Saving on Business Startup Costs

Starting a new business can be both stressful and exciting, not to mention costly. Most small business owners I spoke to told me that they greatly underestimated the cost of starting up a new business. If you are considering starting a new business, here are some costs you should be aware of, and how you can save money on each of them.

1. Incorporation Fees
Some people hire a lawyer to help them form a corporation. I, however, do not believe this to be necessary. There are many services like LegalZoom that will sell you kits to help you incorporate for a fraction of the price you’d pay had you hired a lawyer. In most cases, such legal kits are more than enough to form a corporation. You can also download the necessary forms from government websites and fill them out yourself. This is often viable if you are forming a simple entity, such as an LLC with one owner. The least costly option would be not to incorporate at all and run your business as a sole proprietorship, but be aware that this is not advisable because it exposes you to a lot of legal risk. Depending on the state you live in, you can form an LLC for under $100, so it’s well worth the price for the limited liability protection you get in return.

2. Branding
logoTo brand your business or corporation, you should have a logo, a website, and basic stationery. Of these things, the logo is perhaps the most difficult one to get. Usually, you will need to employ a skilled designer to produce a high-quality logo. But there are ways around this. If you go to freelance sites, you can often find designers willing to create a logo for a cheap price, often below $100. But I don’t thing it’s a good idea to skimp on logos, so you should hire a reputable company like Deluxe Checks to design your logo. It should be mentioned that Deluxe also sells checks and other printed goods your business might need. They also provide website design services, so it can be a good one-stop shop for many of your business needs. Click the logo on this page to obtain a Deluxe Checks Coupon Code which can save you up to 40% off on your first order.

3. Office
Office space can be costly, but if you are just starting out and have no employees, consider working from home. You can often get a tax write-off if you use part of your home for business. Another option is to rent out co-working space, which is usually much cheaper than getting an individual office. You can rent many co-working spaces for a relatively low price, oftentimes as low as a couple hundred dollars a month.

coworking

Save Money on Your Electrical Bills

Depending on where you live, your electrical bill can range anywhere from $60 to $300 or more. Taking steps to reduce your bill is not only good for your wallet, but ecologically friendly as well. So what can you do to bring down your energy bill? Here are some quick tips.

flourescent light bulb1. Use flourescent bulbs
Switching to flourescent bulbs will require an upfront investment, but it can save you over $100 a year. Flourescent bulbs also last longer than traditional ones, so you will definitely make back your initial investment over the years.

2. Turn off lights
Don’t be lazy, and make sure you turn off any lights that are not being used.

3. Seal up any cracks in your home
There are probably cracks and openings near windows and doors. Use caulk to seal them up, and you should save a minimum of 10% on your monthly bill.

4. Program your thermostat
Don’t cool or heat your home when you are not around. It’s just a waste of money. Get a programmable thermostat, and make sure your temperature is adjusted to save you money when you are at work. Alternatively, you can adjust your thermostat manually. This just requires more discipline.

5. Air dry your clothes
Dryers eat up a lot of energy. That’s why we recommend drying your clothes the old fashioned way.

6. Make use of any fans you have
If you live in a warm area, use your fans. They can make a room feel much cooler, and you will have to rely less on air conditioning as a result.

There are plenty of other ways to cut down your energy costs, but the ones above are easy to implement.

How you can do your own taxes

Most people cringe at the thought of doing their own taxes, and believe me, I feel your pain. I once tried to do taxes on my own by following the publications published by the IRS. Not only were the instructions very long, they were also quite difficult to follow. In the end, I did manage to get my taxes done, but it took an entire day.

I’ve long thought that there should be shorter, cheat-sheet versions of IRS instructions, so everyone, including people who don’t have accounting degrees, can do their own taxes. Some politicians have advocated simplifying the tax code. However, it probably comes as no surprise that this has just been talk, and nothing has been done for years.

The next best thing to simple instructions, however, is tax preparations software such as Turbotax. Unfortunately, Turbotax if pretty much the only tax preparation program worth mentioning. Just about all other programs are vastly inferior and not much better than doing taxes on your own.

What makes Turbotax stand out, in my opinion, is that it uses a simple interview format for completing your taxes. This basically just means that you complete and “interview” where you answer a series of questions as the program completes your forms for you.

The downside, however, is that I find it very difficult to jump between different sections of the interview. In most cases, you can skip to a certain section easily, but then you are forced to answer all the questions in that section all over again. This is a serious flaw in the program that I hope will be fixed in future versions.

One great development with regards to Turbotax is that in recent years, it has become unnecessary to purchase a boxed edition of the software. Instead, you can complete all your taxes online for free. This is highly convenient, and saves you a trip to a software outlet. To get started using the free version of Turbotax, simply get the Turbotax Federal Free Edition available from FreeTrialSpot.com.

Once the software is done with your taxes and you are ready to file, you will need to purchase the program to proceed any further. The price you pay depends on how complex your returns are. That said, most consumers can expect to pay between $39 – $79.

Don’t forget to complete your state taxes as well. Turbotax offers software to complete your state taxes as well. For the most part, information from your federal form is copied over, and completing your state taxes therefore takes a lot less time.

Get more information about the turbotax free edition.

3 big advantages of buying contact lenses from Lens.com

soft contact lensesDo you wear contact lenses? If you do, you already know that you spend more every year compared to what the average wearer of glasses wears. In addition to having to have a pair of backup glasses, you need to pay for contact lenses, solution, and more frequent eye exams, all of which can cost a lot of money.

For these reasons, it’s important to explore ways to get the best deal on contact lenses. I highly recommend that you check out the online store, Lens.com, for the following reasons:

1. They offer cheap contact lenses and free shipping
Prices at Lens.com are up to 70% off typical retail prices. On top of that, you get free shipping and additional discounts if you take advantage of online coupons. All said, your savings can be $100 or more year after year.

2. You can buy glasses very cheaply
Even though you wear contacts, you will still need a backup pair of glasses. Why pay top dollar for a pair of glasses you might only use a handful of times a year? Lens.com offers quality glasses at a fraction of the price you would pay at other stores.

3. It’s way more convenient
Placing an order only takes a matter of minutes. Lens.com will verify your prescription on your half. All you need is an old box of contacts so you can input information when you order, such as base curve for each eye.

For more information on how to save money on contact lenses, make sure you visit http://lensstreet.com/.