6 Ways to Create a Cheap Home Office

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Cheap home office
Image Credit: Dreamstime

Many Americans have been forced to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. And some of us have had to retrofit a room to create a home office.

This article will show you how to create a home office on the cheap.

Several members of Team Clark (and I) have put our savings strategies to work to come up with inexpensive home office components that should do the job.

The Equipment You Need to Create a Home Office for Cheap

To help you cut costs, we’ve listed some prices on basic home office items from some of the most popular retailers.

Note: Prices and stock quantities are accurate as of July 22, 2020, but do not include taxes and shipping costs.

1. Desk

Cheap home office desk

A good work desk should be big enough to hold a laptop computer and all its peripherals — as well as a plate of food for lunchtime. Don’t think in terms of a solid oak desk, but focus on sturdiness and utility.

I spent $40 on my desk at IKEA,” Team Clark member Grace Del Rio says.

Here are the lowest prices I found for home office desks at three major online retailers.

You should check the specs for any item you purchase online, but it’s especially important here to make sure the desk size meets your needs and will fit where you need it to. And as always, you should read the reviews before buying.

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2. Chair

Cheap home office chair

A good work chair prioritizes not only comfort but also posture. That means instead of the wooden variety, which could start to hurt after a long while sitting, you may opt for a chair with some seat padding. (Grace is actually using a balance ball as an office chair!)

Here are the lowest prices I found for home office chairs at three major online retailers.

3. Laptop Computer

Cheap laptop computer

There’s a wide range of computers on the market, but you should filter your search to find a laptop that will handle the needs of your particular job.

Here are the lowest prices I found for laptop computers at three major online retailers. I didn’t opt for refurbished items here, but if you’re open to it, you can shave even more off the price.

Money expert Clark Howard is a big fan of Chromebooks. Here’s more information on when and where to buy a Chromebook.

4. Monitor

Cheap computer monitor

If you need a bigger monitor than the one your laptop provides, there are options out there that won’t dent your wallet too much.

Here are the lowest prices I found for 19.5-inch monitors at three major online retailers.

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5. Keyboard

Cheap keyboard and mouse

“One thing we didn’t account for at the start of the pandemic was how long we would be working from home and things like our wireless keyboard and mouse were left at our offices,” Team Clark member Chelsea Glass says.

If you can get a keyboard-mouse combination, you should be able to save money compared to buying them separately.

The wireless keyboard and mouse combo listed below from Walmart.com is the one Chelsea purchased. “It was the right price for us and works great,” she says.

Here are the lowest prices I found for keyboard-mouse combos at three major online retailers.

6. Printer

Cheap home office printer

Once your computer’s all set up, you might need a printer. Team Clark member Dallas, recently analyzed the best prices on printers and she discovered that “you can typically get a great deal on a cheap printer for under $100 at Amazon, Office Depot, Best Buy, Staples and Walmart.”

I recently bought a $32 HP Inkjet printer from Walmart, but it’s out of stock as of this writing. My printer’s not fancy at all, but it does the job.

Here are the lowest prices I found on printers at three major online retailers.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a functional working environment.

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Grace says she tried at first to turn her kitchen table into a workspace, but she had so many distractions. “Kids, toys and dishes to clean,” she said. Plan B:

“I decided to create a small office space in my basement where I could better focus at my work and not be distracted by my family activities.”
Here’s what Grace’s home office looks like:
IKEA home office desk

If you’re going to shop for home office products soon, remember to comparison shop so that you can be confident you’ve found the lowest price.

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