This is a new series in the style of The Frugal Girl’s Five Frugal Things, where I’ll be posting weekly(ish) about what I’ve done lately to save money and make things stretch in order to further our financial goals, which currently include us paying off a decent hunk of debt. I encourage you to play along and post your own weekly frugal wins in the comments section below!
Note: There are affiliate links to the books, products, and services mentioned in this post.
I Prepared My Own Taxes With Help From My Mom
One big expense for a lot of businesses is hiring an accountant for help with taxes, but I’m super fortunate in that my mom got her degree in accounting and has been helping me with my taxes for years. Last year when we did taxes, it was a bit tricky to figure out the flower farm stuff for the first time since I had to file extra forms, but this time around was super slick since we’d taken good notes about what exactly I needed to do and when, plus I’d also kept meticulous records throughout the year of our income, expenses, and mileage.
I estimate that working with my mom saved us several hundred dollars, and we’re also getting a good refund to boot!
Oh, and I should mention that keeping really detailed records also saved us a lot of money. Because we tracked every business mile and had written down what our starting mileage was on Jan. 1 and the ending mileage on Dec. 31, it was easy to figure out just how many miles we could write off, which got us several hundred dollars back in our tax return. Ditto goes for us keeping good records of all the expenses we incurred to run the farm.
I Attended a Flower Conference I’d Won Tickets To
Continuing education and networking are both super important in running any business, but they can definitely add up. I knew that this particular flower conference would definitely be worth my time to attend, but I didn’t have the $100 in the budget to buy a ticket. When I saw a giveaway on Instagram for a free ticket to the event, I put my hat in the ring just in case. And I won!
I also was right about the conference — it was highly worth my while and gave me a ton of good information and motivation to run our flower farm better this coming year.
I Used Bing, MyPoints Rewards, and an Amazon Gift Card to Make a Purchase
One of my absolute favorite things to spend money on is flower farming and/or floral design books, but they can definitely be pricey (although I can at least write them off as a business expense!). Since I already have a sizable library of both, I don’t *need* any more books per se, but when I have opportunities come up that allow me to get some inexpensively, I jump on them.
My health insurance provider was offering a free $40 Amazon gift card if I did a Telehealth visit in December, which I jumped on. The visit itself maybe took 10 minutes, and then my gift card arrived in the mail this last week. While I *could* have used the money on something sensible, I decided (with encouragement from my husband, who I jokingly refer to as The Enabler) to buy a couple floral design books I’d had my eye on. Both books came out to more than the $40, so I also cashed in all my Bing search points for a $5 Amazon reward, and then I also cashed out my MyPoints rewards for another $5 Amazon reward. Once all was said and done, I basically only had to pay the tax on them plus a few dollars extra.
Our Electric Bill Went Down By $35
This was a MAJOR win for us because I’m already quite a stickler about turning off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use. The two big reasons it went down so much? We got rid of our hot tub, and our dishwasher broke and we haven’t replaced it. Both things ran off of electricity, so our bill should stay nice and low for awhile.
I’ll be interested to see when we do end up replacing our dishwasher how much that will affect the bill again (and how much of it was due to getting rid of the hot tub).
I Designed My Own Business Gift Cards Through Canva
Have you heard of Canva? It is an amazing design website with a ton of free options for everything from designing business cards to doing Pinterest pins or creating flyers. While you can upgrade to a Premium plan on it (make sure you go through Rakuten if you do because it will give you 35% cash back), they have a huge selection of designs that cost nothing, and it is one of my go-to design sources for both blogging and for the flower farm.
By not feeling like I needed to hire a professional, I imagine I saved anywhere from $50-$100 on the design, and Canva also offers a reasonable price for printing and shipping the gift cards to you (I paid $24 for 50 gift cards, which included tax and shipping).
Other Frugal Wins:
- I registered for a free microfarm conference in February
- I bought some ranunculus corms at wholesale pricing from a fellow flower farmer who had purchased too many to use herself
- I didn’t go grocery shopping for the last week of the month and only spent $10 more than what was listed on my January grocery report about 9 days ago (for milk and bananas)
Now it’s your turn! What frugal things did you do this week?