It’s hard to believe that it’s almost been an entire year since the COVID-19 pandemic set in, causing many employers to make the tough, but safe decision to move their employees to remote work. For some, working from home was a huge adjustment that took quite a bit of transitioning, while others adapted quickly and settled into this new normal with ease.
With all the changes that have taken place, it’s the perfect opportunity to sit down and review, or create the financial plan that best suits your family. It may not have crossed your mind initially, but this new working situation may be positively impacting your finances. Yes, you read that correctly. Working from home can actually put money back into your pocket. Interested in learning how? Below we’re listing out several ways in which being stuck at home could be adding an extra zero to your bank account!
Cancel Your Commute
Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour plus round trip, your workday commute is likely putting a dent in your current budget. According to this study conducted in 2019 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spent $2,094 on gas and motor oil, while total transportation expenditures reached $10,742. If you do the math, that’s about $29 per day spent on getting to and from work. Now, think about what it costs to walk from your bedroom to your work area now that you are a remote employee. If the answer is zero, which it should be, think of the money you’re saving in just gas alone. Sure, you’ll still be driving your car here and there, but it won’t be anything close to the amount it was before. As a bonus, you’ll be minimizing the wear and tear you’d be putting on your vehicle from all those miles back and forth, which in the long run
can lengthen the amount of time you’re able to drive it.
Avoid Eating Out
One of the hottest topics of conversation in the office is, “what’s for lunch today?” It can be both tempting and convenient to order out, especially if your job is located around a lot of restaurants and your co-workers peer pressure you! When you’re working from home, you won’t be as tempted to order out as it’s likely your pantry will be stocked and you won’t have your colleagues to entice you. If you happen to run out of your lunch-time staples or your favorite mid-day snacks, you can get these healthy choices delivered quickly right to your front door. This way, you’re sure to have all of your favorites without taking any time away from your workday. Having items delivered will also save you from the temptation of buying unnecessary items at the grocery store in which your wallet will also thank you. Keeping your go-to ingredients on hand will help you regain some sense of normalcy and if you’re feeling creative, you can even attempt to recreate your favorite meals or drinks you’d get while working in person. If you’re looking for some inspiration, and an afternoon pick-me-up, check out these tasty coffee drinks you can make right at home.
Reduce Child Care Costs
If you have kids, you know how expensive child care can be. Even when they’re school-aged, it’s likely you have to pay for some type of after school care until you’ve completed your work day and can come pick them up. Working from home can reduce, or completely eliminate the need for child care, depending on the type of job you have. If your kids are older and also attending school remotely, you can let them do their thing in their own designated work space and still be close by in your workspace to help out with any questions they have throughout the day. If you’ve got little ones at home who aren’t quite independent enough to occupy themselves while you work, you may still need to send them to a daycare or have a babysitter come to your home. However, this may only be for a portion of the time it was prior to remote work and if you’re a parent, you know every little bit helps!
Recycle Your Wardrobe
While you won’t necessarily be rolling out of bed in your pajamas and heading straight to your Zoom meetings, working from home does provide you with the ability to dress a bit more casually. Because of this, you’ll save big time on maintaining your wardrobe. You can easily recycle outfits as most of the time you’ll just be wearing your clothes indoors and may only be getting “dressed” from the waist up. Since you’ll be downsizing a bit in terms of the number of clothing items you wear each week, you’ll be saving on laundry costs and dry cleaning as well! Talk about a two-for-one! This tip is sure to put money back into your pocket and might even allow you to splurge on a trendy loungewear set to relax in after your hard day’s work.
With COVID-19 still hanging on in many states across the country, it could be some time before we return to a full-time office setting. Working from home has its obstacles, and while it may seem like more of a hassle than not at times, there are some benefits too! If you incorporate the tips mentioned above into your remote-work life, you may even find yourself in a better financial position when we’re finally able to come out of quarantine. For more tips and information on how you and your family can save money, check out one of our past blog posts here.