Are you trying to cut back?

May 6, 2020 | Expenses

Sometimes I slip up, but mostly I go through life as a responsible adult.

These days that means keeping my distance, wearing a mask when I’m out, checking on my parents, and watching my spending.

Without opening up a whole discussion about lack vs abundance, let me say that, yes, I’m watching my spending, even while everything is fine. As a dedicated profit wrangler of course I’m going to keep an eye on my finances and manage my cash flow when big changes occur. That’s something I work with clients to do regularly anyway.

So, whether or not business is booming, there’s an opportunity here to review your cash flow and evaluate spending. Notice I didn’t say STOP spending. No… just watch it, and make intentional adjustments when needed.

One of the Four Expense Questions I reviewed in this post was Do you need that thing NOW?

And what I want to underscore here is, everyone’s answer to this will be different.

I was speaking with a friend (remotely) about cutting subscriptions. I took a look at my monthly phone, cable, tv, internet, streaming services, membership sites and music subscriptions… (do I really need and use Spotify plus Sirius XM plus plus plus?) and decided to cut back by eliminating ones I rarely ever use. 

Contrast that with my friend who is adding subscriptions. Xbox Live and Nintendo Switch Online are how her teens stay in touch with their friends. Those subscriptions provide important social interactions, bargaining chips when there are chores to be done, and enough peace and quiet to work from home. So she feels they MORE than pay for themselves.

Another client I work with provided a list of their monthly software subscriptions: Acuity, Adobe, Asana, Bonjoro, Clickfunnels, Dropbox, Hootsuite, Infusionsoft, Instant Teleseminar, Lead Pages, Microsoft Office, Paypal, Pipedrive, Quickbooks, Ruzuku, Square, Wix, Zapier and Zoom….

That’s not an unusual list if you’re running a small, online-service-based business. And all those apps are part of the marketing and delivery process that produces revenue! But still, with some honest conversations we were able to down-grade, switch out and pre-pay some of these software subscriptions to save nearly $1,000/month! Like I said above, whether or not business is booming, if you could save $12K a year without changing much about how you do things, who wouldn’t cash that check?

You can cut back, without giving up. The savings above made sense because it didn’t change the business in any noticeable way. Don’t swing the pendulum so far in the other direction that you can’t get your work done or enjoy your success. I have clients investing in training right now, because they see clearly that it will pay off later. I, for one, have increased my spending on bird seed. Yes, bird seed. Because in the midst of this pandemic, I feel much more content having tea on my deck surrounded by birdsong.

One thing I’m certain about, even, or maybe especially, in “uncertain times” is that checking your expenses is always a good thing to do. It helps you manage your cash flow and avoid a tight squeeze. It facilitates smart decisions so you keep more of what you make. And that’s a pretty darn adult thing to do.

What are you looking at? Have you discovered any surprisingly unnecessary costs? Or surprisingly necessary ones (like birdseed)? Email me at Anne @ eyeonyourbusiness.net and tell me about it!

Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, wear a mask in public to keep those around you safe and stay healthy.