Make Your Home Office a Reality
Five tips to prepare your office at home and prevent the shock of home office expenses
Creating a home office so you can work from home is quickly becoming part of the new American dream. But while many dream of it, they also don't realize how quickly home office expenses can add up. Read our five tips below to learn when to open your home office savings account and how to help your dream come true.
1. Open a Savings Account
Long before you peruse colorful newspaper ads or browse internet listings looking for office supplies, start setting money aside. Although there are many tax advantages that come from keeping your office at home, there are also plenty of places where it's easy to rack up home office expenses. When you decide you need a home office, open a savings account where you can start saving for furniture, technology and other essentials.
2. Plan Your Space
You might be one of the lucky few with a spare bedroom, open loft or nook that makes an obvious location for your home office. However, many people need to carve a section out of their already-crowded house to squeeze in an office at home. And how much space you have to work with will dictate the size desk you can have and how much extra space you will have for bookshelves, filing cabinets and other traditional office furniture. You may be able to find fashionable dividers to split a large room, or you could consider the benefits of an addition.
3. Make a List
With your savings account and home office space designed, it's now time to set your savings goals. Do this by making a list of exactly what you'll need to maintain your office at home. A desk and chair are good items to start with, but don't forget less-obvious home office expenses, including internet and networking services as well as books, magazines, or directory services you pay for on a subscription or regular basis.
4. Set Your Budget
With your list of home office essentials in hand, it's finally to start shopping - or at least browsing. This is the step in the process where many people start understanding the true cost of home office expenses.Keep a running tally of expected costs when you begin to browse. As you start to see the costs add up, here are a few tips to consider to keep your costs as low as possible:
- Office visitors: If you won't be having customers or prospects in your office, you can save money by avoiding designer furniture and d'cor and purchasing used items instead.
- Buy in bulk: You can often save on shipping costs by buying your furniture and supplies in a single purchase.
- Go green: You can save on energy costs by purchasing energy-efficient computer equipment, light bulbs, air conditioners and more. Look for the Energy Star' label when buying.
5. Open Your Home Office
After calculating your initial total of home office expenses, don't be discouraged if the number is higher than you expected. Opening a high-yield savings account can help you set your savings goals and earn interest faster. By setting a budget and making a list of expected expenses ahead of time, you'll be more prepared to run a successful and profitable office at home. Once your business is set up, you will probably open a separate checking account for the business. However, it might be a good idea to keep your home office savings account open to make sure you're consistently putting enough away to cover future expenses.
Open a savings account with Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank representatives are happy to help you make your home office dreams a reality. Whether you need help choosing the right savings account or have business banking questions, we can meet your needs. Stop in to your local branch or give us a call at 1-800-428-7463 today.