Here are a few tips to make your savings last longer before you start generating revenue from your customers, or get your first round of investment-
Money not spent is as good as money earned. Even better.
It is wise to think twice or thrice before you spend. Earning 1000 Rs, or not spending the 1000 Rs has the same effect on your bank balance. In fact not spending the money is better because you still have it in your hand to make a wiser investment in your business.
Before spending, try to put your expense in one of these categories:
Can't live without - Rent, Electricity, Internet etc
Good to have - If it's in this category, calculate your ROI (Return on Investment)
Can do without - The name says it all
Create separate bank accounts
If you are used to receiving a paycheck at the end of every month, your spending style is likely to be aligned with what you see as your bank balance. But when you are living out of your savings, seeing a big number in your account balance can give you a false sense of security.
A simple way to avoid this trap is to maintain separate bank accounts for each of the following:
Personal expense account - Food, Clothing, Entertainment, etc
Company expense account - Employee salaries, Goods purchase, Recurring expenses, etc.
Company earnings account - Any money remitted to the company goes here.
Money source account - Savings, Investments, etc.
Managing your Bank Accounts
Transfer a fixed amount into your personal expense account at the beginning of each month. Estimate how much you would need to survive each month and transfer the amount to this account. (This could vary based on your base lifestyle)
A special advisory for shopaholics - Don't carry around any credit/debit card apart from the one you use for personal expenses. Also, if you want a credit card, apply for it before leaving your job.
Refill the account corresponding to your office expenditure to a fixed amount at the beginning of every month. For example, if your monthly estimate is 30K, and you put 30K in April. Say, you have 4000 remaining at the end of the month. Transfer another 26,000 at the beginning of May to refill it.
Use Cheques/Bank transfers instead of cash wherever possible. This way the transaction will be visible in your bank statement making it easy for accounting. For the inevitable cash transactions, keep a few cash vouchers handy.
Keep a track of all bank accounts. The statement of your "company earnings" account gives you a clear picture of your revenue stream. The balance in your "money source" account gives you an idea of how much longer you can survive. This time period is also known as your runway.
Finance day - Spend the first day of every month as the finance day. Go through all the transactions of the previous month, see what could have been avoided and get an estimate of the ROI on expenses made.
When you have a job in hand, you get a helping hand from your employer in the form of health insurance, provident fund, etc. You would have to take care of these by yourself now. Health insurance is the most important part. Make sure that your family is covered with adequate health as well as life insurance.
Liquidity might also be a concern for you since you would want to plough in money into your business whenever needed. For this, you can put your surplus money in liquid funds which are flexible and possibly beat inflation. This can act as an emergency fund for you.