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Steve
01-18-2010, 06:46 PM
Did you ever find there was a psychological amount of money you had a hard time breaking as far as your savings goes?

Like where you felt the toughest amount to save was $1000 or $2000?

Because when you had that money in the bank you couldnt help but think of all the things you could buy with it, but once you held yourself back from taking the money out, it got easier to save?

picframer
01-18-2010, 07:49 PM
Personally I would say my biggest hang up and something I sometimes fight with is to just stop adding equipment or in the shop tools, I think I have myself under control.....well most days anyhow.

As for saving, I am of the school where saving is critical, I have passed this on to my own two children and it really stuck with my son and he has wnough at the moment to pay for a house if he wanted, daughter well she has quite a bit in her account but like me material things are sometimes hard to stop spending on.

jasonw
05-06-2010, 10:55 AM
Steve. I lived paycheck to paycheck until I bought my house. The idea of being $1 behind on my payments and losing all I worked for scared the hell out of me. Now I have less toys but a mountain of cash to fall back on.

NewLeafca
05-06-2010, 11:18 AM
I had that problem for a while. I wanted to save a certain amount to get something but just before I got to that amount I would see something else I liked and use the money to get it. I solved my problem by opening a savings account that required two signatures to withdraw the money. My mother was the other person on the account. I had to go to her to get money out and she always made me sit down and think it through. Since she passed on I now only have an account in my name. However, whenever I want to spend money out of it I always sit in my Mom's old rocker and think it through. Most of the time I don't spend the money.

CHEESE2009
05-06-2010, 12:07 PM
Saving money? What is this? I do not understand...

HAHAHA

I have a problem, as every time I get a nice amount going on I gotta get some new tools.

It's not awful considering what the company wants, is what I want too. I don't want a bigger tv, new silverware... I want damn equipment!

If I get gas for my birthday coming up, It'll be the best gift ever. LOL.

As far as saving goes... Well... You just have to know your expenses & continue to save up for those random "accidents".

I could blow all my money on newer gear, while I let all my present gear rot. Though that's just stupid. Maintaining everything is what will help me save money.

Every time you buy a piece of equipment, make sure it gives you money back.

If you use a self propelled lawn mower & can manage with it, don't bother with a zero turn. The work still gets done, a zero turn is just a toy.

Though if it can bring you more business, by all means get one.

Personally, I'm getting one for comfort. So I can be fat all year round :p

Though this does not mean I wont be busting my arse trying to make it all worthwhile. I can be more efficient give or take, & manage more properties.

In my mind, I don't necessarily need a zero turn, but I want to have it before I do... Which isn't that wise, but it's what I want baby!!!!

With this zero turn, I could be working 3 1/2 days instead of 5. Which means I get more time to relax (silly) or pick up new customers (smart).

If I can fill up the rest of my days with even just 15 customers, the machine is paid off instantly & I can continue to enjoy what I do even more!

So the lesson in business is, don't spend your money on what doesn't make you money.

A lot of new companies start off with two guys (friends), that takes a toll on your funds majorly.

A helper doesn't even double your efficiency on a property. So right away your throwing money away.

Start alone, pay yourself well right away so you can spend on better equipment.

My goal is to take on as much work as I can handle. When I'm about to die on the job, is the only time I'll consider hiring.

I will have more money, which I can buy efficiency with (ZTM). Then I will gain more lawns. Now when I can't handle any more lawns with a ZTM at my side, THEN I will hire help. This is when I actually precisely know it's time to hire, & I'm not making a mistake.

I manage enough lawns other companies are doing with 2 man crews per week. Am I that far behind them during the day? They finish at 3pm, I finish at 5pm... Big deal! I'm not losing money at all!

Do what YOU can do, max yourself out. Then expect the same drive in the next person you hire.

That is how you save.

Am I going to hit a brick this season? Your damn right I am. I'm not hiring help, so that way I can afford repairs.

The only reason I don't do garden work, & hire someone to manage the jobs, is because I don't have the patience a garden requires. Though every garden pays for my worker, my workers pay NEVER comes out of my lawns.

Gutter Cleaning jobs allow me to enjoy McDonalds. Spring work allows me to maintain my equipment pre-summer & purchase materials & accessories / small tools.

Anyway, :P

Steve
05-06-2010, 02:34 PM
I had that problem for a while. I wanted to save a certain amount to get something but just before I got to that amount I would see something else I liked and use the money to get it. I solved my problem by opening a savings account that required two signatures to withdraw the money.

What things did you find yourself spending money on that you felt you shouldn't have?

swstout
05-06-2010, 03:10 PM
My monthly expenses (not counting food, gas, and entertainment) is $1,196.00. I try to keep ~ $7,175.00 (six months expenses) in the bank.

I have 2 savings accounts - 1 for monthly expense security and one for mostly business expenses.

My checking account is funded weekly for expenses ($295.00) per week plus $200.00 for food, gas, and entertainment having utilities and regular expenses such at insurance, etc. automatically paid. Anything left over from both my wifes income and my income goese into the savings accounts.

Any extras that come up are paid with a debit card from the general savings account.

I also use PayPal for my webstore expenses. Customers pay with PayPal and I pay my suppliers with PayPal. I have not taken anything from that account for personal expenses as of yet.

Emergencies come up from time to time and lower it, but I replenish it as soon as posible. I have nothing financed at this time but my house which will be paid off in less than 2 years. This will reduce monthly expenses by $598.17 per month. There is no property tax in this state for homeonwers over 65 so I will only have to fund that account for about 2 years.

