So you’re ready to ditch the 9-5 and become a full-time work-at-home mom. Congratulations! Working from home can be incredibly rewarding and convenient, allowing you to cash in those paychecks while affording you the flexibility of staying home with your kids.
But as amazing as it sounds, the reality is that getting started as a work-at-home mom comes with expenses, including things like office equipment and, if you’re freelancing, even additional taxes. Here are four ways you can save when launching your work-at-home career.
1. Create Your Own Home Office
I know what you’re thinking. Building a home office is going to take some investment, so how does it save you cash? It allows you to claim the home office deduction on your taxes, which can save you hundreds of dollars every year.
Here’s the catch, though. The IRS requires that this area be used exclusively for your business and that it be your principal place of business. That means that if your home office space doubles as the family computer room (and your family uses your business computer for leisure), you can’t claim the deduction.
But if you do have that exclusive office space (either as its own room or as a designated section of another room), you can deduct a portion of your home expenses, such as utilities, mortgage or rent, and insurance. Your deductions depend on the square footage of your office compared to the square footage of your home. Otherwise, you can take the simplified option in which you get a $5 deduction for every square foot (up to 300 feet). So if your office is 150 square feet, you’ll get a $750 deduction on your taxes!
Also be sure to save receipts for any business expenses so you can deduct those, too.