon went done $492 annually in one 46-minute call. But this is just one example of what can be done. By doing a deep dive into what it is we pay for every month, we also saved big on all of our other utilities, to the tune of $1,217 annually in fact, all in less than two hours. Wouldn’t you want to pay $100 less PER WEEK for your services? Call your utilities now, and see how much you can save!
  4. Make sure you check with your tax attorney to see if your small business qualifies for a tax deduction by changing your company’s structure from a LLC to an S-Corp for 2019. This can save you enormous amounts of money and, in many cases it’s something you can do yourself if you want to save on the tax attorney or lawyer fees. We do suggest that you call or at least get advice from a tax attorney beforehand though. LegalZoom has helped us in the past and is a great place to start. Also, see if your business has any tax deductions that you have not taken.
  5. Car pool and skip the Uber or Lyft.  Many of those around you already drive to work. With a bit of networking you can usually find someone close by to car pool with in return for splitting the cost of gas. This simple strategy can save you big time. It also increases your safety, especially at night. And even though it doesn’t solve all your transportation needs if you don’t have a car, it takes care of your daily commuting challenges, especially if public transportation is non-existent or too complicated. The money saved is oftentimes huge. In fact, the people I’ve talked to who have gone this route pay just $6 per ride on average to get to and from work each day. And carpooling also saves the environment, so it’s a win-win!

Thanks for Reading and Carpe Diem My Friends

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