You don’t need me to tell you that the economy is in dire straits; it’s heavily covered on every news channel and website. More and more, people are scratching and clawing to improve their personal finances whether it’s new techniques to save more money or creative ways to earn extra cash.
Web workers, thought of as ‘the isolated many’ aren’t isolated from the economy. Contrary to what many might think, web working isn’t a zero investment job; there are some significant costs associated with it.Since they are living in the same world and a part of the same economy, it’s important for them to gear up and tackle the situation in a way that can cut costs without hurting their business.
If you are a web worker, consider starting with the following tips and then see if you need to cut more on certain other aspects of your work.
It sounds crazy but it’s common for most web workers to not have an organized way to calculate total income and expenditure. When you are taking projects and small jobs from dozens of people or companies, much of your time could be spent as bookkeeper, and well, that is not increasing earnings.
Hence, the first thing you should do is sit down and make a detailed account of your income and expenditures. Either hire an accountant or do it yourself, but make sure it is crystal clear what your home and business expenses are. You will find people you forgot to bill and you will find expenses you forgot to write-off.
Isolate the Absolute Essential
Saving money doesn’t mean that you will ditch broadband and go for dial-up internet; that’d be foolish because the internet is the lifeline of any web worker. There will be other such absolute essentials depending upon the type of work you do. Identify them and isolate them from the cost cutting process. And yes, be prudent in picking the essentials.
Believe it or not, going paperless could save you a great deal of hassle and money. It will make your home office clutter free and will keep you from spending hours searching for that important file or notepad. There is some great software and tools available and they can easily replace your paperwork.
Since I talked about software, I’d say freeware is the way to go, unless of course there isn’t a great alternative (like for photoshop). But for most of the paid software out there, there some cool open source alternatives available. Sites like Osalt will help you in finding them.
Use Skype And Reduce Phone Bills
Phone bills could turn out to be a major cost for most web workers, especially for those who have local clients. If you are one of them, I’d suggest you suppress the urge to use your cell phone to make a call every time and instead, use a tool like Skype to make calls.
Look for Free Learning Material
Self-study is an important thing that absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked. There is no doubt that paid courses could be of better quality but the web is full of free, quality ebooks and guides. Try to find such stuff and use them for gaining knowledge. Free pdf search engines like PDFGeni could help you in this search.
Ditch the Car
You usually don’t go out everyday and when you do, you take the car. Weather permitting, why not bike it next time?
Has the economy hit your home office routine or home business? If so, let us know what you’ve done to sidestep these issues.
|Written on 1/06/2009 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. You can catch him at Jeet Blog where he blogs about different Web 2.0 apps and online tools and how they can help you become more productive.||Photo Credit: