Retiring from the world of tightly crammed offices to set up a work-from-home station can be an extremely liberating feeling—especially for a writer. But if you’re working with a tight budget, you may be wondering how to set up your office without breaking the bank

Fortunately for you, the trial and error of many brave work-from-home writers has a resulted in a plethora of DIY blogs and work-from-home tips—which can help you set up a cozy workspace that fits cozily within budget. What can we say? Writers love to share!

If you’re looking to set up a home office on a budget, read on for some of our top tips. 

Think Outside the Box: Go Unconventional

While most workplaces are crowded by boxy and cubicles, one of the advantages of working from home is that you get to think outside the box. Leave behind your premonitions of what an office should look like, and think about what you actually need to be productive.

If you’re a writer, maybe you find that you work best when you can draw on nature for inspiration. If this is the case, try setting up your desk in front of a large window that lets in plenty of natural light (this will reduce your electric bill too). Or better yet, carve out a space for yourself on your patio where you can work outside on nice days.

The best part about having a home office is that you’re not chained to a desk. This means that you can invest in an office setup that works for you—saving you money in the long run.

Think Outside the Box part 2: Getting Crafty

As well as considering unconventional office setups, thinking outside the box also means: getting crafty. Look around and see what furniture, supplies, etc. you already have so that you can determine what you still need.

You’ll find that with just a little elbow grease (and a trip to your local hardware store), DIY home office hacks can help you personalize your space while saving you money in the process. You can find TONS of DIY home office projects online like DIY storage solutions and DIY desk ideas. 

Invest in the Right Tools

When setting up your home office, it’s essential you invest in the right tools that empower you to do work of the highest quality.

Software: For writers, choosing the right software is incredibly important, as this is where the magic happens. Many writers start off with outdated versions of programs, hoping to spare a little bit of cash. However, upgrading your home office with the new software can provide a huge payoff in terms of productivity; not to mention, avoid the tragedy of losing your work due to outdated programs crashing.

For starters, most writers will need to install the latest version of Microsoft Office. When you download MS Office, you’ll have access to some of the most powerful publishing tools on the market, including the latest versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher, Access, and more.

Updating your computer with current software will put your on an equal playing field with your competitors, and gives you the power to do work of the highest quality.

Hardware: Choosing the right hardware is essential when setting up a home office. To ensure you get the most bang for your buck, do your research. Even with a tight budget, it may be worth splurging on a newer computer to ensure that you’ll get years of use out of it before having to replace it.

Shop Deals

Keeping a lookout for deals can help you get the hardware you need without breaking your budget. If you live near a Best Buy, look through their open box deals. These deals offer some of the best electronics for a fraction of the retail price. If a product is returned by another customer, these items undergo Best Buy’s geek squad check to ensure that they are fully functional and then return to the shelves as an ‘open box’ deal for a much better price.

With these helpful tips you’ll be able to save money on your home office and carve out a space that works for you!