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Working at Home: Will it really make ends meet?

by johnfloyed

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For many employees, getting the corner office is the prize at the end of the rainbow. They will make their daily commute to their corporate office, clock in, slave the day away buried in paper work, meetings and reports, then clock out at the end of the day and then go home, only to do all these all over again the next day. If the thought of the daily grind is getting you down, you might have already considered working at home, managing your home-based business or doing freelance work. You might have already looked forward to the freedom to set your own schedule or to more time spent with your family.

However, the side of you that values security and has come to depend on the steady paycheck has probably posed this question: will working at home enable you to make ends meet?

You may not have noticed it, but working in a corporate office is costing you… a lot.

Have you put some serious thought on the expenses imposed on you by your nine-to-five job? The traffic jams you encounter as you drive to work are not only stressing you out, they are also costing you gas money and increasing the wear and tear on your car. Dressing for the job you want is costly too; looking good for your corporate job requires investing on several good, ergo expensive, pieces of clothing, shoes and accessories. Lunch and coffee breaks are becoming occasions to flash your credit card; the more stressed out you are at work, the more likely you are to splurge in the new trendy restaurant, or treat yourself to that pricey mochaccino.

By working at home, you eliminate many, if not all of these expenses. Still, having pinched a few pennies here and there, can working from home actually pay the bills?

The real question is: can you make it work for you?

Working at home, whether managing a home-based business or working freelance, is highly dependent on what you bring to the table. You are, in essence, responsible for managing all aspects of your work operations and for devising your own strategies. The best way to handle the question of whether it actually pays to work at home is to manage it as you would your corporate job.

In the corporate world, for example, sales targets are very important. These targets are designed to generate revenues for the company that will allow it to maintain its operations (i.e., pay the bills) while turning in a tidy profit. You should also set similar targets for your own work at home operations. You should know how many contracts to close, clients to serve or products to sell in order to generate enough revenue for you to pay your bills while still turning in some extra for your savings.

In the same way that a corporate office’s finance department will monitor and audit the expenditures of the other departments, so should you keep an eye on your own expenses. Don’t go on a shopping spree if you still haven’t collected your receivables from your clients or have sold enough items to keep yourself in the black.

You will find that, given the savings you incur from leaving your corporate job, working at home is definitely a viable option if you have the money smarts, and the discipline, to make it work for you.

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