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I’m probably will be showing my age, but when the internet became popular back in the ‘90s, I remember reading a News story about a guy who decided to try and prove that he can live a whole year without leaving his house. That may not sound like much these days, but back then it was a big deal.
These days it’s entirely possible to do anything from home – earn, shop, eat, pay bills, stay healthy, be entertained, and more. Which is good news for us introverts.
So, if you decide you’ve had enough with the outside world, here’s how you can be successful and still live comfortably inside your home.
More and more companies are either permitting employees to telecommute, or are hiring remote workers instead.
In 2017 there were 3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9% of the workforce that worked from home at least half of the time. The largest employer of telecommuters is the U.S. Government. So, if you’re already employed for a company, look into the possibility of moving your office home.
There are a lot of benefits to working from home, including:
- Better productivity – You tend to be more productive at home
- Improved morale – You have a better outlook towards working
- Increased flexibility – You can plan your day to work at your peak times
- Additional Work hours – There’s no commute time, you can work longer
- Longer Employment – It’s less likely to quit your job when you work from home
- Less Interruptions – You have less sick leave, less absences – work while sick or kids are home
Need a little extra help to convince your boss to let you telecommute? Read these:
- Work From Home: Convince Your Boss to let You Work Remotely: You Don’t Have to be an Entrepreneur to Take Control of Your Schedule
- Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore, a Manifesto
If your employer won’t consider this option, maybe it’s time to venture out on your own.
So, your employer wouldn’t consider you moving your office home? That’s alright, there are many ways to work for yourself and still not need to leave the house.
Let’s look at some things you can do to earn money from home:
Work from Home
Just because your company hasn’t entered the virtual world yet doesn’t mean that others haven’t. Look at different online job boards for companies that hire remote workers, many with great salaries too. For example – Jobspresso has a Marketing Manager position with a $100,000 salary!
If you don’t want to be tied down to one job or company, start working as a freelancer. Set your own rates and schedule and you can get a pretty serious cash flow going. For example, Upwork has a short-term Accounting gig offering $3,000.
You can decide to tutor others from home – teaching English to kids, helping with academic subjects, or teach a language, a skill, or a musical instrument. There are a wide variety of tutoring companies available, some with set salaries and schedules, and others you are free to set these yourself.
Mix in doing small tasks online between your freelance gigs to break the monotony and earn extra money too. These sites offer small quick tasks to complete and offer different payment amounts per task. You can do a number of different things on:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk – Tasks vary from website searching, transcription, image verification, and data verification. Pay is about 2¢ to $1 a task, about $20 a day.
- Clickworker – Tasks such as writing, translating, researching and collecting data, and depends on your qualification assessments. Pay depends on how fast you work but can get $9 an hour.
- Website Tester – Check how well a website can be used and grade them on its performance. Pay is $8 per test.
- Rev – Translate, transcribe or caption documents and videos. Pay is between 5¢ to 75¢ per minute depending on which task.
If you’re a regular FFL reader, you already know this is a good source of extra money. Some of the popular apps I use to make quick money are:
- Drop – Connect all your debit and credit cards and it works in the background earning you points as you do your regular shopping online.
- Ipsos – Complete surveys, refer friends, join focus groups and get a free $10 sign up bonus.
- Swagbucks – Complete a variety of different tasks for points to cash out.
- Zap Surveys – Earn money quickly by filling out surveys. Surveys are $1 or more each.
- WatchBack – A brand new offer from Perk, watch videos for points as well as win contests of $2, $5, $50, or $100 rewards.
Other work from home ideas can be found in these great books:
- Work From Home: 50 Ways to Make Money Online Analyzed
- 300 + Companies that Pay you to Work from Home
- 7 Steps to High-Income Freelancing
Of course, we all have to eat. Having delivery sent every night is an expensive option – $20 x 7 nights a week = $140 or more a week.
Luckily, more and more grocery stores offer delivery service. You actually save money by shopping online than in person too. Here’s a partial list of stores that offer delivery:
- Safeway – $20 off and free delivery on your first order
- Whole Foods – Delivered via Amazon or Instacart
- Costco – Offers 2-day delivery service
- Kroger – Delivery in as little as 1 hour
- Amazon Pantry – Free shipping on all orders over $35
Many of these grocery services have a service fee attached to every delivery, but you can easily offset this by using cash-back grocery apps. My favorites are:
- Ibotta – $10 sign-up bonus and earn anywhere from 25¢ to $5 back
- Checkout 51 – Claim receipts from any store
- BerryCart – Great for organic & healthy food shopping
- Makeena – New grocery cash-back site with a $1 sign-up bonus
You can also check your local area for delivery services that will pick up from any store, restaurant, and other places you request.
