Published on May 4th, 2021 | by Sunit Nandi
There are considerable benefits to working from home, but running a home office can get costly over time. Fortunately, you can save money by making simple adjustments to the way you work. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to save money in your home office.
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Printing is a significant cost for most offices. When looking at ways to save money, it’s always a good idea to look at how you’re using your printer. After assessing their habits, many people discover they are printing more than necessary. For instance, often documents, and sometimes even contracts, can be emailed rather than printed and mailed, which also saves money on postage.
Ink is usually the greatest printing cost, so spend some time finding the right supplier. Some companies offer reward schemes that help you save. Have you ever wondered how to get more ink out of your cartridge? Simple steps like cleaning out clogs and using economy printer settings can make a huge difference to your monthly ink bill.
Collaborate with Other Businesses to Buy in Bulk
Office supplies can get pricey over time, but significant savings are usually made when buying in bulk. While this is great news for large organizations, home offices often can’t take advantage of these discounts because they don’t have the space to store boxes and boxes of paper or because their cash flow management won’t allow for this kind of shopping.
One way you can make the most of the lower prices associated with ordering in bulk is to make combined orders with other local small businesses or even friends and neighbors who have also moved to working from home. This strategy requires some organization and some fringe benefits, such as savings on delivery costs and providing an excuse to network with local businesses.
Keep an Accessible Inventory of Your Office Supplies
Keeping an office well-stocked in printer supplies and stationery takes organization. It’s all too easy to over-order certain items and forget to restock others, impacting your office materials budget. Everyone has to find their own system that works for them; whether that’s buying things as and when you need them or doing a monthly shop, the latter is usually more cost-effective, as it reduces delivery costs.
The best way to tackle over- and under-ordering is by keeping a written inventory of what you need and when. Remember to update this document when you notice you are running low on something or ordering a fresh batch. Accessing this document from your cell phone allows you to take advantage of sales you may come across while grocery shopping, for example. If you spot a discount on paper, you can check your list to see if you need it and, if you do, you can update your inventory there and then.
Make Environmentally Friendly Choices
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average office worker generates approximately two pounds of paper and paperboard products a day. In addition to having a significant environmental impact, this wastage can affect your bottom line. One of the causes of this paper waste is reprinting due to mistakes, so get into the habit of proofreading before hitting print.
No matter how careful you are, you are bound to end up with some scrap paper, but you can off-set this by re-using it to make rough notes. Other environmentally friendly changes to your home office, such as switching to refillable pens, refilling your ink cartridges and using energy-efficient technology, can also help you save money.
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Buy Second-Hand Office Furniture
Setting up a home office comes at a price, and most people need to buy everything from a desk and computer chair to a printer and scanner. If you’re not careful, office furniture can be one of your largest expenses. Fortunately, these items are relatively easy to pick up second-hand.
As well as checking out used furniture stores and online marketplaces, keep an eye out for local offices selling old furniture. Often, in these sales, you can find high-quality pieces for a fraction of what they would cost new.
Reevaluate Your Internet Provider
When you start working from home, you may notice the additional strain on your internet service. These days, having good-quality broadband is essential for most businesses, but you don’t want your bills to skyrocket.
A little bit of research can go a long way when saving money, so shop around for the best deals. Remember that often there is wiggle room in the advertised prices, so don’t be afraid to play your potential internet providers against each other to land yourself the best deal. It’s also worth considering bundling your internet with other services, such as your cellphone contract or TV setup, as this can be better value.
Claim Tax Deductions
If you’re self-employed or an independent contractor, you may be eligible to claim tax deductions on expenses, including rent, mortgage, utilities, maintenance, repairs and services such as cleaning. People often forget about this option, but it can have a considerable effect on your annual finances. To find out if you qualify for a home office tax deduction, check out the IRS website.
Improve Your Productivity
If you’re used to going to an office, you may find yourself getting distracted by other things around the house, which can impact your productivity. Luckily there are many tools, such as productivity apps, that can help you get the most out of your working day.
Your time is money, and you should start thinking about everything you do in your office as part of your work. For instance, the time you spend cleaning your office is part of your workday. When you begin to look at your work like this, you begin to see how outsourcing specific tasks can be financially savvy. For example, getting a cleaner could free up your time so you can do more work and make more money.
Small Changes for Big Savings
Making a move to working from home can lead to substantial benefits in your daily life, from avoiding a long commute to allowing you to be more flexible with your work and family life. However, despite all its benefits, there are significant costs attached to setting up and running a home office. Small changes such as being mindful of your printer usage and getting organized about how you purchase your office supplies can make a real difference to your monthly expenses.