Five Ways to Save Money When You Work from Home

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

source:dan/freedigitalphotos

You would imagine that when you work from home, you save a LOT. You’re not commuting, you don’t have to buy tons of business outfits or spend on office lunches, right?

Actually, you should save a lot of money but when you factor in costs of setting up a business website, the recurring cost of Internet or mobile phone bills or hiring someone to watch your children part time while you get some work done, the numbers quickly add up.

Having said that, it is possible to save money when working from home:

1. Get the best deal for your internet and phone.

Start by reviewing your Internet and phone bills and check to see if you’re being charged for services that you neither need nor use. Next, call up the companies and ask for these services to be discontinued and while you have them on the line, ask them about other rate packages and offerings. Negotiate and you’ll be surprised at how much money you’d end up saving on a monthly basis.

 2. Consider inexpensive but safe childcare options.

Yes, even though you work-at-home, you may need childcare occasionally. When you need to meet clients in person or just need to get things done without the kids underfoot. However, instead of opting for fulltime or even, partime childcare options, consider other innovative ways for the kids to be taken care of:

  • Swap babysitting with a friend. She pitches in for you one day a week and you do the same another day. Win-win!
  • Hire a mother’s helper to play or watch the kids while you work and yet keep an eye on them.
  • Ask your partner if he can watch the kids one evening a week while you can head to the park or just lock yourself in the office and work.

 3. Save Money on managing your business.

Working from home usually means being your own website administrator, bookkeeper, strategist, social media spokesperson, marketer, and more.

However, you don’t have to kill yourself trying to doing it all and neither do you have to break the bank by hiring a team of people. You can save money on managing your business in many ways and get things done as well:

  • Scout for the best hosting provider. There are many to choose from. Get one who gives you the best service at the best price.
  • Barter, barter, barter. This really helped me in the initial stages of my business and still does. Check your network of fellow entrepreneurs to see who may be willing to swap services or products with you. Can a friend who’s a VA take care of your email management while you take care of her graphic design?
  • Test drive services with trial offers. Never plunge headfirst into a new product or service unless you’re 100% sure about its awesomeness. Instead, see if they have a free or trial version and test drive that first. Should the program not be right for you, you wouldn’t have wasted any money on it.

 4. Never pay for a job.

This is a question I get asked many times during my coaching sessions with newbie work-at-home entrepreneurs. ‘Should I pay to get job listings?” The short answer is ‘No’. If a company wants you to fork over $50 for a list of surveys that will make you $500, I would run a mile.

Having said that, there are job boards and networks like Elance, which do have a membership fee for their advanced levels. But then, again, test drive their offerings with the free version and then, decide if Elance or oDesk are worth the fees. If yes, go for it and consider it an investment.

 5. Save money on managing the home.

Finally, you can save money on managing the home while working out of it as well. Simple things like, cooking from scratch or freezer cooking instead of eating out or ordering in, using coupons to save on groceries or office and school supplies, or cutting out services that you don’t need would help you save in the long run. Yes, the pennies will add up fast.

Do you work-from-home? How do YOU save money?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.
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