Don’t we wish this part of our lives didn’t exist? But unfortunately, we do have bills to pay.
The best and easiest way to handle your bills, besides paying them all off, is to enroll them all for online payments. Automating them to be deducted every month is even better, you won’t forget a payment, incur late fees, add to your debt and mar your credit score.
For those companies that haven’t entered the 21st century and require payments by mail, you still don’t need to leave the house to do this. There are a few options:
- USPS – Offers a “click ‘n ship” service where you can create and print shipping labels with your USPS® account.
- com – Create “postage on demand” stamps and labels.
- Amazon – Buy rolls of stamps online
Lastly, you can check with your bank’s online account and do e-payments through them. Many banks just require an account number, company address and phone number and then you’ll be able to make electronic payments from your account.
If you’ve seen “The Shining”, you’ll remember the line “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This is a popular proverb that means work without any break makes one both bored and boring – and in Jack Torrence’s case – crazy.
Staying isolated inside shouldn’t be a bad thing, with plenty of entertainment choices available and many that are free or low-cost, finding something to do for a well deserved break is easy.
Some choices are:
- Free or low-cost Streaming services [insert cable cutting article link]
- YouTube Live Streaming – watch local and national events live
- Audible – Free and low-cost audiobooks
- Bookbub – Find eBook for free or low prices
Of course, there are plenty of free events in your local area to escape your confines for a while.
Here are some great books on entertainment that are cost-effective:
- 365 Unplugged Family Fun Activities: A Year’s Worth of Ideas for TV-Free, Video-Free, and Computer Game-Free Entertainment
- Travel for Free (or Near It): Cheap Traveling Around the World
- Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns
Along with entertainment for mental stimulation and stress relief, we need human contact as well. Even though some people were driven into isolation because of other humans, we do need to find someone or a “clan” to connect with.
There are so many ways to stay in contact with family and friends, make new ones, and even find groups for work and hobbies too. Some of these are:
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr to name a few. Join different groups and pages for freelancers, hobbies, interests, and the list is endless.
- Library – The library often has social circles for different interests and are often free.
- Meetup – Find local groups with common interests to join
- Skype – Chat with family and friends via video or audio for free. You can have up to 25 people on one call.
More socializing ideas in books:
- Simple Gatherings: 50 Ways to Inspire Connection
- The Introvert’s Social Survival Guide: How to Win Friends and Socialize Comfortably with Extroverts
- How to Instantly Connect with Anyone: 96 All-New Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships
Now that I covered mental health somewhat, let’s look at physical health and how to stay healthy without leaving the house. Here’s some ideas to start:
- Telehealth – online health services for patients with limited time, transportation and other issues.
- Hospital online consults – More and more hospitals are offering services online such as test results, virtual visits, access to medical records, and more.
- Pharmacy delivery – Many pharmacies now offer prescription delivery services to bring your prescriptions and OTC medications to your door.
- Home fitness – There are many YouTube, Apps, and Streaming videos for different exercise programs to choose from. Your home gym doesn’t need to be expensive at all.
One advantage of working and staying at home is that there’s less chance of getting sick as you’re not out in public as much.
Here are some more reading resources to check out:
- Mayo Clinic Family Health Book
- Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine & Home Remedies
- 100 No-Equipment Workouts
Note: Please consult with your doctor before assuming any new health or exercise program.
Now that you’re living a successful life without leaving your house, there are a lot of things you can do to minimize your possessions and maximize your space.
Some things you can minimize now are:
- Your car – since you’re living almost exclusively in your home, you won’t need a car any more. Think of all the savings – car loan, insurance, gas, maintenance, registration, etc. The average car owner spends about $9,000 a year on their car. Use public transit or rideshare instead.
- Your Business Attire – No more office job means no more business apparel. Bring those suits and outfits to resale shops for commission; list them on various clothing apps like ThredUp or Poshmark; list them on your local online classifieds; or sell them on eBay. A woman’s Armani pantsuit was listed for $189.
- Your Beauty Regime – You can now cut back or eliminate your beauty regime you did to stay professional looking for the office. The average woman spends about $313 per month on her appearance, while it’s about $244 a month for men.
- Coffees & Lunches – Now that you’re not hurrying for the commute to work, you save an average of $3,000 a year by not having to buy drive-thru coffee and lunches at the office.
Now let’s look at some reading resources for more minimalist ideas:
- The Minimalist Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life
- Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-Free in 15 Minutes a Day
- Sell Everything: Get rid of all your stuff WITHOUT a yard sale!
Whatever your reason for wanting to stay at home – family commitments, better opportunities, or it’s just too peoplely out there – you can lead a successful life.
I hope I’ve provided a head start and some know-how to accomplish your dream of working and staying at home succesffully.