I’ve heard it said that clothing-wise, whatever you are wearing at 50, you will be wearing for the rest of your life.
Apparently, this is when the fashion cement hardens for good.
I don’t know if that observation is science-based, but I can tell you that my father, who turned 50 in 1971, was a living, breathing example. The 1970s was an era of extremely short shorts and my dad rocked those well into his late 80s.
In my case, as a man whose fashion cement also hardened long ago, this is particularly true regarding my choice of casual footwear: I buy the exact same sneakers over and over again: New Balance ML515s, grey, size 11 ½.
Are these the best sneakers on earth? I have no idea.
I bought my first pair a few years ago for two reasons:
#1. The grip pattern on the bottom is spread out, so nothing gets stuck in them.
#2. My son Jonathan, a fashionista in his own right, was with me at the time and he gave his approval.
Now I just buy them online, over and over again.
Does this lack of creativity negatively impact my cool factor? Undoubtedly.
But I don’t care. My need to attract members of the opposite (or any) sex ended abruptly in 1989. At this point, I’m just looking for easy.
Habit Is a Blind Spot
When it comes to sneakers, there’s no damage in sticking with a routine.
When it comes to your business, however, it’s easy to keep doing things that, while they may have once made perfect sense, no longer do. (Insert your own joke about your husband, here.)
For example, and thanks to spending the better part of a week last year searching for opportunities, I have shaved nearly $1,000 a month off my operating expenses.
All I did was identify and eliminate things that I had been spending money on (for years) that no longer made sense.
- I canceled my office landline phone. $110 in monthly savings.
- I switched from Infusionsoft to MailChimp. $170 in monthly savings.
- I got rid of my payroll service. $100 in monthly savings.
- I got rid of my bookkeeper. $200 in monthly savings.
- I shut down my S Corp and became an LLC. $1000+ a year in reduced tax prep costs.
I could go on, but you look busy, so I’ll stop there.
The point is, all of these things made perfect sense on the day I decided to move ahead with them. But when I took the time to look more closely, I realized that things had changed.
The problem with habits, of course, is that they are hard to notice.
So, when it comes to tracking how you spend money, whether business or personal, I recommend setting up a “text alert” through your credit card (it’s free).
I’ve got it set so that any time one of my cards is charged, in any amount, I receive a text telling me what it’s for.
And let me tell you, the third time you get charged for some long forgotten online service that you no longer use… you’ll finally log in and cancel it.
As business owners, we tend to focus on growing the revenue side: more clients, more projects, more money. All good stuff.
But, unlike revenue, expense savings are not taxed; every dollar you cut goes right to your bottom line. (Note to Bezos: Stop laughing, we know you don’t pay taxes anyway.)
It may not be cool, but your mother was right when she told you that using coupons is where the easy money is.
Here’s the bottom line.
The longer you’ve been in business, the harder it is to notice the logic (or lack thereof) behind what you do every day.
It’s fine to spend money on what’s necessary. Just make sure that yesterday’s necessary hasn’t become today’s mistake.
Regards to your husband.
- What outdated fashion trend are you still rocking?
- What advice did your mom give you that you now know to be true?
- What’s the largest business-related, expense-saving move you’ve made in the last year?
Share your answers below…