Our bank accounts speak volumes to us each month, and most of the time we are ignoring them or playing catch up watching our bank accounts dwindle each month, but there is a way to fix it.
We are consistently focused on what we make as small business owners but rarely see what we are spending OR what we are KEEPING each month. If your bank account is not increasing each month, you are probably spending more than you make and living above your means. And we have all done it.
It would behoove you to take a couple of hours to look at your earnings, spending, and WHAT YOU ARE KEEPING in your bank account. As business owners, it is paramount that we know a little bit about everything. Depending on a bookkeeper or an accountant is OK, but ultimately, YOU need to know what your spending looks like.
Why do we overspend?
Credit cards and usage, and the convenience of paying it back later are the number one culprit. They make it incredibly easy to THINK you have the money, or at least you will make it by the time the bill comes. If you only pay the minimum monthly on your credit cards, you get royally screwed with interest. If you can’t afford to pay the entire balance off for the previous month each month, you are digging yourself into a neverending rut.
Watch What You’re Spending, Including Subscriptions
This is a quick and easy way to waste a ton of money. $9.99 here, $200 for storage each month (that you have had for 5 years). $29.00 for digital internet service you have not used in months.
I even had to remove a monthly subscription to Grubhub because I have Amazon Prime, and there is an AmazonFresh grocery store up the street from me to get groceries delivered for free if I spend a small amount. The food lasts longer, and you end up spending a lot less.
Example #2, I wanted to subscribe to Bloomberg and was about to pay $6.99 for HULU but after digging a little more found that Bloomberg offers their own subscription for $1.99 a month including more features. Learn to dig deeper for discounts. The more you SAVE the more you EARN.
Example 3#. I found out I had two subscriptions to Amazon Prime with two different credit cards. I called them and they gave me back the money for the 6 months on the extra account. These are things that are easy to miss when you don’t pay attention to your statements and things that we ignore but these things add up. If you see an overage CALL the company MOST will offer you a refund. The prime refund was about $160.00. Today, that’s a tank of gas (lol) but it’s better spent that way.
Become a fan of saving money
Pick a day each week to go through your bills, like Friday or Monday, when business might be slow.
Are online bank accounts safe?
Yes, as long as they are FDIC insured (look for the logo at the bottom of their site) you can put your money into a high-yield saving account online or an index fund (if you are familiar with investing and you trust your financial adviser to have YOUR best interest in front of his or hers.
Check google.com for “Best High Yield Saving Account for July” or whatever month we are in. I’ve seen it as high as 2%. If you have a large sum of money sitting in a commercial bank, it’s a depreciating asset with paltry returns. The bank is giving you pennies on pennies and making more than you for YOUR balance in several ways.
Online banks don’t have the brick-and-mortar staff, so they can pay more than the amount you make with a standard bank, just make sure it’s got the FDIC logo at the bottom of the site which most do.
Where did all my money go?
We have all asked ourselves that question, and the truth is we spent it by not paying attention, and just as your money disappears quickly, you can also SAVE very fast. Make it a point to put 10, 20, or 30% of everything you make in your high-yield savings account, ACH it over each money this is what is called using your bank accounts to PAY YOURSELF FIRST.
You will be amazed at how fast this will add up and now you are putting money away for a rainy day. I sincerely believe that this is like insurance. Once you have it, you rarely need it but it’s when you DON’T have it that you become desperate for it and all hell breaks loose.
It’s not about what you make as much as it is WHAT YOU KEEP in your bank accounts and our spending is what gets us in trouble with keeping money in our accounts.
Get into the habit of using two credit cards when needed, one for business and one for personal. Preferably both with points. Never use your points to shop on Amazon or other sites, you don’t get the entire value and they take a percentage of your earnings. It’s best to move the money to your credit card from the points FIRST to get the entire amount and then use it on the credit card.
Easy ways to see your specific monthly spending
You can call your credit card company and ask them how you can get a report of last month’s spending (easiest) or
Go to each of your credit card accounts and download a .csv file of the most recent months’ spending.
You must do ALL of your accounts including debit cards for the month to get an accurate number of earnings and spending.
Use Google Docs Spreadsheets to open the .csv file
Bring the same categories in line by selecting the row with the types of spending then sort it
Copy all the money you spent on gas (for example) copy and paste the entire transactions with the same spending category and create another spreadsheet.
Calculate and do a sum of what you spent for the month.
Do the same thing for your other accounts.
Do this for each credit card and debit card, then add it all up.
Now go to your bank account and see how much you earned last month.
Match the numbers up and ask yourself these questions
Are you spending more than you are making?
Are you spending on things you don’t need, like subscriptions or fees each month?
Is there a way you can save money?
What do you need to eliminate in your business?