With advances in technology making it easier than ever to work from home, many people are choosing to do just that, whether by freelancing or simply bringing their existing job home. Working at home is incredibly convenient, but it also has the added benefit of potentially saving workers a ton of money. Whether you work at home running your own business or freelance venture, or you’re an employee who works from home, there are a few ways that you can increase your net profit by saving in a few key areas.
1. Tax Benefits
One of the most significant ways you can save money by working at home is by writing off certain expenses related to your job when filing your taxes. Certain percentages of your utilities, house payments or rent can be deducted depending on the size of your home office. In some cases, you can even deduct the purchase of equipment like computers, provided they are used strictly for job-related purposes.
Driving back and forth to the office really adds up in terms of gasoline, auto maintenance, parking and perhaps even a higher insurance payment. If you work from home, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money on these items. You might even be able to eliminate some of them altogether if you’re in the position to sell your vehicle and do without it entirely, for example, by scaling back from being a “2 car family” to having just one vehicle. Your savings increase even further when you factor in the time that it takes to get to and from work – eliminating your commute allows you to use those hours to work if you’d like to.
The cost of eating out for lunch adds up. Even many people who do commit to taking a homemade, cost-effective lunch to the office each day will usually have days here and there where they let it slide and opt for takeout instead. Eating at home is much cheaper – and usually quite a bit healthier, too. There is also a lot of time saved, since there won’t be a line at your refrigerator door (most days, anyway…)
One of the biggest costs associated with working outside the home is that of childcare. In fact, staying at home with the family is one of the most common reasons people choose to work at home in the first place! While there are definitely instances in most people’s careers where it will be better to be childfree, the amount of childcare needed is either significantly reduced or schedules can simply be worked out with other adults in the home. For example, if I have a web conferencing meeting, I can schedule childcare for that time or if possible, work out the schedule with my husband so that he can be on “kid duty” at that time.
You can wear whatever you want when you work at home, which saves you money in a few ways. One, you don’t have to invest in a ton of expensive, high-end clothing to wear to the office. While you might like to have some nice duds on hand for meetings and conferences, an outfit or two will probably be plenty for that purpose. You’ll also save on cleaning costs – dry cleaning adds up and takes a chunk of time that could be spent elsewhere. Lastly, your clothes will likely last longer.
When you add up all of the savings you can take advantage of by working at home and then factor in the sheer convenience and time saved, it ends up being a great option for pretty much any career. Even if you don’t work at home all the time, you can likely bring some tasks home and have “work at home days” at the very least. If the idea is intriguing, take the leap and enjoy the extra cash and time!