How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Home Office?

Getting into the mindset of working for yourself is equal parts terror and excitement.

You have a great business idea, you’re sick of your current job, and you just can’t wait to get working from your home office, right?

But you also need to consider all the things every home office should have.

We’re going to take a look at how you can get all the equipment you need, so that begs the question “how much does it cost to set up a home office?”

You can set yourself up with a basic home office for as little as $200, but a more realistic budget is $500 – $800.

But let’s take a look at how much you need to spend and on what.

Let’s work on the assumption that you want to set up a home office, but you can only spare around $200.

Sound impossible?

It’s not, and here’s your breakdown of costs.

Low Budget Home Office

Office essentials Price
Desk Free
Chair Free
Dell OptiPlex 76, 8GB RAM + 22-inch screen $150
Panasonic headphones $15
Printer Free
Libre Office or Open Office Free

I included headphones to the list because they’re the best way of preventing distractions caused by background noise.

In terms of office productivity software I knew a lot of you were bound to be thinking, “But I can’t afford Microsoft Office, so you can use either Libre Office or Open Office instead.

You can source used desks and chairs from local thrift or charity stores, call centres, or people clearing out their homes.

Okay, you’re not going to be sitting on a Herman Miller chair, but you will have an office chair of your own.

If you feel that thrift stores/flea markets are “beneath you” then running your own business probably isn’t a good idea.

My favourite place though for picking up great used furniture is call centres – they regularly dispose of desks and chairs because they have scratches or stains.

Source: Amazon.com

The OptiPlex 760 is a Core 2 Duo system, so it won’t run current PC games, but it’s more than capable of handling MS Word, etc.

Based on the above, you can get everything you need for about $165.

Medium Budget Home Office

Office essentials Price
47-inch wooden desk with steel legs $100
High back height adjustable mesh chair $80
Acer Aspire i3, 8GB RAM + 22-inch screen $390
ViewSonic 22-inch screen $100
Noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones $60
Bluetooth PC adapter $10
HP Officejet 3830 $50
Office 365 membership $9 per month

Next up is an office setup suitable for anyone who has a budget of around $800.

We’ve moved past freebies here and straight onto paid solutions and products.

The chair is a mesh-based one, so they’re ideal for long stints of sitting down, and I prefer the models with a high back.


Source: Amazon.com

The PC is a far more current model, with tons of RAM and a decent processor for most uses.

You can get a new inkjet printer for about $50, but pay attention to how much replacement cartridges cost.

And finally, you can get the full Microsoft Office suite for $9 per month

Deluxe Budget Home Office

Office essential Price
Seville Classics motorized standing desk $500
Duramont high-backed office chair $250
Dell XPS i9, 32GB RAM, SSD, 2 x 24-inch monitors $2,000
Sony noise cancelling headphones $350
Bluetooth PC adapter $10
Canon colour laser printer $50
Office 365 membership $9 per month
Co-working space $350 per month

A standing desk is something I want to add to my own home office as soon as I can – I’ve heard nothing but good reports from people using them.

The model listed above is a motorized version, so you simply push buttons to raise or lower it.

Source: Amazon.com

After that, every other item on the list is just a massive upgrade on previously listed equipment, based on the theory that you have an unlimited budget.

You can mix and match items from the above budgets to your heart’s content.

I just wanted to show you what’s possible with a little bit of research combined with lateral thinking.

3 Tips To Make The Most of Your Budget

Here are a few pointers to help you keep your costs down while getting things done.

1 – Be realistic about what you can spend

Don’t spend money you can’t afford, no matter what

Putting yourself in debt to a “deluxe” home office is a dumb idea because you’ll be stressed out of your mind trying to figure out how to make enough money to repay the debt.

So if all you can afford is an ancient laptop and your kitchen table, then that’s all you should spend.

2 – Don’t be afraid to buy used

There’s a weird stigma attached to buying used or second-hand items, or at least there is for some people.

A “used” desk can mean literally junk, but it can also mean a desk with a few scratches or stains on it.

The same rule applies to used computer equipment – it could be either an old family PC that’s been beaten to hell or ex-government/office equipment that’s pretty much brand news.

Every single one of my PCs for the last 8 years has been a refurbished ex-office model.

Not because I’m cheap, but simply because I don’t see the point in paying $1,000 for a PC that’s 15% faster than a $200 PC.

And that’s from a guy who used to build PCs for a living.

3 – Luxury doesn’t equal productivity

This is a myth I’ll take pleasure in busting – having the “best” equipment doesn’t make you better at your job.

What I mean by that is an expensive laptop and a luxurious hardwood desk won’t make you more productive.

Stephen King explains this way better than I ever could – Stephen King – The Desk.

You don’t need a massive oak desk, a co-working space, or a laptop worth more than a small car to run a successful business.

I have a friend who started his business empire from a local library…while homeless.

Most of the successful entrepreneurs you look up to or admire came from very humble beginnings, especially the guys who are honest about it.

Wrapping things up

So there you have it – setting up a home office, with all your “must have” office accessories, doesn’t need to cost thousands of dollars.

Or tens of thousands of dollars, as one blog post suggested.

You can get started with as little as $150 and then upgrade your office equipment and computer as you make more money.

Your drive and ambition to succeed is always going to trump a flashy laptop or a vintage oak desk.

Be good to each other and cya in the next blog post.

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