5 Costs You’ll Incur While Working at Home (And How to Minimize Each)

You love working at home. But is it a drag on your finances?

It’s no secret that running a home office involves overhead costs that traditional office-dwellers don’t have to deal with personally. Managing them doesn’t have to be a full-time job, though.

Expenses incurred when working at home

Many home office workers pursue part- or full-time work-at-home opportunities that provide scalable income potential. Fundraising distribution is a great example: Full- and part-time fundraising distributors sell high-profit fundraising products that help charitable organizations, school clubs, faith groups, and others raise funds for their work. According to the experts at ABC Fundraising, fundraising distributors working full-time from home can earn $5,000 per month or more.

With that kind of money, managing your work-at-home expenses is a snap.

Adding a second source of income isn’t the only way to deal with the expense of running a home office, of course. Here’s what else you can do to manage five common types of home office costs.

1. Business-Quality Internet Service

It’s no secret your home office needs speedy Internet. But you can’t afford to pay for a multi-line commercial plan. Nor do you need to, when you’re the only user.

Upgrade to your ISP’s small business plan, at whichever tier suits your use case and budget. If you’re not editing videos or doing hardcore web design all day, you probably don’t need much more than your current plan. Then, look for opportunities to optimize your home WiFi without paying more.

2. A Phone Plan

If your work demands that you’re on call during business hours, you’ll need a reliable phone plan. Adding a cloud-based VoIP phone line through your ISP may be more cost-effective than a new landline. Alternatively, add a business line to your current family mobile plan, or simply use your personal phone for business (and write off that phone’s share of your total mobile bill).

3. Office Furniture and Organization

These expenses are one-time or once-in-a-long-time expenses, but they’re not cheap. To save, look for gently used office furniture, filing cabinets, and decorations, rather than buying new from a designer warehouse. Make comfort your goal; don’t aim to win any interior design awards.

4. Invoicing and Accounting Software

Use a trusted invoicing and accounting suite to track your expenses and revenue — and ensure you actually get paid. It’s worth paying for a feature-rich product, rather than using a lightweight alternative that fails to provide adequate visibility into your enterprise’s finances.

5. Web Hosting, Design, and Development

Whether you rely entirely on word of mouth, depend wholly on online search traffic for marketing, or exist in the broad middle between these two extremes, your company needs a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy or super-expensive, but it does need to exist. Use a non-technical platform that combines web hosting and design in the same package.

Making Ends Meet Without Heading Back to the Grind

You most likely work at home by choice. Whatever the opportunity costs of forgoing the traditional office, you shouldn’t have to give up your present professional arrangement because you can no longer afford the expense of maintaining your home office.

Fortunately, you don’t have to. Use the tips described here to make home office work a little easier on yourself and your business finances.

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