11 ways to keep the cost of living low when setting up a business

The step into self-employment is much easier and less risky if there are financial reserves to bridge the first few years. How much money you need depends in the end mainly on your personal needs. The rule of thumb is: the less the better!

Therefore, it is important to know in advance the fields in which one can reduce the cost of living. Here are a few tips:

1. Office

In many cases, it is not absolutely necessary to rent your own office to start your own business. Working from home offers many cost savings:

  • No office rent
  • No costs for the journey to the office
  • At lunchtime you can cook comfortably and healthy at home for cheap money
  • You can use the existing furniture and technical infrastructure

If you’re at home with the ceiling dropping on your head, coworking spaces are also an affordable option for an external office. If you only need your own office for client meetings, you can simply rent meeting rooms by the hour.

2. Housing costs

Moving to a smaller or cheaper flat can save a lot of money in the long run, but is a drastic method that can also cause high fees for estate agents and moving. Here you have to assess in each individual case whether this step makes sense.

Costs can be saved very quickly and easily by switching to a cheaper electricity, internet or gas provider, for example.

3. Bank

Business accounts can cost a lot of money, depending on the bank. A cheap alternative are business accounts from direct banks.

4. Phone

Mobile phone contracts with included devices are often not economical in the long term. Costs can often be saved by switching to a cheaper tariff without a phone and buying the phone online at an excellent price-performance ratio. Switching from Apple to Android can also save money.

5. Food

Those who work from home and also cook lunch can usually save a lot of money. With a budget of €5 per day, you can usually get by very well (unless you want an Argentinean hip steak every day) and can save a lot of money compared to convenience food.

6. Reading

Those who read a lot should consider buying an eReader (e.g. Kindle). The books and magazine subscriptions are cheaper than buying the hardcopy. A second option is to buy second-hand books or borrow books from the library. As a bookworm you can save a lot of money.

7. Food

Branded products are often 20-30% more expensive than private labels of supermarket chains and discounters, but still offer the same quality in most cases. It is easy to save several hundred euros over a year.

8. Accounting

If you are willing to do the bookkeeping yourself, you can save money as a self-employed person. But here you have to decide if you are willing to invest the energy and time yourself or if you prefer to give everything to a professional external accountant.

9. Printed material

For the printing of business cards, letterheads & co. online printing companies are usually much less expensive than regular printshops.

10. Printing costs

Original toner and print cartridges often cost a lot of money. Many suppliers of compatible print cartridges and toners now also offer high quality and a good price. However, the disadvantage here is that the device warranty expires.

By the way, printing costs can also be saved very effectively by printing less, printing on both sides or simply putting two pages on one side.

11. Subscriptions

Many subscriptions cost money but are not used very often. Before you start your own business, it is therefore a good idea to check whether every subscription (e.g. for the fitness centre, magazines, etc.) is really necessary.

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Christian Wagner
Christian Wagner
Founder RiskPlayWin | Owner & Founder of the digital marketing agencies &