Kitting out your home office on a budget
When you’re setting up a home workspace, costs can really add up. Technology and furniture aren’t cheap, so how you can you be clever about getting what you need? Here are some tips.
1. Shop your own house.
Do you have a table in storage or in a darkened corner of your home that’d love to get a new lease on life as your desk? Are there old milk crates in the garage that’d make the perfect filing system? And those extra coffee mugs or glasses at the back of the kitchen cupboard? They could be ideal for holding your loose stationery supplies.
2. Shop your friends’ homes.
Spread the word of your home office endeavour to your friends. They, too, may have some furniture or accessories in storage that will help you jump-start your dream.
3. Go where the bargains are.
Second-hand stores, Salvos warehouses, op shops, markets and garage sales are all great sources of bargains on such items as desks, chairs, filing cabinets and lamps.
If you or someone you know are handy, why not construct a desk and shelves yourselves? Raw materials may be cheaper, plus you can build exactly what you want and need.
5. If you do need some office supplies
Grab your shrapnel, skip the large office-supply chains and head to your local dollar store instead.
6. Talk to a tech-savvy friend.
For computers and other high-tech equipment, you may want to avoid purchasing previously owned goods. But you can still save. A good rule of thumb when trying to cut costs in this department is: don’t go with the top of the line, but don’t opt for the bottom of the barrel either. If you know someone in IT, reach out: they can often tell you about the most reliable brands and devices for your needs and may have some insider knowledge on where to find the best deals.
7. Shop the sales.
This is especially good advice for items you don’t need to buy straight away. Wait for them to go on sale.
8. Buy in bulk.
With discount megastores like Costco cropping up across Australia, you can pick up items in large quantities – think printing paper, ink cartridges, your all-important morning coffee – at wholesale prices.
These shortcuts can really save you dollars. Sure, your home office may have something of a hand-me-down quality at first, but you can always upgrade later – once your business takes off and the money’s coming in!