For retirement, we have invested an amount equal to what has been taken out of our pay for Social Security since we got married. 38 years in September!

Make a plan and stick to it.

Steve

NewLeafca
05-07-2010, 09:27 AM
What things did you find yourself spending money on that you felt you shouldn't have?

Mostly specialty tools that I don't use very often. They are nice to have when I need them but really only use them twice a year or so.

Steve
05-07-2010, 04:22 PM
Mostly specialty tools that I don't use very often.
Which ones would you advise new lawn care business owners to not go out and buy, instead they should be renting?

we got married. 38 years in September!
That is an amazing accomplishment! Congratulations :)

NewLeafca
05-08-2010, 09:27 AM
Which ones would you advise new lawn care business owners to not go out and buy, instead they should be renting?


I would say just start out with the basics and see where you business takes you. If you find yourself doing a lot of fence work, for example, then by all means get an auger. Otherwise just wait and see what kind of clients and jobs you get in your area.

Steve
05-08-2010, 03:05 PM
Ok so get the work first and then consider buying the equipment.

That is a very good point.

lxarth
05-19-2010, 07:50 PM
Ok, I'm not trying to be mean, but damn CHEESE2009, you just go and go! Your writing style is pretty difficult to read, because you only use sentences, and not paragraphs...it's all good though.

One of my first customers, who is himself a small business owner, told me to only by stuff that my business forces me to by.

What I got from that is that if my business doesn't need a bigger mower, don't get it. If I don't need a $300 trimmer, don't buy it. Truth be told, I'm using a $70 WEEDEater Trimmer, commercially, for a year now, with NO problems.

I'm saving for a slightly bigger trailer for a couple reasons. One is that the one I have now is one that can be found at Harbor Freight/Bi-Mart. It only holds 1,000#, and doesn't have DOT tires. I think it's wise to upgrade if only to something DOT approved. Also, I would like something that can handle more weight for those customers who have requested mulch/bark/gravel. Because, currently, I can't deliver that sort of product.

I don't have a limit in my savings right now, but that's because I'm still very new, but I have been good at holding on to money since I was very young. My brothers would all blow their allowance, and I would save mine.

So far my 21-inch Toro walk-behind works for me. If I upgrade, it will only be to something that is just better. Because currently I can't really mow wet grass, and I have heard of mowers out there that can, and here is rains...a lot.

robgee05
05-19-2010, 09:12 PM
Ok, I'm not trying to be mean, but damn CHEESE2009, you just go and go! Your writing style is pretty difficult to read, because you only use sentences, and not paragraphs...it's all good though.

One of my first customers, who is himself a small business owner, told me to only by stuff that my business forces me to by.

What I got from that is that if my business doesn't need a bigger mower, don't get it. If I don't need a $300 trimmer, don't buy it. Truth be told, I'm using a $70 WEEDEater Trimmer, commercially, for a year now, with NO problems.

I'm saving for a slightly bigger trailer for a couple reasons. One is that the one I have now is one that can be found at Harbor Freight/Bi-Mart. It only holds 1,000#, and doesn't have DOT tires. I think it's wise to upgrade if only to something DOT approved. Also, I would like something that can handle more weight for those customers who have requested mulch/bark/gravel. Because, currently, I can't deliver that sort of product.

I don't have a limit in my savings right now, but that's because I'm still very new, but I have been good at holding on to money since I was very young. My brothers would all blow their allowance, and I would save mine.

So far my 21-inch Toro walk-behind works for me. If I upgrade, it will only be to something that is just better. Because currently I can't really mow wet grass, and I have heard of mowers out there that can, and here is rains...a lot.

For the most part with lawn care I would say buy what you can afford. If you can stretch for a better trimmer and especially better blower if your doing clean ups it will turn in dividends. Clean up and mulch, and other landscape jobs you can use to designate for these items. When it comes to large ticket items I would definitely say buy what you use. If your in business and you can cut all your lawn with a push mower in 2 days, then do other jobs the other days. There is no need for a $8000 z turn. You should always be putting money aside for new equipment and not just living week to week, hence paycheck to paycheck. Hopefully by the time you have a large cutting base, you can scale up to say a decent hydro with a sulkey, then so on. I think it really depend on how much your cutting. Some guys focus more on landscape and the cuts are just to keep customers happy and draw a base from for bigger jobs. So if your making good money on the big jobs buy the big mower with profit so u can knock out 40 cuts in ;) a day or whatever.

Steve
05-19-2010, 09:27 PM
One of my first customers, who is himself a small business owner, told me to only by stuff that my business forces me to by.

This is a very interesting piece of advice. Can you tell us your thoughts on why he suggested this?

lxarth
05-20-2010, 03:25 AM
I think he was just trying to tell me not to be frivolous, and not to buy things that are just for fun.

Sure, upgrades are nice, and will payoff, but I'm sure most of us can agree on the difference between a tool and a toy :-)

I do want to upgrade my equipment, which will help me become faster, and therefore more profitable, but I don't need a $300 backpack blower when my residential lawns can be cleaned up with a $170 hand held blower.

Now, on the same line, we should also plan ahead. I did recently purchased an $18 2-gallon hand held sprayer, but I use it so much I could have spent $80 on a backpack style, 4-gallon, sprayer, and been better off...but then where would I put it? I still need to upgrade my trailer :-)

I think another way of saying it is to not go too big too fast. Grow slowly, and be smart with your purchases.

Steve
05-20-2010, 05:34 PM
Why do you think people in general have such a hard time saving money? Why is it that as soon as we have a few bucks in our pockets, it's like it is burning a hole in them and we just have to spend it?