If you are going to run a home office and do freelance web development then you need to invest in your own office equipment. When I left my old job there were a lot of things I needed to buy in order to work at home. It is better to make these purchases while you are still working full time rather than wait until you begin working freelance for your entire income. Some of the things I needed to buy were an UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply), a back up computer system, and some software.
Once I started working full time again and had more money I bought some other things that I needed for my home office. I bought a new laser printer, a Mac laptop, and a wireless router.
I’m currently paying down my debt but I should think about putting some more money into home office equipment. I really need to upgrade my computer. Its specifications aren’t bad by today’s standards but it would save me a lot of time if it were faster. I need a modern dual processor system. I’m not sure if more than 2GB of memory would do me any good but dual processors would certainly be an improvement.
The problem with upgrading my system is the work involved in re-installing all my software on a new computer. As a web developer I use a lot of software and I have more than the average number of applications installed. There are also many system configuration settings I would need to reproduce. For example, I would need to copy my PATH environment variable, install various DLLs I need for PHP web applications, install all my After Effects plug-ins and additional video codecs, etc. I’m sure I could not even remember all the things I would need to install or change. Just installing Visual Studio would take at least four hours. Then I have to hunt down many application keys. I would lose a lot of time initially in migrating to a new computer and that would negate the time I would save with a faster computer.
In the meantime I just use my back up computers and my Mac laptop for their extra processing power. If you just want to multitask then you should realize that an additional computer gives you more memory and processors to use for your work. When I really have too much to do on my overtaxed system I boot up my laptop for web browsing or my other desktop system. Usually the other desktop system needs many updates installed so I waste time on that.
Other than a faster computer I should think about getting a good office chair, although the cat would probably destroy it.