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Three ways to save money

posted Feb 2, 2014, 4:50 PM by David Plass   [ updated Jan 15, 2016, 8:06 PM ]
Here are three ways to save money when starting up your SOHO.

1. Office supplies

Here at the home office (really, at home) we have two kids in school.  It seems that every year the teachers tell us to buy folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, et cetera.

As a result, over the years we've accumulated many (many!) folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, rulers, writing pads, sticky notes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Even before I got my desk, I had the need to keep papers together, and to make notes to myself. See where this is going?  I raided the supply closet at home, to see what I could use. I found a veritable treasure trove of office supplies, and I didn't have to spend a dime! Some of the items were brand new, some were gently used, and others were, ... well, they should have been thrown out years ago.

My wife has been saving these things for years -- and for what purpose?  There's no need to keep my son's Italian homework from 5 years ago.  I respectfully disposed of the contents, and before I knew it had 3 new folders, 3 new notebooks, and a pile of sticky notes that I don't even know if I'm going to use or not.

Total price: Zero!

2. Double (or triple!)-duty

When shopping for my desk, I knew I only had a limited amount of space in the master bedroom for it.  I also knew that my night stand was on its way out.  I knew I wanted
to put the desk right next to the bed, so my wife had the great idea of finding a desk with built-in shelves.

It took some shopping but eventually I found a desk at Staples that fit the bill. It has a pretty decent sized top surface for typing/writing, a section for my notebooks, and
a little shelf that I can shove my laptop under.  This forces me to "clean my desk" every day, if only to hide the laptop light under the shelf.

The best feature of this desk (double-duty!) is that it has four shelves - two are adjustable on the side, facing my bed.  This takes the place of my night stand, and easily holds all the doodads (two clocks, my watch/keys/phone, etc.) that I used to have on and in my nightstand.

Even better (triple-duty!) is that the desk has a built-in bulletin board.  I tacked up a receipt I needed to remember to use.  Now it holds two cheat sheets that I'll be able to reference easily.

3. DIY

There are some things in life which I'm more than content to do myself: putting together furniture is one of them.  I was a Lego and Erector Set aficionado as a kid, so when shopping for things (furniture, toys, etc.) I'm not intimidated by a little "adult assembly required."  Still, you get what you pay for, but I'm happy to pay 1/4 of the price for the "cheap stuff".  YMMV, though.