Owning your own home-based business comes with its own set of "What if I don't make enough?" worries. While it's essential to have a savings plan and build your profit over time, cutting back on household expenses can also help to ease those worries. Often, it's easier to reduce your spending than it is to increase your earnings. But cutting back expenses doesn't always have to mean cutting back on your lifestyle—here are five ideas for saving on your monthly bills without making big sacrifices.
1. Call and check for loyalty discounts.
It's easy to just keep paying a bill years after you set up a service—but it's a good idea to call service providers like internet and insurance companies every once in a while. Many of these providers will offer a loyalty discount and a simple phone call could drop your monthly bill without any changes to your service. Along with loyalty discounts, some companies will offer a lower price if you sign another contract. Of course, this means you'll be locked into that service for a set amount of time, but for customers who don't plan on making any changes, it's a good way to save.
2. Make it an annual habit to check for better prices.
If you've been with the same company for five years, there might be a new alternative that can offer you the same service for a better price. Compare prices on your home and auto insurance as well as utilities like phone, internet and cable. Be careful that you aren't getting a short-term discount, though. If you find a better price, you can also call your current company and inform them—they may offer a discount to keep you as their customer.
3. Consider ditching cable.
A few months ago, we cancelled our satellite TV service—and I find I have more to watch now than I did before. Replace satellite or cable with one or more streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. The price difference is often pretty big, since cable averages $100 a month and a streaming service less than $10 a month. It's not for everyone, though—make sure you have a fast internet connection and check to see if your favorite shows are available through a streaming service. You'll also want to have an antenna to get local channels, too.
4. Refinance debt at a lower interest rate.
Car payments, mortgages, credit card bills—even those monthly expenses can be cut back a bit. Check into current interest rates to see if you could save on your house or car payments. Be careful though--refinancing with a longer time period could end up costing you more in the long run. The key is to find a lower interest rate, but pay the loan off in the same amount of time. Many credit card companies will also offer special debt consolidation offers to new customers. These offers allow you to pay off a high interest credit card with a low interest one for significant savings.
5. Compare personal and business plans.
As a business owner, you could switch over some of your household expenses to business plans. Compare items like phone and internet services—what is the price difference between a personal and a business plan? Even if there is no price difference, any expenses you claim on your taxes could be switched to your business bank account. While that isn't technically saving you any money, it may be a bit easier to manage that way.
Owning a home-based business often means having an unreliable paycheck—saving on your monthly expenses can help ease the worry that comes with being self-employed.