For many freelance proofreaders, working from home represents freedom from the nine to five. But did you know it could mean more savings in your bank account, too? Going to the office, after all, can add some expenses to your daily life. We’ll highlight them in this post, but we’ll also make you aware of some investments you’ll have to make before you can save money working from home.
Working from Home: Savings
From that daily cup of coffee to commuting costs, going to the office can add many expenses to your working day. They might look like nothing day to day, but they can add up over a whole year! Here are a few examples of what you could save money on if you work from home:
- Commuting: Whether you drive or take public transport, working from home will save you commuting costs. In the US, transportation costs are the second-highest expense per household: a whopping $11,345 per year. That’s around $210 per week. Working from home allows you to save that money (and all that time spent commuting as well).
- Food and coffee: Those lunches with colleagues and fancy lattes might add up in the long run. If you buy three coffees per week – each at $3.50, for example – you’re spending over $500 a year already. At home, a simple visit to the kitchen is enough to fulfill your caffeine needs. Resist the temptation of ordering takeout every other day, and watch your expenses if you choose to work from coffee shops.
- Work clothes: If you work a traditional office job, you’re likely to spend money on work clothes. At home, however, you can usually stick to more casual clothes – the ones you already own. You can even work in your pajamas (although we don’t recommend it).
- Childcare: If you have children, working from home is likely to reduce your childcare expenses since you’re working a more flexible schedule. After all, being at home with your kids will reduce your childcare needs. You can take a break to do the school run and make up for the hours while your kids sleep (if you’d like to). That said, you might still need to invest in childcare for a couple of days each week so you can fully focus on your freelancing business.
- Tax: While working from home might increase your utility bills, you’ll be able to claim a proportion of these as work expenses (phew!). These rules change from country to country, so make sure to research the tax rules in your country.
Although the financial savings are plentiful, working from home also saves you time, which is priceless. That means more freedom to spend time with your friends and family, and less time stuck in traffic or on public transport, for instance. And you’re likely to have a much better work-life balance as a result!
Working from Home: Costs
Even though working from home saves you money in the long run, you’ll still need to make a few investments while you transition. Here are a few costs you might need to consider:
- Home office equipment: It’s important that your home workspace is comfortable. For that, you might have to spend a bit more on things like a desk, chair, and laptop.
- Software: Freelance proofreaders may have to invest in a few editing tools (e.g. MS Word or Adobe).
- Pension and health insurance: Unfortunately, as a freelancer, you’re in charge of organizing (and paying) your health insurance and pension scheme. Some countries, however, allow you to deduct part of these contributions from your tax.
- Utility bills: If you’re working from home, your usage of electricity, water, gas, and internet are likely to go up. Make sure you’re clued into easy ways to save money on your utility bills (and help the planet).
- Certifications and training: The fees of professional development courses and certifications, as a freelancer, are on you. However, this investment tends to be tax-deductible, and it’ll ultimately help you improve your rates and move forward in your career.
It’s also worth noting that as a new freelancer you might be subject to less stable pay. But if you make sure you budget accordingly, you’ll avoid any nasty surprises regarding your savings.
Although there are certainly some costs to consider when making the switch to working from home, we think the savings (financial and otherwise) far outweigh them!
Ready to Work from Home?
Are you interested in saving money by working from home but not sure where to start? Then why not take a look at our Becoming A Proofreader course? Sign up for a free trial today to begin your journey with a work guarantee with our partner company, Proofed.