Warning: Work-From-Home Bloggers Can Face Big Financial Challenges

Warning: Work-From-Home Bloggers Can Face Big Financial Challenges

Working from home provides a level of freedom that many office workers can’t even imagine. It’s one reason that so many work-at-home bloggers vow to never work in an office setting again. Those who work from home don’t have to commute, and therefore save time and money. It’s a huge perk, for sure. But while there are many upsides, there are hidden costs to blogging from home.


When you go to work, your employer takes care of the basics. You don’t pay for the electricity that keeps the lights on and powers the computers. You don’t maintain the plumbing that keeps water flowing. You don’t pay the water bill at all, nor do you pay sewage fees. All these costs are borne by your employer.

The work-at-home employee, though, has to take care of all those expenses. When you went to the office you’d turn out all the lights and probably turn off your computer — or at least put it into power saving mode. You didn’t use the toilet or any running water. But when working from home you have to take care of all those expenses.

This necessarily means becoming more conservationist. Turning down the heat, replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs, and turning off all unnecessary electronics will help keep the electric bill in check. Taking short showers will help with the water bill. Increases in these bills are inevitable, but a little effort can keep them in check.

Taxes and Benefits

This is something that hit me particularly hard when I moved from an office job to a work-from-home gig. While I might refer to them as work-from-home employees, the great majority of telecommuters I know are technically contractors. The specific conditions will vary by region, country, and state, but generally it means a few negatives for the worker.

1. No tax withholding. This might be different in countries outside the US. Contract workers get the whole of their pay and are responsible for paying their own taxes. This means bigger immediate paychecks, which can lead to disaster. My first year working from home I spent far more than I should have and had to borrow money to pay my taxes. A savings account for taxes is also necessary.

2. No benefits. At my old job I had a pretty good healthcare plan. It covered plenty, and allowed me to see almost any doctor I wanted. But once I quit, I lost that benefits package. Do you know how expensive health care insurance is? Do you know how expensive health care is in general? Work-from-home types can tell you better than anyone. Office employees are blessed to have health insurance covered.


In one way, work-at-home employees have a great opportunity to save money on food. After all, so many office workers simply head to the nearest fast food joint to pick up lunch. When you’re eating at home you can prepare meals, which can amount to savings. But it can also lead to waste if you’re not careful.

Consider that:

  • Preparing meals takes considerable time out of your day.
  • It’s difficult to buy exactly the correct amount of any food for a week’s use.
  • A good deal of planning goes into buying the right foods.

All this leads to potential inefficient use of food. So while there are opportunities to save, there are also ways to actually spend more on food. It’s something that work-from-home employees should keep in mind.

Household Maintenance

Not only do you have to deal with a higher utility bills, but you also have to deal with more maintenance costs. Again, you’re using more water, flushing more toilers, and generally putting a greater strain on your house or apartment. Since homeowners are liable for these fixtures, it can hit hard in the wallet.

Do you know how complex water heaters are? There all different sorts of water heaters, and they all bear different costs. And guess what? It can break at any time, without warning. And it needs immediate replacement. Those kinds of unintended expenses can hit the hardest.

In many ways working from home is a blessing. It affords us freedoms that office employees can only dream of. But there are curses to go along with the blessing. Work-from-home employees should keep in mind the potential for increasing expenses. Getting blindsided with them can lead to financial ruin.

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