Edited July 23, 2015
If you want to cut back on telecommute costs you may not have considered, check out our top tips for work-at-home cost savings.
Working from home saves money in a number of areas, but sometimes those savings aren’t enough. Combining your professional and personal expenses under one roof can blow your budget if you aren’t careful.
Here are some of our favorite ways to save money while working from home:
Don’t order delivery. Working from home means you won’t be as tempted to go out to lunch with your friends or co-workers several times a week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other budget-busting temptations. It’s all too easy to grab a takeout menu and have your favorite lunch delivered while you’re busy working on a project.
Instead of ordering out, prep your weekly meals and snacks ahead of time and store them in food safe plastic containers. This approach will not only allow you to save money, but also help you enjoy the grab-and-go feeling associated with eating out and not having to expend too much mental energy deciding on what to eat.
Change your phone service. Don’t be a prisoner to expensive nationwide and international calling plans for your home business. You can tap into work-at-home cost savings if you make the switch from your traditional phone service to a VOIP provider that utilizes an Internet protocol, rather an analog line.
Bundle your utilities. Save money on utilities by bundling your plans. Most companies offer packages that allow you to pay less on your phone, Internet, and television bills so long as you purchase all services from the same provider. You should also check with your local utility office for package deals on electricity, gas, water, and garbage pickup. This could lead to major savings since your consumption of these services will be higher now that you live and work in the same space.
Power down. Lower your electric bill even more by powering down your electronics at the end of your work day. Save time in this process by using a power strip that allows you to simultaneously shut off multiple devices, like your computer, printer, and cell phone charger. Powering down will further decrease your electrical output costs because your thermostat won’t need to work as hard to keep your home office cool.
Shop gently used. Furnishing a home office can be costly, but who says you have to buy new? Gently used office items work just as well as showroom new pieces, and they add character to your work space while keeping money in your wallet. Visit thrift, antique, and consignment stores for your home office furniture, and inquire with retailers for refurbished office equipment.
Opt for the warranty. Shelling out a minimal upfront warranty fee when you purchase office equipment or software could prevent you from forking over major cash for future repairs or replacements.
Buy in bulk. When it comes to buying in bulk, purchasing more often means spending less. Instead of paying full retail price whenever you need new paper, ink, staples, file folders, and other office essentials, buy in bulk. Get the best deal by going generic instead of splurging on name brand supplies, and always check the price per unit on whatever you’re buying.
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