One of my first bosses used to pull pound notes out of his pants pockets and start throwing them around the room when the expenses got to be too much for him. (this was in London – I’d not yet seen my first dollar bill). I hear all the time: “I have to spend x dollars on printer ink again, or y dollars on client lunches. It’s just money thrown away.” Even some of the salary checks you have to sign can leave you feeling this way.
I suggest you look at these costs another way. Look at each of them as an investment. With the paper you bought you can print out so many more project proposals and invoices – resulting in so much more revenue. With each meal you buy a client you are investing in getting that next job. With that salary check, you are paying someone a lot less than you are paying yourself to do the things that you don’t have time to do but that need to get done so that you can take on those new projects that you just invested in the ink for.
It’s easy really – consider each check you write as an investment, and picture the projects and revenue that it will make possible. If you can’t picture the return on a particular check, then think twice before signing it.