Between inflation and fewer transactions anticipated this year, you may be getting concerned about your finances. The good news is that when you start looking at your expenses, you’ll probably find that there are plenty of places where you can cut enough costs to make up for some of the higher prices you’re seeing.

Are you receiving Inman’s Agent Edge? Make sure you’re subscribed here.

It doesn’t take a financial whiz to tell you that inflation is having an impact, both on the broader economy and on our individual offices and households. This is coming at a time when many agents are anticipating or experiencing slowdowns in their businesses, driven by low inventory and high interest rates. Thus, you may be starting to get a little nervous about how much you’re spending and how much you’ll take in over the months ahead.

The good news is that when you start looking at your expenses, you’ll probably find that there are plenty of places where you can cut enough costs to make up for some of the higher prices you’re seeing. With prices anticipated to be up between 5-10 percent, and commissions expected to be down over the same period, some brokerages are advising you to tighten your belt by 10-20 percent.

Here are some simple places to get started saving money so that you, your family and your team don’t have to feel the pinch.

Track your expenses, and see what you can cut

You probably put some thought into the larger expenses you routinely spring for, but you may have developed the habit of mindlessly spending money on smaller items.

One of my big impulses used to be Amazon orders — if I thought of something I wanted and it didn’t cost much, it was oh-so-easy to order it from the app without giving it a second thought. I was shocked when I sat down and added up all of those impulsive Amazon purchases — tallying a few hundred dollars each month.

Ideally, you should take the time to sit down and break out all of your expenses, or use an app like Mint to track them. If you want a quick rundown, though, just take a look at one or two expenses or vendors who you feel you may visit too often.

Maybe it’s spending too much at Starbucks or maybe it’s spending too much on fast food. If you think you’re overdoing it, you probably are and you’ll find an easy and fast way to cut costs by looking at your wasteful spending habits first.

Take the disposable out of disposable income

We often make purchase decisions based on convenience and many of these conveniences are also bad for the environment. What do you buy too much of, only to throw it away or toss it in the recycle bin?

Here are a few trade-offs you can make to improve both your budget and your environmental footprint:

  • Trade too many paper towels for a set of dish towels
  • Trade water bottles for one reusable water bottle or a filtered water pitcher
  • Trade paper plates and disposable cups for reusable dishes
  • Trade paper coffee cups for a reusable travel mug
  • Trade disposable zip-lock bags for silicone storage bags
  • Trade single-use liquid soap dispensers for refills
  • Trade coffee and tea pods for mesh filters, pour-overs or French presses
  • Invest in a Soda Stream to avoid waste from sodas and seltzers

Determine whether you’ve developed wasteful habits

Maybe you’ve gotten out of the habit of making coffee at home, opting instead to stop at the coffee shop each morning. Maybe you’ve been ordering dinner too often rather than cooking at home much more inexpensively. Maybe you started having groceries delivered during the pandemic and are still paying too much for the service.

For many of us, the pandemic changed the way we did things, what we spent our money on and how we ran our households. We may have developed habits over the past couple of years that we need to rethink now. Examine your habits, especially if they’re recent, and find out if there are expenses you can cut out or reduce now.

Don’t think never. Think less often

You won’t stick with changes if you feel deprived, so instead of thinking that you can never have something or some service, think about having it less often. For example, if you have a housekeeper or landscaper come in each week, consider cutting back to every other week. If you go out to lunch every day, consider cutting back to every other day or keep it as a treat once or twice a week.

Don’t make yourself miserable cutting out everything you enjoy. Just look at ways to reduce the impact it has on your wallet by reducing the number of times you indulge.

Don’t cut out the things that are making you money

Most of all, make sure that you’re keeping those activities that add to your bottom line. If you spend money on marketing, and it’s working well, that is not a place to cut corners. If you routinely get clients through your membership in an organization or country club, it may be cost-effective to hold onto the access they provide. If planning a client appreciation event once or twice a year pays dividends, by all means, keep it going.

Take an honest look at your marketing initiatives and those things that you depend on for lead generation and nurturing and make sure that they’re as effective and profitable as you believe. You may find that an occasional commission is not worth an uber-pricey membership or marketing strategy.

You may find that you’re getting just as much bang from your free social media posts as you do from your paid or boosted posts. Measure your KPIs, crunch your numbers, find out what’s working, and get rid of the rest.

Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Inman Connect Las Vegas Memorial Day sale – 44% off exclusively for Select subscribers!Register Now To Save×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription