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The True Cost of NOT Working from Home
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Given that there are so many great business opportunities for sale, many of which are a natural fit for anyone who wants to earn money working from home, the whole idea of finding a business to buy can be pretty tempting. At the same time, if starting your own home-based business means making the decision to quit working for someone else, that’s a big step and there is a lot to consider in making it, not the least of which is whether you can afford to do it.

Perhaps a better question would be this: Can you afford NOT to?

Going to work every day outside of where you live is expensive, and it’s probably costing you a whole lot more than you know. After all, how many of us ever really give it a whole lot of serious thought? We don’t. The fact is that most of us just go about the business of our daily lives, getting our job done and never really stopping to add up all the costs of NOT working from home.

So ask yourself these important questions and then do the math:

How much money do I currently earn each week after taxes, Social Security, etc.?

How much of it do I spend largely because I work outside of my home?

Here are just some of the items that you may want to consider:

• Commuting expenses, including gas, tolls, parking, train or subway fare

• Vehicle wear and tear and/or increased insurance premiums pegged to your daily commute

• Business attire or other clothing/shoes

• Dry cleaning

• Lunches/eating out/entertaining

• Enhanced grooming products and services, including nail and hair care

• Gifts for colleagues

• Daycare or afterschool care, and

• Any other routine expenses, which can include products and/or services you use to reward yourself for working so hard, paying for help with things around the house or simply buying what is available or convenient.

Subtracting the second amount from the first, what do I really earn after all is said and done?

How much money do I actually need to cover my basic expenses?

Plus, don’t forget that working from home also comes with its share of tax incentives, including the new and relatively straight forward, no-questions-asked home-office tax deduction for small business owners that started on the first of last month for the 2013 tax year. All of that needs to be considered as well.

Put it all together and you may very well be surprised at what this level of cost-benefit analysis has to tell you about your prospects for home-based business opportunity or other small business ownership. If nothing else, it’s an incredibly valuable and worthwhile exercise for understanding just where all your hard-earned money is going.

What do you think? Is working from home and for yourself more feasible when you consider the expense of working outside of the home for someone else? What are some other expenses you or anyone else might be able to let go of by deciding to start a home-based business?

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