Q.What’s one personal expense you’ve cut out of your budget completely to save money and not missed?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Cable Television
I cut my super-duper cable television subscription a couple years ago and have not missed it one bit. I realized that most of the shows that I loved (e.g., “The Daily Show”) were also available online and that I was only keeping cable for just a few of them. Between Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Instant Video, I can pick which shows I watch and only pay for what I consume.
– Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers
2. My Home Phone
We’re in the age of the digital and mobile, so having a home phone just didn’t make any sense. I spend most of my time away from home and often missed calls anyway. With only one number now, I am always available. Plus, my building buzzer is connected to my cellphone, which is great for deliveries.
– Liam Martin, Staff.com
3. Newspaper Subscriptions
I used to subscribe to a lot of newspapers offline and online and found it to be overwhelming. A lot of them were also deteriorating in quality. They were forced to restructure given the new age of media, and because of that, the writing quality dropped while the sales calls increased. I dropped all of them and stuck to magazines such as Harvard Business Review.
– Derek Capo, Next Step China
4. Big City Expenses
We moved our business from Chicago to Michigan a few years ago, and it reduced a lot of stress for us, both personally and in the business. The cost of living is much less, which made it a lot easier to buy a house, have an office and save money for the future.
– Allie Siarto, Loudpixel
5. White Wardrobe
You’ve been there. Some white gym socks are waiting in laundry limbo for a quorum. You’re eventually reduced to begging housemates for their whites, which is gross and demoralizing, only to still end up wasting electricity and hot water on a tiny load. It’s cheaper to load to max capacity every time. Now I only wear white over someone’s dead body — literally at a Sikh funeral, dreadfully.
– Manpreet Singh, Seva Call
6. Western Prices
Startup teams that already work remotely or solo entrepreneurs can significantly cut operating expenses by bootstrapping overseas with a lower cost of living and still surround themselves with ambitious, entrepreneurial people like myself. Digital nomad hot spots include Saigon, Berlin, Chile, the Philippines, Eastern Europe and many other places.
– Cody McKibben, Digital Nomad Academy
7. Dry Clean-Only Clothes
Most female entrepreneurs can relate: nothing breaks the budget more than those adorable dry clean-only dresses, blouses and skirts filling your closet. Adding up the weekly dry cleaning bill for those outfits is frightening! I now check the label for washing instructions before I purchase any item. I haven’t missed the weekly trips, and my wallet certainly hasn’t missed the weekly cash drain!
– Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak
8. Excessive Dining Out
Upon review of my monthly expenses, I noticed my restaurant and food delivery totals were way too high. To resolve this issue, I made a conscious effort to prepare my own meals at home, which has resulted in huge monthly savings. Leverage online grocery delivery services to save you the time/hassle of actually driving to the store and shopping for your food.
– Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
9. New Clothes
I’ve lowered my standard of dress pretty significantly in the past few years. As a consultant, I used to wear a suit most days. And during business school, I put in the time to look like a respectable adult. Now, it’s all jeans and T-shirts. As much as possible, they’re free T-shirts, too! I’ve realized that what matters is the content of our product, not my appearance.
– Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
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