Starting Your Own Business on a Budget: Tips & Tricks

starting your own business on a budget

Starting your own business can seem unattainable, especially when you have limited funds to work with. When thinking about launching, you might feel as though you need a large sum of money in order to even begin. But, I have good news; this is not always the case. In fact, I was able to start my own business for roughly $650, including the paperwork to register as a limited liability company (LLC). I still have yet to take out a business loan. So, fret not; starting your own business on a budget (and without a loan) is possible, and the following are some tricks and tips to help you launch:

Starting Your Own Business On a Budget

Don’t quit your day job:

Normally, “don’t quit your day job” implies you should not pursue anything more than what you are currently doing for money. But, when I say this, I mean maintain your full-time job as you develop your dream. Spend a few hours every night after work (or at your leisure, depending on your level of motivation to start) developing your business plan. Know that you want to start a business but unsure where to begin? Pick something you are passionate about or very knowledgeable in.

As you start the process, plug away some money from your full-time job each month for your business. Even if it is just $20 a month, every little bit helps and will make launching more of a reality.

Reach out to friends:

Assuming you have already done your market research and developed a business plan, you can reach out to supportive friends who may be willing to help you with certain services you may need to move forward.

For example, if you are a copywriter needing a logo, see if one of your friends in graphic design would be willing to do a trade for service and/or a discounted rate to create your identity. Most of the time, you will most likely find someone willing to help. Even your friends with a background in law may be available to provide some tips on getting started with paperwork or offer a lower rate to help. You can also use the money you’ve been saying from your full-time job to pay for these services up front. Never assume your friends will do it for free; they are, after all, also in business and need to make money too. Also, don’t forget to refer them and spread the love! They will appreciate your word of mouth referral more than you know.

Start online:

The internet is full of amazing opportunities. You can easily start your business online through the creation of a website. Sites like Weebly, Wix, and even all are great platforms to begin on a budget as they all offer templates you can work off of with zero web design skills. With these, you’ll also need to purchase a domain name (AKA your business web address), a process they each walk you through when you sign up. When using WordPress, you will also need a hosting site, which is basically a home for your domain name. Weebly and Wix have theirs built into their platforms, but their customization is not as advanced as WordPress. Bluehost or are both examples of where you can find hosting sites. Again, you may want to reach out to a friend or use a consultation with a marketing company to help you get started with this particular process, as it can sometimes be complicated.

In addition to a website, you can now sell items on Facebook. If you do not want to upgrade your site to be secure enough to sell items (all websites need to have what is known as an SSL certificate when selling items or even collecting emails, which protects private information of site visitors), you can create an account at and connect it to your Facebook page or use Facebook as your store. You will need, however, a PayPal or Square account in order to move forward.

Starting online allows you to save on initial overhead costs (other than your website) on a brick-and-mortar. But, you can surely invest in a physical location after getting your feet wet. This all depends on whether your business would benefit on a physical address or if you can survive solely online.

Make it a side hustle and have supplementary income:

Starting your own business on a budget does not mean you have to wait until you are no longer at your full-time job to begin. You can start with it as a side hustle and continue to grow it until you are ready to be full-time. By all means, you can also make it your primary focus and help your financial situation with a supplementary income until you start seeing a profit in your business. House sitting, dog walking, and freelancing are all examples of easy ways to get this going. You could also use the money from your supplementary income to invest into your business if you needed the extra funding for a special project.

Grow through networking:

Networking is an especially cost-effective way to grow your business. No matter what industry you are in, everyone can benefit from networking. Check your local events calendar to see where opportunities may be for you to meet prospects. You can also utilize your existing connections or memberships to grow. For instance, if you have a gym membership, and you are starting a catering business, you can reach out to the gym manager or members who work at local businesses to see if they would be interested in your services.

All in all, know that starting your own business on a budget can be done. No matter what, though, it always takes consistency and a lot of work in order to make it happen.

Have you been dreaming of starting your own business or have you already? What tips would you add to the list? 

Progressive HomeQuote Explorer Review

Progressive HQX

This post was sponsored by Progressive.

Over the last few years, we’ve come to recognize Progressive Insurance thanks to Flo, the Progressive girl. Initially, when the company first began in 1937, it focused solely on auto coverage. Over time, the Ohio-based company stayed true to its name of being a progressive insurance company, and thus, expanded its services beyond vehicles. From golf carts to condos, customers can obtain coverage for some unique circumstances in addition to standard protection. They were the first major auto insurance company to have a website, they continue their history of innovation with a new service: HomeQuote Explorer.

HomeQuote Explorer Review

What is it?

HomeQuote Explorer is a free online quoting experience to help homeowners compare home insurance rates. Think Trivago for hotels, except it will show prices from multiple insurance companies side by side. Not just that, but when you do enter your information, HomeQuote Explorer will match you with the best policy for you based on your information. Currently, Progressive is the only insurer that offers anything like this, according to their website.

How does it work?

You start the process by entering the address of your home to their search bar on the site. Progressive then pre-fills any information they find based on public records of the house, which helps you save time. Their questionnaire also includes images to assist in the process of answering questions about your home, such as your roof type or flooring details.

Once you’ve completed the assessment, they’ll match you with what they feel is the best policy based on your answers. However, you do not have to choose their recommended. They also provide you with alternative rates and coverage to review – side-by-side comparisons of rates and coverage from multiple companies so that you can ensure you’re getting the best deal.

