You’ve got my best advice for starting a business on the side. Now, take that advice and a teeny bit more to make this your best year yet:
1. Improve your personal finances.
No amount of money you could make will compensate if you continuously overspend. You cannot outearn yourself. Thus, you need to learn to live on a budget, whatever that looks like and is comfortable for you.
Cut your expenses whenever possible, especially the biggest line items in your budget like housing, insurance, and transportation; here are some ideas to get you started…
- Find a cheaper place.
- Refinance your mortgage.
- Get roommates.
- Get quotes for all the insurances you have.
- Trade in a newer car for an older car.
- and so on…
If you’ve already tackled your largest expenses, move on to other expenses, namely the shopping you do on a regular basis.
Here are services I use and love that have helped us save a lot of money with minimal effort, some of which are referral links:
- Chase’s Amazon rewards credit card is what we use to purchase almost everything (and then we pay the entire balance twice month). Bills on auto-pay? Charged to our Amazon card. Grocery store? Charged to our Amazon card. Gas? Charged to our Amazon card. Each purchase contributes reward points. Then, we use the reward points to pay for purchases we make on Amazon.com. No Prime membership required, which is good because we don’t have one.
- Rakuten is a browser extension I wish I started using years ago. Since we shop almost entirely online, I’m able to use Rakuten to get cash back on even the smallest of purchases, which I can pick up at the store or have shipped. Use my referral link we’ll get $30 each. Win-win!
- Red Pocket works with Verizon to provide service for the iPhones we’ve been using for years. Never have issues. Great prices. Customer service chat seems to always be available when I have a question. If you use coupon code B670F34FED53A483 when signing up at RedPocket.com, we’ll get $25 each. Win-win!
- Sam’s Club Plus membership has been a game-changer for us because we’re able to buy in bulk canned goods, paper products, frozen foods, and fresh foods that we can freeze. I fill my prescription at Sam’s Club pharmacy as well because it is free in most states, which saved us about $22 each monthly. Gas has been cheapest there, too. If you use my referral link, you’ll get a $20 gift card and I’ll get a $10 gift card. Win-win!
- Stacking programs helps us save even more easily. Because we shop online, we’re activate the Rakuten browser extension for each website, including SamsClub.com, and pay with the Amazon card. So, we get cash back from Sam’s Club, cash back from Rakuten, and Amazon rewards…all in the same transaction.
2. Improve the quality of foods you eat.
You’re going to be busy balancing a job and a business, so don’t make the mistake of getting take out daily thinking that it saves time and money. You’ll save time and money today and decades from now by eating healthier foods you prepare yourself.
If you detest the notion of meal planning and eating well for health reasons, then do so for budgetary reasons — or vice versa.
Start meal planning by searching Pinterest or Google for a handful of simple recipes specifically tailored to meal prepping so you can make multiple meals at once. Keep making easy recipes until you do so efficiently or until you’re sick of ’em. Or get together each week with a friend who knows how to cook and have fun meal prepping together. Bonus points for meatless meals to save even more money.
Check out Rainbow Plant Life on YouTube for lots of delicious, affordable meatless recipes that are meal-planning friendly.
3. Improve your fitness.
Depending on the type of business you start, you may or may not end up getting more exercise. If you’re a desk jockey in your day job and you start a side business doing the same kind of work like I did, then you could end up living an almost entirely sedentary existence. Don’t do that.
Set alarms on your phone or computer to remind you to move periodically or set an alert on your wearable fitness tracker (if you have one). Schedule walks daily or whatever kind of movement you enjoy. Write them on your calendar like you would any other appointment.
If you’re already getting a lot of movement in because you started a business that requires physical activity, then make time for stretching and relaxation.
Everyone deserves (regular) breaks, so make those happen, too. In fact, maybe make it a Yoga with Adriene break, which is what I do when I need 15 min to myself.
Start taking action by sharing with friends and family what your goals are and what you’re committed to doing to achieve ’em because accountability and community can be quite motivating.
Good luck, my friend. I wish you the very best as you launch and grow your own lifestyle business!