This post was contributed by Courtney Phillips, who writes about how to obtain a degree in accounting. She welcomes your feedback at CourtneyPhillips80 at gmail.com
These days, we need to pinch pennies everywhere we can. And, because we’ve all had to get creative about where and how we work, your family’s home computer may be more important now than ever before. If you are working from home, or just want to load up your computer with great software, you can do it for very little.
Gone are the days when you had to head off to buy expensive boxed software at your local computer store. Now you can simply download what you need and some of it is free of charge. That’s right. If you haven’t investigated, there is tons of high-functionality software out there to do just about anything.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Productivity Suite. If you think Microsoft’s Office Suite is not in your budget, why not check out OpenOffice.org from Sun? This community-developed suite offers all the same applications for FREE to anyone who wants to download them. You’ll save hundreds!
- Photo Editing. Photoshop is great and all but it is insanely expensive and has a steep learning curve. Check out GIMP for Windows. It’s a great replacement and will cost you nothing.
- Virus Protection. AVG Anti-virus. This software is highly-rated and notable for how well it protects your computer. It is not stripped-down and offers regular patches and updates, just like the expensive versions.
- Time Tracking/Billing. Working from home gets tedious when it comes to bookkeeping. If you have clients and need to provide invoices for your work, FreshBooks is a fabulous QuickBooks killer. It is very user friendly (something QuickBooks is not) and offers much of the same functionality.
- Business tools. Zoho.com provides databases, spreadsheets and word processing with nice functionality and no downloads. It’s all stored online.
You get the idea. If you ever need software for your computer, check online for free versions before buying anything. All software is not created equal, so be sure to look for reviews of any software in which you are interested to avoid malware (malicious software) or unscrupulous Internet phishing.