The Hidden Expenses of an At-Home Business

Home Based Business Expenses

Were you prepared for all your business expenses when you started out on your own at home? I wasn’t. I did everything on the cheap for as long as I possibly could. I use FREE tools wherever possible for as long as possible.

About a year ago, my laptop fan packed in. I still haven’t replaced it. My laptop is also completely full of data now and for a while I’ve been using the free version of Dropbox. Whenever it reaches its limit, I transfer all my data over to my google drive.

Oh the creative ways we Work-at-home-Mom’s save money. 

For ages I would run out of wi-fi data at home before month-end and would have to rely on kind friends with uncapped wi-fi or coffee shops with free wi-fi. And then my husband (bless him) bought me 200 Gigs of data as an early Christmas present. Am trusting those 200Gigs will last me until my business can sustain the cost of an uncapped monthly data package.

The trick is being patient with below-par equipment, tools and services for long enough to build up regular monthly income. Mission accomplished (well almost). 

The Hidden Expenses of an At-Home Business

Starting an at-home business is a smart idea for anyone that wants to take more control over their income, but it’s not the cheapest thing in the world and there are many problems associated with it that can be difficult to overcome.

Many of those problems are related to the financial side of opening a business and having the right budget can often be difficult. Although there are many basic expenses involved in starting an at-home business such as the starting capital, running costs and salaries, there are also some hidden expenses that aren’t immediately obvious.

Whether you just want to start a sidehustle or if you’re interested in an entirely new career, we’ll be going through those hidden expenses to help you prepare for the opening of your at-home company.

Equipment Costs

Although it might seem inexpensive to run an at-home business, you might be surprised at just what you need in order to get started.

Equipment costs should be the first thing on your mind when starting an at-home business. For instance, computers, laptops and smartphones don’t come cheaply and you’re going to need at least a laptop if you want the best chance of starting up your company on a good foot.

Keep in mind that you can always purchase refurbished or second-hand equipment to help keep the costs of equipment down, but depending on what type of work you’re doing, you may need to invest in more expensive solutions.

Travel Costs

If you’re going to show off your product or service at events and so on, then keep in mind that travel costs are going to take up a huge part of your freelance budget.

It might help to look for funding such as from in order to help pay for expensive trips as long as they’re for your business, not for pleasure.

Even travel costs such as paying for taxis and public transport, or even putting gas into your car, can get relatively expensive if you don’t budget for them correctly.

Office Costs

Buying office supplies can get rather costly as well. For instance, if you’re buying items like postage stamps and boxes to send your products around the world, you might be surprised to see just how much they’re costing you.

In times like these, it may be preferable to speak with certain companies that are able to reduce the costs for you if you buy wholesale. While buying wholesale means you’re spending more upfront money, it also means that you’re paying less per item.


Although starting your own at-home business is typically much cheaper than starting a store or any other type of business, there are some hidden costs that not everyone is fully aware of, or they often overlook them.

Make sure you don’t neglect these hidden costs because it could mean the difference between a viable business startup and one that only serves to suck your money away.

I  can add a good few hidden expenses to this list that pertain specifically to online businesses. For example, training costs. My biggest business expense to date has been training, for sure.

If you’re not up for ongoing learning, you are not keeping up with latest trends. And the internet is ever-changing.

Were then any business costs that caught you by surprise when you started your home based business? 

Image Credit: Pexels  

P.S. I look nothing like the hot model in our feature image when I’m working at home. I dress as comfy as possible which usually means a warm dressing gown and slippers in Winter. We save on clothes, right?

About Lauren Kinghorn

Inspiring the Spotlight on Mom Entrepreneurs

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