If the freedom and independence of working from home as a freelancer aren’t reasons enough for you to finally take the leap, here’s another one: it can save you some money. When you’re working from home, you probably won’t be tempted to eat out for every lunch break, thus saving you some cash – but there are other big ways you’ll see savings. Here are some ways you can expect to save money when you’re working from home.
1. No Need for a Work Wardrobe
Unless you’re the type who insists on wearing those high-end silk pajamas, your work wardrobe will no longer require constant attention – and it won’t cost much either. You might need a suit or two for the occasional business meeting, but you won’t have to have them professionally laundered every week like you did before, and you can work in your pajamas most days of the week if you so desire. That said though, actually getting up, getting dressed and in "work mode" can help you stay focused and productive when you’re working from home.
2. Office Expenses = Living Expenses
If you form a business entity such as a sole proprietorship or a corporation, you can deduct expenses such as your electricity, Internet access, and even a portion of your rent or mortgage from your taxable income. Every country and every state has different rules, but in the United States, for example, you can deduct the expenses for the square footage of your residence that you use for activities related to your business. So, if your home office takes up 500 square feet of your 1,000 square foot apartment – half of the square footage of the apartment - you’ll be able to deduct half of your rent and utilities. Talk to a tax professional for details specific to your situation.
3. Reduced Childcare Costs
Paying for childcare full-time is a gigantic expense for many families, and especially those with multiple children. If you have small children, chances are you won’t be able to do all of your work when the little ones are in your care – but there are still many ways to save. From working a few hours early in the morning when the kids are still alseep to doing childcare trades with other at-home parents to even hiring a teenager to act as a "parent helper" in the household while you work in your home office, freelancing can afford you the flexibility to work full-time while not having to shell out half your income to give the kids good care.
Being a freelancer working from home can often mean you’ll make less money at first – at least while you build your business and earn a reputation – but with the savings you’ll see from skipping the commute and the wardrobe, as well as the possible tax savings, the financial considerations can go back into your favor. Coupled with the fact that you can take an extra-long lunch break on the days you actually do decide to eat out, you may find that you never want to go back to the regular 9 to 5.
Image courtesy Freedom #2 by Vic via Flickr