It’s no secret that starting a business is financially terrifying, so having some tips for saving money in your back pocket is important. It might even be stopping you from taking that leap into entrepreneurship. I experienced this first-hand when I was transitioning from a full-time job, to a full-time self-run business. Before we get into it, I just want to make a disclaimer that this is written with service-based businesses in mind. Product-based businesses are a whole other beast, so if this is you, keep that in mind. However, keep reading because some of these will apply to you too! Money is a scary topic, and there are some things you can do to set yourself up for financial success, even when you’re first starting out. These tips are a mixture of things I did personally, and things I wish I had done.

1. You Have to Spend Money to Make Money – But Spend Wisely

When it comes to tips for saving money, this one is at the top. When you are first starting out, it’s SO easy to get wrapped up in all of the things you think you need to purchase. Things like fancy technology, intensive courses, professional photo shoots, business coaches, etc. are so enticing. I get it. This is something I struggled with in the beginning too, but just SLOW DOWN. You don’t need to invest in as much as you think. Trust yourself. Trust your skills. There are so many free resources out there for you− the internet is a beautiful place filled with people (like me) who want to help you. If you haven’t checked out my freebies page, click HERE. I’m going to let you in on a little secret… I didn’t invest in any course or membership to teach me how to run a business. Sure, it took a LOT of time to figure things out (and a degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurship), but I was able to do it. It wasn’t until later on (after I had been doing this full-time for a few months) that I invested in my first course. If you don’t have the money, try to go it alone first. It’s totally possible, it just takes a bit more work. The same thing applies to websites. When you first start out, building a website can be totally terrifying and overwhelming. That’s EXACTLY why I created my done-for-you Wellness Website. It’s a complete Divi website with training videos, built with new business owners in mind. You don’t have to (and SHOULDN’T) pay thousands of dollars to a website developer to build a site for you that you don’t even know how to manage. Be picky with how you spend your hard-earned money!

2. Skip the Triple Shot Mocha with Extra Whipped Cream

When you are first starting out, I strongly encourage you to get out of your house and work somewhere else like a coffee shop or a cafe. One of the main reasons I wanted to be self-employed is to get to work at a local coffee shop or cafe in the middle of the day. There’s something so sweet about rolling out of your house at 11:30am and heading over for a quick lunch with your laptop to work through some emails. BUT this can add up when it comes to your money. So, I encourage you to do this, but keep it in moderation. When I first started doing this at Starbucks I would get a venti Strawberry Acai Refresher with lemonade instead of water (ugh I’m drooling just typing that), and a gluten free sandwich. That’s easily a $9-$10 meal. That adds up. I eventually switched to an iced tea (around $3) at Starbucks, and a regular cappuccino at a local coffee shop ($3). It saves so much money, and you can go more often without feeling guilty. So, skip your triple shot mocha with extra whip and go for something a little more basic!

3. Cook at Home

This is especially true if your business is currently a side-hustle. It’s a lot of work, and there’s not a bunch of spare time when it’s all said and done. After a 12 hour work day, the last thing I wanted to do was cook, and I spent SO. MUCH. MONEY. Not only that, but I gained weight. All around, it was just a bad idea to spend that much money on food from restaurants, UberEats, drive throughs, etc. Make your health a priority in this process. The better you feel, the better your work will be. Cook healthy food at home and skip the takeout. Your wallet will thank you.

4. Keep Track of Your Finances

Regardless of what you choose to spend your money on, keep track of it. Download the Quickbooks Self Employed app and categorize your spending. You can save yourself a lot of money when Tax Season rolls around by tracking your business expenses. You can write off a lot more than you think, like WiFi, a portion of your rent (if you have a home office), your computer payments, etc. Not only that, but keeping track of your finances is a good idea anyways. Being money conscious as an entrepreneur (when your next paycheck isn’t certain) is SO important. I can’t stress that enough.

5. Get a Money-Back Credit Card – But PAY IT OFF Every Month

I was hesitant to add this one because credit cards are a slippery slope if you aren’t good with your money. If you are good with your money, this can be a HUGE help. With my credit card, I had to spend something like $2,000 in the first 3 months and if I did, they would give me $500 cash back. Just for spending money! You bet I took advantage of that! However, I ALWAYS pay off my credit card. Yes, every month. If you don’t do this, this could be a very bad option for you… but I’m no financial advisor so use this tip carefully!

6. Do Your Research

This goes for everything from courses, technology, services, platforms, programs, and everything in between. When it comes to your business, it’s not the time to mess around. Don’t just throw your money at problems when they arise. Again, there are SO many resources out there that are free for you to utilize. When you come across a problem, be very wary before you purchase the first plugin or platform you come across. Keep a level head ALWAYS. I promise this entrepreneur thing isn’t as complicated as it might seem. There are answers out there that don’t require a dime.

7. Save, Save, SAVE!

Before taking your side gig full-time, make sure you either have a few months saved OR consistent months where you match your income from the job you’re about to leave. I had ZERO dollars saved when I quit my job, but I was already consistently making more in my side gig than I was making at my “real job”. Granted, I wasn’t making a huge amount of money at my “real job” because it was my first job out of college, so it didn’t take too long to match my income at all. I also took a huge leap of faith doing this, but it paid off. Save wherever you can. Don’t spend all of the money you make in your side-hustle. I know, it’s temping to spend your dual income because you have more money in the bank, but remember what you’re saving for. Remember how hard you’re working and what you’re working for.