Whether they realize it or not, most people can save money by working from home
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many people to start working from home to help stop the spread of the virus. While most people would give anything for a return to normalcy, working from home can be a blessing in disguise. In fact, research shows that the average telecommuter can save between $2,000 and $7,000 per year. Obviously, not everyone has a job that can be done from the comfort of their home, but those who do can save money in a variety of ways.
Limited Transportation Costs While Working from Home
It’s no secret that transportation costs tend to add up in a hurry for people who commute to work on a daily basis. The average American commutes 26 minutes to work each day, and that’s just one way. There are hundreds of thousands of people who travel at least 90 minutes one way to get to work. That means three hours every day is wasted getting to and from the office. That’s time that would be eliminated by working from home.
Not only is that a waste of time, but it’s also a waste of money. Even for people who live in cities with good public transportation methods, the cost of public transit can add up day after day. For those who drive, gas doesn’t come cheap. Even a 15-mile drive to work every day can add up to more than $200 per month in fuel costs. Keep in mind that this doesn’t even take into account the cost of tolls or parking. On top of that, there are inspection and maintenance costs associated with cars.
However, working from home can save money by eliminating most of these costs. It would significantly reduce the amount spent on fuel, tolls, and parking. Vehicles that get used less also have lower maintenance costs because they won’t break down as quickly. In some cases, households can go from two cars to one car, which can save even more money, especially if it prevents having to make a lease or car loan payment every month.
Save Money on Food
Lower food costs is another way to save money by working from home. Most folks grab a coffee on their way to work and don’t always have time to prepare a brown bag lunch at home. Even if you get coffee and lunch at a small cafe rather than opting for a fancy latte and a sit-down lunch at a restaurant, those expenses can quickly add up. Studies show that the average office worker spends $1,000 per year on coffee alone while spending another $2,000 per year on lunch.
Working from home makes it easier to avoid such expensive costs. Most telecommuters brew their own coffee or tea rather than going out to buy a cup. Being at home also makes it easier to make a sandwich or eat last night’s leftovers rather than eating out for lunch. Once these habits are broken, most telecommuters are amazed at how much money they’ve saved by not going to the office every day.
Cut Down Clothing Costs When Working from Home
Not everyone who works in an office setting realizes the money that could be saved by working from home. Most office jobs expect you to dress in a professional manner, which doesn’t come cheap. Both men and women make a considerable investment by keeping their work wardrobe updated. It’s not like anyone can get by with one or two outfits. Office workers need a closet full of clothes, not to mention the cost of tailoring and dry-cleaning those clothes.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average American household spends roughly $1,700 per year on new clothes and apparel-related services. Not all of this can be saved by working from home. However, telecommuters rarely have to worry about looking their best while working. Having the freedom to work in a t-shirt and sweat pants means a lot less money spent on business attire.
Time Saved by Working from Home
They say that time is money, which means the time saved by avoiding a daily commute can end up saving money as well. Doing away with their daily commute can save the average person two or three weeks per year. Some studies show that telecommuters are more productive than office workers, getting the same amount of work done but requiring five or 10 fewer hours every week to finish it.
Since telecommuters don’t have to punch a clock or be at the office when there isn’t work to do, they have far more personal time. They have time to read books, binge TV shows, go to the gym, or take care of chores around the house. That extra time could also be spent taking classes to improve their professional skills or having a side job, both of which can lead to more income and more money saved in the long run.