As you finalize your decision on your new home’s insurance option, you can simply buy it online or call Progressive to speak with a licensed agent.

Pros and Cons of Progressive HomeQuote Explorer


On top of comparing your rates, they will even take care of the details with your mortgage company for you if you prefer. They’ll send a proof of insurance and coordinate the details, allowing you to lump in the payment to your mortgage rather than paying Progressive directly.

The information regarding their service is also very clear and easy to find. Their FAQ page answers just about any question you might have about the process, which is something I truly appreciate.


The biggest con for me, personally, was that the HomeQuote Explorer was still relatively new when I gave it a try so there were still a few quirks. Using my current address, I went through the process as though I were buying my place. As I went through and filled out the information for my home insurance quote, the images the promotional video showed were not present. It was their old questionnaire that also did not have an auto fill option as promoted.

When I tried again, however, the new screen and features did appear. After going back and taking a look at the newer version of HomeQuote Explorer, this issue was resolved.

Another con I experienced was that the HomeQuote Explorer didn’t directly provide the homeowner’s insurance but rather partner with other companies to do so. Thus, they are limited in the discounts they can offer.

Progressive is a trustworthy company and continues to deliver a quality service. I can say this confidently as an auto insurance policy holder for the last three years. Regardless, it would still be wise to research other home insurance policies before purchasing through the HomeQuote Explorer. It does appear that some glitches are still being worked out.

All in all, the tool was easy to use and helpful in giving me an idea of one of my options for home insurance.

Interested in learning more about HomeQuote Explorer? Check out the video below:

Recover from Bankruptcy With These Tips

recover from bankruptcy

I recently discussed how to navigate your way through bankruptcy, and now, I would like to share what you would need to do to get yourself bank in good standing with creditors. Filing for bankruptcy is not an easy decision, but it is meant to help us in extreme cases of debt. While it should only be looked at as a last resort, there is no shame in having to rely on it as long as you realize what steps you need to take to avoid this situation in the future. If you’ve had to choose this route to clean your slate, the good news is there is hope. Recover from bankruptcy with these tips:

A Quick Guide to Recover from Bankruptcy:

Get a Strategy in Place

As you begin the steps toward recovering from filing for personal bankruptcy, prepare yourself by having a strategy in place. If you met with a bankruptcy lawyer or attorney as mentioned in my previous article, you should consult with him or her on developing such a strategy. Otherwise, your strategy should include the following actions:

    • Know what led you to declare bankruptcy in the first place. This will keep you from repeating mistakes (as long as you commit to preventing it from happening again, that is.)
    • Put together a monthly budget. Those who have a budget in place are more likely to win with money. Even Dave Ramsey thinks so. If you want to know an efficient way to create yours, read this.
    • Create a schedule for your bills. Have a calendar visible in your home throughout each month on which you mark when and what bills are due. If you can, you should try to automate your payments to really ensure that they are being paid on time. Remember, your credit report not only tracks your history but also your capability to make payments on time to creditors and bill collectors. Despite having bankruptcy on your record, you’ll be able to win back the trust of lenders by consistently paying your bills on time.
    • Start building an emergency savings. You may be tempted to try to increase your funds by investing, a common recommendation for building wealth, but hold off until you have an emergency savings in place. This is one of the ways you’ll be able to provide yourself with some security in case something should happen.

  • Eliminate unnecessary costs. I’m not saying you should live in a hole until you’re in good standing with creditors, but if you want to recover from bankruptcy, you need to recognize what expenses you have each month that are not necessary. Limit the number of times you go out and, if you need new clothes or merchandise, consider purchasing them used or up-cycled. Thrift shopping has become so much easier now with the power of social media. In fact, you can also sell some items you no longer need to pocket some extra cash, which can then go directly into that emergency savings fund.

Beware of Credit Repair Scams

Although it may be tempting, be leery of companies claiming they can quickly repair your credit, especially if they claim little to no obligations to you. They may offer to consolidate your debt and charge you fees that may end up costing you more in the end.

Elisabeth Leamy, the ABC News Consumer Correspondent, wrote in this 2008 article that nobody can erase negative entries on your credit report, which are not the same as credit mistakes. (Those you can fix yourself.) During the time the article was written, the recession was in full force and the Federal Trade Commission noticed a resurgence of credit repair schemes. These schemers still exist, so steer clear of the ones that especially promise they can fix your situation fast no matter the circumstance or try to charge you upfront.

Be Smart About Borrowing Money

A common myth that comes with bankruptcy is that you cannot get approved for any type of loan or credit card following this red mark on your credit record. While it won’t be as easy as it would for someone with a high credit score, you can still borrow money from lenders; you just need to be smart about it.

Opt for a secured credit card, which is great for those trying to rebuild their credit. Just remember to make your payments on time and pay off your balance each month. Bankruptcy Attorney Robert Weed recommends using it for regular expenses you would buy anyway, such as gas and groceries. He also advises to obtain a secured loan by your share savings account from your local credit union as a way to rebuild your credit, as long as they were not one of the lenders to whom you previously owed money. By doing this you pay interest on your own money, but it’s a great way to rebuild your score, he claims.

If you need to recover from bankruptcy, just remember that it is possible and there is hope; you just need to dedicate yourself to put yourself back in good standing and recognize negative spending habits that may put you down a bad path again.

Do you have any experience with bankruptcy? What tips would you add?