Are you working from home right now, either temporarily or long term? You aren’t alone. For some people, working from home is a dream come true. For others, it can mean reduced hours, lost productivity, and even financial strain. This is especially true if you aren’t careful about saving money while working remotely. The good news is that there are financial benefits of working from home that will help make your life easier.
If money is tight while you’re working from home, there are several built-in benefits of working from home that may help you out, and a few extra steps you can take to save even more money while you’re working remotely. These working from home tips will help you make the most of your time working from home and can help you focus on saving money too.
Financial Benefits of Working From Home
Believe it or not, working from home can save you tons of money. Take advantage of the financial benefits of working from home by using it as an excuse to cut back on some of your spending habits that make it hard to save.
Gas and Transportation
When you’re working at home instead of the office, you cut out a key money-guzzling part of your day: the commute. Whether you are used to a short drive to work or a long bus ride, eliminating the commute will save you money every day. In a matter of weeks or even days, you’ll see the savings from not spending money on gas or other transportation costs.
The average commute is 27 minutes each way, which means one of the benefits of working from home is not only saved money but also saved time that you can spend increasing your productivity on the job and spending quality time with family. Additionally, since you’re putting fewer miles on your car, you can save on car maintenance, oil changes, and repairs.
Dry Cleaning and Laundry
Since you aren’t meeting with your boss, coworkers, and clients in person, you can dress more casually—sometimes much more casually—while working remotely. In fact, you could work in sweatpants and pajamas, but only if you can still keep up your productivity. This means some great natural savings for you in the form of less laundry. You can also save on dry cleaning your suits, skirts, dress shirts, and blouses.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get dressed every day while working from home, but remote work means you don’t have to wear business clothes that require more expensive care.
Food and Coffee
When you’re working at the office, it is so convenient to grab a coffee on your way in or get takeout for lunch. You may also go out to eat with co-workers or clients. When you cut out your morning on-the-go coffee and mid-day work lunches, you can save a lot of money. We all know that eating out regularly can add up fast, even if you pick cheaper restaurants and don’t eat out every day.
For example, if you get a $3 coffee every day and a $7 lunch three times a week, that adds up to $36, which is $1,872 in a year. Think of how much you can put in your savings account by eliminating these expenses! While working remotely, it is simpler to naturally brew coffee at home and avoid eating out.
Financial Tips for Working From Home: More Ways to Save
In addition to the ways you naturally save money while working from home, you can take several steps to help you save even more. These financial tips for working from home will help you make sure you are saving money where you can and avoiding unnecessary expenses.
Home utilities can be an unseen expense. If you are used to being gone at the office all day and suddenly start working at home, you might see your utility bills jump unexpectedly. This is because you weren’t using as much electricity, water, and gas to heat and operate your home. Before working from home, you probably didn’t think much about utility use.
Now that you’re at home all day, you need to be a little more careful. Turn off the lights in rooms you aren’t using, and make use of natural light during the day as much as you can. You may need to set the thermostat low or high depending on the weather, and wear a jacket or blanket or take off layers accordingly.
Meals and Snacks
Did your office provide snacks during the day, or at least the occasional birthday party or treats at the team meeting? Maybe you were lucky enough to have a meal provided at work once or more per week. Working from home, you don’t have the luxury of “free” food. This means you need to be careful about what you eat.
Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, and choose options that are healthy, tasty, and economical. Plan your meal and snack time to stay productive, and avoid grazing and overeating to help save money on food. Planning what you eat ahead of time will help you avoid the temptation to order takeout every day.
Now that you are working from home, give your car insurance agent a call. Your insurance rates were calculated based on how much you drive every day. Now that your commute is eliminated, you aren’t driving as much. Let your car insurance know about your situation and you can save money on that bill.
No one can work from dawn until dusk, especially at home where there are distractions aplenty. Give yourself a few 15-minute breaks each hour to walk around the block, have a snack, call a family member, and eat a quiet, work-free lunch.
How does this translate into savings in terms of money? Taking time in your day for self-care will make you a more productive employee. It can reduce burn out, make you feel mentally fresh for the task at hand, and mean fewer sick days or days off. Depending on your company, increased productivity can lead to better pay and more opportunities for advancement, and fewer non-paid days off.
A lot of us go shopping on the way home from work. When work is at home, you can be more careful about when and where you shop. Now is a great time to let your credit card take a break and work on paying off any debt. Keep a list of things you need to buy, and don’t deviate from it when you head to the store on your planned shopping day. Remember that online shopping will be extra tempting at this time, especially if you’re stressed. You should avoid impulse buys and wait 24 hours before buying something online. Also, don’t store any of your credit card data with your favorite online stores.
Spend Time with Family
Working from home means a more flexible schedule, fewer fixed meetings, and less time commuting. Use this extra time you accumulate for one-on-one face time with your friends and family. Strong relationships outside of work will help you feel happier and more focused at work.
Plus, spending time with family and friends at home can save you money on doing expensive activities such as going to the movies or eating out. More time together close at home can reduce your need for expensive outings or even time off for vacations.
There are many financial benefits from working at home that make it easier to save money. Take advantage of the natural benefits of remote work, and make an extra effort to find ways to save using these work-from-home tips.
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