My family has given me the nickname 5 cent girl because I’m a bit (ok a lot) frugal with my money – if you’re reading this then you can probably relate! Here are 5 ways I save money in my online business – I hope you find them helpful.
1. I live in Australia but buy a lot of things internationally from the USA
I use a traveler card (no fee for the card and no additional currency conversion fees each time I transfer money to my credit card through my Bank). If you live in Australia, I also recommend Multi-currency cash passport (I’m not sure if it’s available in other countries). When I convert to USD to load money onto my travel card, I avoid the international transaction fee that would normally be charged by my bank for using my credit card. These fees can really add up if I am buying expensive stuff. If I know I have a big purchase coming up (such as my Etsy bill), I can transfer money in advance on a day when the exchange rate is high.
If I am buying something for my business locally (i.e. will not incur an international transaction fee) e.g. printer paper or printer ink, then I use my credit card which accumulates Qantas points for every dollar I spend, which I can then cash in for gift cards to save on my grocery shop… or use to buy more printer paper.
2. Take advantage of interest free periods on my credit card
Interest on my credit cards and bank accounts are calculated daily. I pay my Etsy bill on the 14th (it’s due on the 15th of Every month) so that means the money for my Etsy bill earns interest for 14 days. By waiting to pay off my credit card, I also earn interest on the money by keeping it in my savings account – just make sure to set a reminder or add a note to your calendar (I use my bills planner stickers for this) so you don’t incur a late fee.
3. I transfer money from my Etsy and PayPal accounts to my own bank account daily
For the same reasons above – interest is calculated daily. While it is sitting in Etsy and PayPal’s accounts they are earning interest on my money when it should be the other way around!
4. Get a PayPal merchant account
I live in Australia but most of my customers live in the USA. If you accepts payments via PayPal and sell to an international customer, you have to pay higher transaction fees:
One way to reduce your PayPal bill is to get a merchant account. You can do so by choosing ‘upgrade your account’ which appears in the left menu when you log into your account.
5. Wait to buy something on sale
I don’t like paying full price for anything to be honest. Eventually, almost everything will be on sale at some stage. If I know I want to buy a product from another blogger, for example, I subscirbe to their newsletter as they may have a special promotion for subscribers only, or a special deal where you get bonus content when you purchase one of their products. If I want to buy something from an Etsy shop or small business, I will periodically check the shop to see if they are having a sale (e.g. once a week) – I also recommend checking the shop announcement section and their social media accounts as they may have a discount coupon when you like their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram.
I try not to buy anything for my business during October and hold out for Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales in November, after the after Christmas sales in December.
If there is something I actually NEED not just WANT for my business then I may consider splurging. Sometimes you are only hurting yourself by delaying making investments in your business. Consider the opportunity cost. If you wait 3 months to buy it, how much could you make from that investment during those 3 months? If it is more than the cost of the product then I will buy it. I pondered buying Photoshop for months and now use it every day and I couldn’t live without it.
Bonus tip! (non-business related) – if you don’t already, take advantage of automatic withdrawal for bills and loan repayments – it saves so much time and hassle 🙂
How do you save money?