Being a freelance writer and working from home are great. There are some obvious cost savings. For example, you won’t have to pay the cost of commuting to and from work, so you’ll save money on gas. Your clothing expenses might also go down since you don’t have to buy the more expensive business casual or professional clothes for to wear to work.
As you consider the move to becoming a full-time freelance writer you should also think about how your other expenses will increase.
Your utility bills will probably go up. You’ll be at home more hours during the day and you’ll be using your computer, lights, and the television more often. If you typically adjust the thermostat on your heating and cooling system before you go to work, you won’t keep getting these cost savings if you don’t continue to make the adjustment once you start working from home. The same thing goes for your water usage.
You may spend more money on food. You’ll probably be eating more meals at home, so your grocery bill may increase. Of course, this all depends on what you spend on lunch right now. If you switch from eating breakfast and lunch out everyday to eating those meals at home, your food expense may decrease. The opposite can happen if you typically eat at your work’s cafeteria where meals may be cheaper.
You must purchase your own office supplies. When you work for someone else, the employer typically pays for things like paper, pencils, etc. As a freelance writer, you bear the cost of these expenses. I wouldn’t expect to spend a tremendous amount on office supplies, but this all depends on how you work.
Regular household expenses might increase. You’ll be at home more throughout the day, so it makes sense that you’ll consume more of those everyday items like tissue, paper towels, and trash bags, which your employer furnishes. You should increase your budget for these items.
Fortunately, the increased cost of working from home can be deducted on your income taxes. You can count things like office supplies and the internet as business expenses. You may also be able to take the home office deduction, which helps compensate for the increase in utilities you face from working at home.
Which of your expenses have increased since you started freelancing full-time?