In the business world, profit is everything – so it’s no surprise that companies are good at budgeting. In fact, we consumers could learn a thing or two about the ways in which companies stay efficient and cut costs. While we can’t use corporate strategies on the same scale as big behemoths like Walmart, we can use the same principles to save money in our personal lives. Here’s how.
Scale and savings
Why are things cheaper at Walmart? There are a lot of reasons, from the brilliant to the controversial, but the most basic reason for Walmart’s low prices is scale. Walmart simply doesn’t have to make as much money on each thing it sells, because it sells so many things that small profits can add up in a way they never would for a smaller business. And scale works for Walmart when it works with its suppliers, too. Walmart buys its items wholesale, and so can you. In fact, you can even buy items wholesale from Walmart, as well as from Sam’s Club (Walmart’s bulk-buy cousin), Costco, and other bulk shopping stores.
Not everything can be bought in bulk, of course, but a lot of things can. A few shelves in your basement can make it easy to store your bulk purchases, and you’ll save cash by buying supplies at once and in larger quantities. That’s the beauty of scale in savings.
Efficiency in payments
Bad spending habits can cost us dearly but bad paying habits can be even worse. It’s not wise to rack up purchases on your credit card, but the moment everything really goes sour is the moment you fail to pay your bill. That when the late penalties hit and interest begins to mount, and the same thing can happen with everything from utilities bills to mortgage payments.
Businesses can have this same problem, which is why they put expense management systems in place to make sure that they track payments, meet deadlines, and generate data on their spending habits and budgetary needs.
Just like a company, you need an organized system for paying your bills. And, just like a business, you can invest in software programs or call in professional help to make sure that you get the job done right. Track your spending and pay your bills on time! When the bills come due, poor organization can cost you as much as your purchases do.
Companies don’t just buy things when they feel like it. They do all kinds of research into consumer habits before they stock products, and they use automated systems to tell them what’s selling out and what isn’t. Companies strive to be efficient about replenishing their stock, because they know that inefficiency means wasted money.
We could all learn a bit from the highly organized approach of big companies. Of course, aren’t all going to start scanning barcodes and using big computer systems to track our consumption. But a few simple spreadsheets, automated purchase options like Amazon dash buttons, and other systems can help us order what we need when we need it without waste. Tracking your consumption will help you budget, and planning out your purchases on a schedule (or making them automatically with online retailers) will help you avoid having to pay extra to buy something you need in an emergency.