Guest post by Olivia Coleman, author of articles concerning online colleges and universities. She welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your home office should be a quiet and efficient place. After all, the home office is where many of us handle our family's finances. We pay bills from the home office. We evaluate our investment decisions. We worry about our budget. Because many of our financial decisions are made in the home office, then we should also make sure that our home offices aren't costing us to lose money. It would be terrible to have money flowing out of the home office unaccounted for. Here are a few ways you can make your home office a more frugal space.
Cut Down on Paper Waste
Home offices use a lot of different kinds of paper: printer paper, notepads, and calendars. Ideally, you can cut costs by going to a paperless accounting system and pay all your bills online. Minimize your printing needs. Cut up old printed paper and keep the scraps together to make notepads so you don't have to buy the expensive ones. Use an electronic calendar. If you can cut down all your paper purchases to just a bit of printer paper every now and then, you'll certainly save some money.
Use Less Juice
Another thing about our home offices is they are full of electronics: printers, computers, lamps, clocks, stereos, cell phone chargers, and paper shredders. Many of these appliances use electricity even when turned 'off.' How do they do that, you ask? Well, because they aren't actually powered down; instead, they go into a standby mode that still draws on your power source. If you can cut off these 'vampire appliances,' then you'll be able to save some money. Connect these appliances to a surge protector strip that allows you to flick a switch to break the connection completely.
Change Your Light Bulbs
Another way to save money in the long run in your office is to change the light bulbs in your office lamps to energy efficient bulbs. While the cost up front will be noticeable, you could save yourself up to $20 a year per light bulb. Often, these bulbs give off the same amount of light as a normal incandescent bulb of higher wattage. And with the advance of technology, they now emit a softer light than that of standard fluorescent bulbs.
Conserve Office Supplies
Finally, you'll want to be smart about how you purchase office supplies. Pens and pencils, printer cartridges, scissors, tape, all of these things can add up to a lot of money. The best way to make sure you're not spending more than necessary is to keep an inventory of your supplies, just like any small business would. That way you won't be tempted to buy a package of pens on sale because you're not sure if you need them or not. Likewise, be sure when you do run out of something you're not buying the most expensive product. Look for sales and shop around.