When it comes to saving money, no one does it better than the small business owner running his or her office from home.
After all, it's already second nature for people operating from home to cut back and reduce expenses.
Sometimes home-based business owners, however, place too much stress on being penny-wise and in the process wind up being pound-foolish.
This article will show you how you can be penny-wise, not pound-foolish in your home and home office.
Five Creative Money Saving Ideas for Your Home Office
- Use Time Banks to barter for services.
What's Time Banking? It's about bartering time in your community. "For every hour you spend doing something for someone in your community, you earn one Time Dollar. Then you have a Time Dollar to spend on having someone do something for you. It's that simple. Yet, it also has profound effects."
Time Banks are changing the way neighborhood communities interact. In 22 countries and on six continents, they are already a strong social change movement sweeping the globe. To find a Time Bank in your area go to www.timebanks.org.
- Have a home office exchange party.
I organized one a couple of years ago and it was a big hit. As a home-based small business owner I knew a lot of people in my area working from home. So, one day, at one of the regular networking events I attend, I put forth the suggestion of hosting a home office exchange party.
Everyone brought things from their own home office that they wanted to sell or trade, including everything from cellophane tape, printer paper and dry erase boards to computers, printers, and office furniture.
- Rediscover the radical notion of going to the library.
You will not believe how far your free library card will get you these days! Imagine having Internet access and thousands of business books at your disposal. Plus hundreds of business CDs and DVDs for free.
Don't give in to the monopoly, ever again, of having to go to a bookstore to purchase your business books. Either visit the library or buy used online.
- More cash for home energy.
As you know, the U.S. government offers big tax credits to homeowners who make energy improvements to their homes, like installing solar panels or putting in more efficient windows. In the past few years tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy have been politically popular, and they been increased substantially under bills such as economic stimulus packages.
The Energy Star website is one helpful source for up-to-date information on energy incentives. Just go to www.energystart.gov and search “tax credits.”
- Consider a Yurt for your home office.
What's a Yurt? It's a modern adaptation of the ancient shelter used for centuries by Central Asian nomads. "The Yurt is a lightweight, low-cost, state-of-the-art version that retains the sense of wholeness of the ancient form while delivering the structural integrity, longevity and low maintenance demanded by modern users."
A simple, sustainable, and affordable Yurt can become your home office away from home. With its circular, collapsible framework Yurts can be installed just about anywhere. Add a woodstove inside the Yurt to keep your home office warm throughout the winter. To see if a Yurt would be a suitable home office for you, visit Yurts.com.
No doubt about it, no one saves money better than the small business owner running his or her office from home. Yet, when it comes to saving money, being penny-wise doesn't have to be mundane. Creative, money-saving opportunities for your home and home office abound, if you know where to look. Have fun while you're saving with these five penny-wise ideas that won't make your home office pound-foolish later!
Dr. Susan L. Reid is a business coach and consultant for entrepreneurial women starting businesses. She is the award-winning author of “Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success,” and has a free chapter PDF of her most popular chapter: “Doing What You Love: Multiple Streams of Passion” for those who want see how persistence, patience and practice can really pay off.