One of the biggest mistakes in business is not knowing your numbers. Of course, building your brand, generating sales and growing your empire is the crucial part, right? I’m here to tell you, if you aren’t on top of your cash flow, unfortunately the other things soon won’t matter!

Rewind back to 2008 and you’d see me run if the words “cash flow” “taxes” or “accountancy” were ever heard. I’ve always been quick to act and if something’s not a strength of mine, I tend to put it on the back burner or hope that it soon goes away. When I launched my first business, I was the only one in my friendship group that was self-employed so talking boring cash flow stuff just wasn’t a thing.

I started going to seminars and heard time after time how imperative having a cash flow was. I then heard a story about a successful businessman that went bankrupt and that was enough for me to start making changes and I soon learnt just how much the one percenters matter in balancing your books!

Now if you’re anything like me, I go a hundred miles an hour and want to change everything! In some instances, meticulous management of your numbers can work in reverse and actually create more stress. It’s easy to glance at your overall expenses and quickly cut out anything that doesn’t seem necessary or more of a luxury, like a gym membership. Perhaps you’ll train at home instead? Chances are that’s not going to happen (at least long-term anyway) and you’ll end up feeling sluggish, unfit and nowhere near in the same healthy mindset! So it’s important you understand your personality type and be self-aware enough to know what will create a well-balanced financial position.

I started by thinking about my everyday routine and how I could make small changes that would soon add up. It’s turned out to save me thousands per year ! Here are a couple:

  • Coffee! This is a bit of cliché one because sales people use it all the time in the sentence ‘for a price of a cup of coffee a week’ to get you to sign the dotted line on a product or service. I realised that my $4.50 long black (with a dash of zymil!) each day replaced with 2 pods from my machine at home for 0.60c total saved me plenty. Annual Saving $1423.50 dollars
  • Water. This was a hard one for me, I am a hyper-hydrator and have a love only relationship with this life source, but I was spending a fortune on it! Water is such a convenience thing and I’d find myself buying 1-2 bottles every few days for around $4 each. A friend bought me a reusable glass bottle and I installed a filter on my tap ($69 at Bunning’s) The savings have been insane, not to mention the environmental factor too! Annual Saving $1500 dollars
  • Pay on time. Seems super obvious, but due to the huge amount of bad debt paying customers in Australia on a lot of services – many companies are now rewarding with huge discounts for paying up on the due dates. Last month I saved 20% on electricity. In a normal household all these bills add up and could save you plenty. Annual Saving $1500 dollars *based on average Australian Household*

Just these small changes put over $4400 into my pocket annually! Remember these expenses come from your NET taxable incomes so to get the $4400 in the first place you have to earn that plus the taxation rate you pay to keep the money. There are so many better uses for this cash over time, a nice holiday, that new bike or investing it long-term to grow more money!

Katie Stevens is an accomplished entrepreneur who for over a decade has built four businesses and successfully exited in one instance. Katie’s most recent success comes in Minding Her Business where the brand empowers females to get together and support one another at Networking Events. The business produces sell out events and quality outcomes for its attendees.