The Washington Post

Tips for starting your own business

Here at, we are all about being frugal capitalists. I’m a big fan of cutting expenses and increasing your income to either a) slay debt or b) save more cash. If you want to start your own business or just get a freelance side hustle going, I have some money-saving tips that I’ve learned along the way to share with you! Get money, my Frugalista honeys!

1) Free invoicing: Keeping up with billing is paramount to running a successful business. What’s the point of doing the work if you can’t keep track of payments? If you want a professional looking invoice, some sites such as will allow you to bill for free as long as you have fewer than three clients and one person with access to your account.

2)Office online: Google documents offers free spreadsheets, documents and presentations. I use it to make writing edits, create spreadsheets and email clients. It reminds me of Microsoft Office. It stores everything online, allowing you to access your work from anywhere.

3) Free PDF maker: For your official documents that you send out, don’t pay to convert them into PDFs. Here is a link to a free PDF maker that I’ve used and it works well. PDFs are important to use when emailing official documents because the text can’t be tampered with. It’s a business Frugalista’s dream.

4) Conference carefully: I love a good, national conference and networking is essential to building your business. However, national conferences costs can run at least $200 for registration and the hotel lodging is at least $100 per night. Flights to the destination, tips for the bell hops, and cab or shuttle fare can add up. When you are starting out, it may be wise to buy local and scour the Internet for local conferences in your area. Many local events are free or less than $30. Visit a group that caters to your business in your area.

5) Business cards: I rather despise business cards, but I know that they are still part of the mainstream business world. I designed my own my business cards on Vista Print and haven’t had any trouble with them. You can get 500 business cards for $10. Now, I have to warn you: Vista Print costs can add up on shipping if you don’t have a lot of time to wait for your cards to arrive. A lot of my social media friends are in love with business cards printed by Moo. I say it’s worth a look also!

Do you have any money saving tips for business expenses or growth? Sharing is caring! Do you freelance or have a side hustle? How do you like it?

Natalie P. McNeal is the creator of TheFrugalista.comand author of The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out Of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life, detailing how she got rid of $20,000 worth of debt while living life on the frugal side of fabulous. She is addicted to Twitter, so follow her @frugalista, too!

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