Whether you telecommute full-time or part-time, or you run your own business from home, you’re likely familiar with some of the costs associated with operating out of a home office. Depending on the line of work you’re in, these costs can be somewhat frustrating—after all, you’re working to make money, not to spend it. But sometimes, especially if you’re starting your own business, it’s necessary to spend money in order to make it. While it may not be possible to completely eliminate home office expenses, the following tips can help you to lower them:
Miscellaneous office supplies will almost always be needed—from pens and paper, to costlier purchases, like printer ink. Even the minor purchases can accumulate over time, so stock up when sales are good in order to cut down on costs overall. Some of the best sales of the year include Black Friday sales, and also back-to-school sales, which usually occur at the end of summer. If you have any store coupons and/or manufacturer coupons, find out if you can pair them with the sale prices to receive an additional discount.
You’ll be home much longer than you’re used to now that you’re working there. As a result, you might see an increase in your utility bills. If the increase is significant, you can try to be more mindful about your energy usage so that you can lower your monthly bill. For example, if you haven’t already, you might want to invest in a powerful ceiling fan for your office space. During the summer months, this could allow you to reduce (or eliminate) the amount of time you have your air conditioning on.
Make sure you retain your receipts whenever you make a business-related purchase for your home office. When tax time comes around, you may have the opportunity to write off some (or all) of these expenditures. This can possibly help cut down on what you’ll owe to the IRS, or could potentially help increase your tax refund. If you’re new to doing your taxes this way and you’ve never written off business expenses before, you might benefit by having your taxes professionally done by an accountant.
If you’ll be spending a lot of your time on the phone with business calls, you might actually want to consider switching your cell phone for a landline. It may seem a little strange since most people nowadays do it the other way around, but a cell phone might not be practical for business use. You could be quickly eating through minutes and data, and you might be paying far extra each month if you do go over your allotted minutes. Additionally, depending on the reception in your home and area, phone calls might not be as clear as they should be. If you don’t need to use a phone too often, or you’re open to other options, there are cheaper alternatives that could potentially allow you to be without a landline and won’t eat into your cell phone minutes, either. There are several inexpensive and cheap VoIP services on the web that allow you to make calls from your computer; you can even have free face-to-face meetings with webcam chat programs.
Forgo the fax machine
A lot of businesses these days still operate with fax machines, so you might not think twice about adding one to your home office. The initial cost might not seem significant, but over time, the cost of ink and paper will add up. If you are faxing out to a long distance number, you’ll also be charged long distance fees. Instead, opt for a printer that also includes a scanner. If you’re unable to send a scanned document to your recipient, you can just scan it anyway and then use a web-based fax service. These services also allow users to receive faxes as well.
Even without a fax machine, you might not be able to avoid the cost of ink if you’ll need a printer. Depending on how often you print documents, you can quickly go through ink, and brand new cartridges can be expensive. Instead, slash prices by opting for recycled printer cartridges.
As your business grows, the need for others to join your team will, too. If you operate out of a home office, it can be difficult to hire people to work for you. However, consider the benefits of contracting work out to others, which can offer you the same benefits and while also saving you money. For example, if you need a bookkeeper or an assistant to help keep you organized, you might even need to take on a full-time or part-time employee. Hiring someone remotely can allow you to pay for the specific projects you need, which can save you a bundle. And with the latest advances in technology, you can easily have face-to-face conversations with your collaborators when needed through webcam chat.
Have you always wanted to start your own business, but need the money to make your dreams a reality? One way to finance your new venture is to take out a business loan, but this will usually rely on good credit. If you want to avoid loans, you might have other options. Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re receiving long-term payments from an annuity or structured settlement. By selling some or all of your future payments to Peachtree, you won’t have to wait for them to arrive. Instead, you can receive the money you need in a lump sum payment. That lump sum payment can help jumpstart your business in several different ways. It can give you the cash you need to get operations going, and if you’re quitting your job to focus on your new business, that lump sum payment can help you take care of bills and expenses while you’re waiting for your business to begin generating revenue. Contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today to learn more about selling future payments for a lump sum of cash for the start of your business!
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.