5 ways to improve your financial outlook

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If you’re a business owner and want to change your business’s profit margin, or you just want to improve your personal financial situation, it’s time to take some positive action. Here are five things to consider:

1. Do your research into tech

If you’re a business owner, it can be a good idea to research the latest technology. Get clued up on FinTech to see if there’s any new or upcoming software that can minimize your process and maximize your output. It’s important that your business does not get left behind by competitors – and deploying the right tech can save enough money for you to be able to grow your business. Individuals might also benefit from tech too – whether it’s an app to monitor spending or a gadget to control your heating system that can cut the bills.

2. Get software to help accounting

Speaking of which, one area in which you’ll definitely benefit from tech is with accounting software. There are a number of cost effective programs that can help you complete your personal and business tax forms in as pain-free way as possible. This is great if you’re a start-up looking to file your Federal 1099 tax forms or self employed looking to calculate your annual income.

3. Reduce expenses

If you’re really serious about wanting to make a financial change, you’ll need to make some sacrifices. A quick way to add funds back into your account is to not spend on expenses you don’t need. If you add up the cost of that morning coffee purchase over the course of a year, you’ll see how cutting the little things can make a world of difference. Review these habits and target ones that you can easily cut from your monthly budget.

4. Learn to negotiate

The art of negotiation is something to perfect. Do some research and ask around, if it looks like you are paying over the odds for a service you need to negotiate. In a recent study by Picodi, only 31% of Americans say they enjoy haggling. Negotiating for a discount is challenging, but beneficial once you know how. Entertainment subscriptions, tend to only offer great deals for new customers. This can leave the average loyal customer paying a high fixed rate. With a bit of negotiation, you could save hundreds of dollars on your television subscription package and your car, home and contents insurance. You can even haggle your way to a lower price with your utility provider.

5. Budget and make a plan

If you create yourself a detailed financial plan, or take advantage of the many budgeting apps out there, you’re more likely to change your fortunes and stick to your new-found money-saving mentality. This is something that any individual, or business, can benefit from, no matter what your financial circumstances. You’ll need to note down all of your fixed in-goings and outgoings, which means any bills or regular payments you are currently paying. By the end of this process, you need to be able to see what money you have left over to save or invest. For businesses, this should involve setting targets and breaking them down into manageable steps so that you can see how small savings fit into a bigger goal (although individuals can benefit from this granular approach too – that vacation doesn’t seem so far away when you break it down into weekly or monthly savings targets).