Entrepreneurs Share Their Money Saving Tips

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-15T00:41:10Z

Photograph: Courtesy of Alexa von Tobel

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Alexa von Tobel, LearnVest

In 2009, when Alexa von Tobel founded LearnVest, a financial information site aimed at women, she tried to be frugal and "scrappy" in every imaginable way. She initially worked out of her home and Starbucks, using mobile phones rather than paying for a phone line.

Presentations to potential investors weren't printed in color, which she says was too expensive: "No one cares." For technological needs such as e-mail, giving online surveys, and managing content, LearnVest used such free options as Google's gmail for as long as possible. Von Tobel also worked out a deal to obtain $10,000 in free services from a lawyer before the company had to start paying.

One area in which von Tobel didn't stint: Taking people out for coffee to glean insights. "There's nothing more valuable than smart friends and advisers," she says.