Day 3, Guest Post 3 out of 5 of Author Katie Femia Week. Author of Peacock Swamp The Nine Book 1, Katie is a freelance writer and is currently working on Book 2 of Peacock Swamp. If you enjoy this post, find the full series under “Author Katie Femia” category!
How to Budget for Working at Home
When you work from home, you tend to save a lot of money. After all, you don’t have to buy lunches out, work clothing, gas to and from the office, office gifts, or perhaps even day care. Working from home can actually be quite cost effective and save you some serious cash in the long run. On the other hand, working from home may also mean not collecting as big of a paycheck as you are used to. Learning how to budget your money is essential, so you can focus on your work and family instead of wondering how you will pay the bills. Take a look below at some helpful tips on how to budget for working from home. When you create a simple budget, you can better balance your finances aiming to saving money while still enjoying the pleasure of working from home.
1. Examine your expenses.
For two weeks, write down all of your expenses. Anytime you spend even so much as a cent, write it down. This will help you track where your money is going. When the two weeks is up, see how much you have spent on food, clothing, housing, utilities, entertainment, and misc. The bulk of your earnings should go towards housing and utilities. The least amount of your earnings should go towards things like clothing, entertainment, and misc. If your tracking shows this not to be the case, it is time to make adjustments with the goal of saving money.
2. Look for areas to trim
Look at your expenses and see how you can trim them back. For your utilities, call your utility company and negotiate your bill. Cable, phone, and internet providers will often offer reduced rates if you tell them you are considering switching. Look for ways to eat for less, such as shopping with coupons, price matching, or cutting back carry out to a few times per month. Start trimming and get your expenses down as much as possible. Remember, a penny saved is a penny earned! And that will take you closer to the goal of saving money too.
3. Set a firm budget
Each week, use the envelope system to set a budget. Mark each envelope with an expense. For example they may read housing, clothing, food, utilities, fun, etc.
Write the budgeted amount on the envelope and place the cash inside. Pay the bills as you normally would and use the cash as needed. Once the cash runs out, you are done for that week. For example if you put $50 in your entertainment envelope, dinner and a movie out may wipe those funds out. In this case, no more spending on entertainment (movies, drinks with friends, manicures, etc.) until the next week when the budget is replenished.
4. Create a safety net
It is never a bad idea to save money and create a safety net.
Set aside as little as $20 a week and see how quickly it adds up. Should you run into an emergency, you won’t have to stress since your safety net will be in place. Can’t do $20 per week? How about just $2 per day? It will add up quickly and you will never miss it.
5. Think about what you are saving
When you work from home, you eliminate many of the expenses as mentioned above. Keep reminding yourself about how much you are saving by working from home. There is no daycare check to write each week, less gas being used, no lunches out, etc. Reminding yourself of all of the expenses you DON’T have to worry about is a great way to stay encouraged for the ones you do.
Setting a budget when working from home takes discipline, but it can be done. Give these tips a try and see how you too can still pay your expenses, save money, and find success when working from home.