by Contestant #2
A writer’s income can fluctuate greatly and finding ways to save money is essential for trying to maintain some balance between your income and expenses. You can reduce your expenses with these helpful tips compiled specifically with the writer in mind:
Forget the long distance feeling. If you frequently make long distance phone calls to your clients or editor, invest in a prepaid long distance phone card to reduce your long distance calling expenses. Be sure to check all the details on the back of the card for possible service charges or restrictions.
Stop the Spies. Save money on costly computer repairs by installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer. Reputable computer related websites such as www.pcworld.com have various anti-virus and anti-spyware software that you can download for free. Some programs are available for a limited time trial period and some can be used indefinitely.
Don’t dodge the draft. If you are printing your work to proofread and edit, change your printer preference setting to ‘draft’ mode to save on your ink usage. However, never print your final mailing manuscript in draft mode – editors prefer crisp, clean fonts.
Get acquainted with your local printing house. If you have a large project to print, save it on a CD and email it or hand deliver the disk to your local printing house. A 100 page manuscript will cost under $10 to have printed, whereas you would need two ink cartridges to print it from your computer at a substantially higher cost.
The tax man beckons. If you run a legitimate business and designate space in your home specifically for office use, you may be entitled to some tax deductions on your income tax return. Check with your government’s income tax department for all the particulars.
Reduce, Reuse, Refill. Whilst working on a large project that will require multiple pages of printing or editing, you can save money by purchasing a refillable ink cartridge kit and refilling your own cartridges instead of purchasing new ones.
Pass on the post-it notes. Little sticky post it notes are super convenient but can be expensive and sometimes get lost. Reduce your use of post it notes and keep a permanent record of your notes by investing in small spiral notebook. No more sticky notes sucked up by the vacuum cleaner!
Free webhosting – yours for the taking. There are plenty of free webhosting companies that you can use to create and host your author’s website. They are easy to use with pre-existing templates, guest books, blogs, and photo uploading capabilities. You can also upgrade your site with add on features for a nominal fee. A few sites to check out are: www.freewebs.com and www.bravenet.com.
Free yourself with free classified ads. The internet is host to various free advertising venues where you can promote your services at no cost. Popular sites such as www.kijiji.com and www.craigslist.org are home to hundreds of classifieds ads and receive thousands of hits each day. Both sites are simple to use and free of charge for basic ads.
Cheap promotion and publicity. Promoting oneself need not break the bank – become a celebrity in your own community, home town, or city. Offer your services at events held by your local school, library, or arts council. Consider reading at an elementary school, guest speaking at a high school career day, or judging the library’s writing contest.
Remember what your grandmother used to say; take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves!