More people are joining the ranks of the self–employed with every passing month. Whether you’ve set up your own splendid full-time business, you are a freelancer working the gig economy or you are simply a homemaker generating a little extra money with some side hustles, there’s nothing to beat the freedom that comes with being your own boss!
Working for yourself also brings plenty of financial benefits. Most likely you’re running your business from the comfort of your home, which means expenses like commuting, a shared office space and childcare are things of the past. However, you are almost certainly burning extra money in other areas such as grabbing an iced latte at your favourite corner cafe every chance that you get…! Here are some examples that you might barely have noticed – along with tips for getting them back under control.
A home office gets through its fair share of consumables. So what do you do if your printer suddenly runs out of ink or paper? Pop down to the nearest office supplies store? With most things in this world, you can get a better deal online, and the same applies in this respect. For example, check the price of a toner cartridge from printerinks when you buy online compared to the amount they charge on the high street. Over the course of a year, it can really add up.
Check your phone and internet deal
Chances are you’re simply using whatever phone and broadband deal made the most sense for your domestic needs whenever you took it out. When was that? Last year? Five years ago? Assess your actual needs for landline, mobile and internet, and look at it again. You might well find that either an existing provider can offer a better deal on all three or that it is better to switch. In any event, there’s a better than average chance that there’s a superior deal out there than the one you are on now, if you only look.
Have a chat with your accountant
If you are self-employed, you are also self dependent and responsible for your own taxes. The government’s Making Tax Digital project means it is easier than ever to complete your tax return. However, this is one area in which doing everything yourself can be a false economy. It’s worth investing in an hour of your local accountant’s time to really understand what you can claim as business expenses. You’ll more than recoup the money when your next tax bill comes around!
Does your work involve travel? In many cases it does and so the earlier you book hotels, trains or flight tickets, the cheaper they are, so be organised! Always try to travel off-peak and check to see if you are eligible for a railcard to enjoy even more discounts. Keep track of your travel expenses, as these are tax-deductible, too.
Audit your direct debits
All that money that goes flying out of the bank every month, where does it all go? If you don’t know the answer to that question, find out now! Do you really need all those subscription services? Give the direct debits a good pruning and you will be quids in!