The world has shifted into a new normal forced upon us throughout the last three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most impactful shifts is the sheer volume of employees working in an office setting to working full time at home or other remote locations.
At first, this shift was expected to be a temporary solution. However, the pandemic has raged on, with new variants coming up every few months. The shift into remote work has gained more permanent traction with employers of different types.
While the transition from the office to remote working locations has been a sometimes difficult one, there have been bright spots within the new normal. The most significant change has been allowing those who no longer commute to save money in ways they could not before.
Continue reading to learn more about the different ways you can save money while working from home. You will learn ideas for reducing overhead costs in your home, tightening your grocery budget, and even saving money you would have spent during your workweek.
Swap Takeout for Groceries
One of the biggest expenses when working in an office setting is food costs. Eating takeout during the day used to be normal for those who worked in an office. However, one of the easiest ways to save money while working from home is to switch from eating takeout to buying your groceries and meal prep.
This could be as simple as putting together a turkey sandwich with chips on the side. This meal at home can be made for less than two dollars total, while the same meal at a local sub shop averages between five and fifteen dollars.
Eating takeout at an office every day tends to add up quickly without realizing it most of the time. But if you buy a $10 lunch every day, that’s $50 by the end of the week. Compare that to making your same sandwich lunch at home, which averages around $10 to $15 total for the week.
Walk Your Pets
Many people who have pets, especially dogs, will hire someone to come and take their pets for a walk while they are at work. Working remotely, however, removes the need for a paid service to walk your dog.
Schedule regular breaks during the day to take your dog outside and save money on dog walking services. Taking small breaks to step out and get some fresh air will also help you with mental clarity and physical fitness.
Do Not Buy Fancy Suits
Another way to save money when working from home is not purchasing traditional work clothes. For example, business suits and dresses can become expensive when you need eight to ten workday outfits, but you can skip the suit when you work from home.
If you need to make a video call with a client, you should still dress professionally from the waist up, but technically, pants are not required. Each employer will have a different dress code, so be sure to read up on your employer’s updated guidelines.
Foregoing traditional suits and dresses can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars annually. This is especially true when you factor in other essentials like shoes, accessories, hairstyle appointments, and other personal care items.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Setting the thermostat and forgetting it was the usual procedure for many people who used to leave their homes in the early morning for work and return late in the evening. While this is still acceptable, you will have greater climate control while working from home.
Instead of running the air conditioning all day through the spring, in anticipation of warmer afternoons, turn on ceiling fans if you have them and open your windows instead. This should eliminate the need for your air conditioning unit to run in the spring and fall when the weather tends to be milder.
Likewise, you can set your heat lower on cooler days and use space heaters to warm just your work area. Again, depending on your geographical location, conserving energy like this could save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars each year.
Invest Your Fuel Savings
The biggest and most economical way to save money by working from home is the reduced driving costs for your commute. It is no secret that gas is expensive, and the cost is volatile.
Suppose you tend to spend what the average American spends each week on their commute to work, which is $125, which comes out to a whopping $6,500 each year that you spend on gas alone.
In conclusion, this is a considerable cost associated with working in an office and no doubt it is undoubtedly the most significant factor that makes employees never want to return to the office.
Do not just save the money you are not spending on fuel costs but make that money work for you. Take the additional money that you are saving and invest it. There are many ways to do this, including buying stocks, cryptocurrency, or putting it into a high yield investment account, so you should choose the best option for you.
Reduce Your Internet Speed
One common misconception about working from home is that you need the top of the line, corporate office-like high-speed internet. However, large internet packages with top speeds are usually unnecessary for working from home.
Save yourself extra cash by opting for a lower internet speed and a reduced monthly bill. The bottom-tier internet speed in most of the immense city centers will be sufficient for all your working needs unless you are mining bitcoin.
You might be surprised to learn that you can save $40 to $50 each month on your internet bill by reducing the speed. It will be almost unnoticeable in your daily working schedule but undoubtedly noticeable in your wallet.
Image Credit: [Steve Stark]