A penny saved is a penny earned, so the old saying went. In a home office this rings true because you’re the one paying for everything. Keep a careful eye on what you spend and you might be able to afford more than gruel in your weekly shop.
Looking at a printer’s initial cost and the power consumption is easy, but ink and paper is the real cost. Printers use ink at different rates so check http://www.trustedreviews.com/printers for reviews and pay attention to the cost of printing each page. If the review doesn’t mention the ink cartridges it uses, then go to the manufacturer’s website and find the model number of the ink cartridges. Enter these into an office supplies site and check the cost of replacing the cartridges. With cheap printers the cost of replacing all the cartridges can be higher than the printer itself! There are compatible ink cartridges which are made by a third party and are cheaper. However they don’t always work and you don’t want to spend money on ink you can’t use. Also check your printer’s settings. If you’re printing a test page, then use draft quality printing as it’ll use less ink. If your printer has duplex mode, then you should enable it whenever it’s appropriate as it’ll print both sides of the page, halving the amount you use.
Every device in your office consumes power, so when you buy anything take a look at how much it uses. The device must still do everything you need it to do though or it’s a waste of money. Price comparison websites can help you take a look at different power companies. What you could save might be tiny when viewed per watt, but you use a lot of power in a day so you might be able to make a saving on volume. Also look at other services you use like your mobile phone or your Internet Service Provider (ISP), or your oil supplier – check prices at http://www.claddaghoil.com/. With ISPs don’t just look at how much they cost per month, look at whether the service is unlimited or not. If you spend a lot of time online, the last thing you need is to exceed your limit and be ‘invited’ to pay more.
The Terry Pratchett Discworld character The Patrician once described taxation as a civilised way of extracting money with menaces. Take a look at your country’s tax laws. If you’re earning below a certain level in the UK, then you could be entitled to Working Tax Credits which top up your income. It’s also possible to claim items essential to keeping your business running as capital expenditure. Don’t take a single chance on tax though. Make sure you keep detailed records because you need to be able to account for every penny, in or out. So keep records, make sure you hold onto them for at least as long as the law in your country requires and keep backups.