Gas prices are going up and you’re trying to justify the cost of your commute. You think, if I didn’t have to do this commute I’d save tons! Can you save money working from home?
If you work from home and don’t require a car to meet with clients or coworkers, then yes you will save money that you previously spent on gas. Your car insurance may also decrease if you use your car less frequently. Actually, do you even need a car? Maintaining that thing and paying for parking costs money you’ll never get back! You can rent a car or subscribe to a car-sharing service (my local one only costs less than $10 an hour—it’s cheaper than a taxi!) if and when you need a vehicle.
How else can you save money by working from home (or anywhere)?
Your home is likely your biggest expense. And decent homes in big cities where all the jobs live are expensive. I should know—I live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada where the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is $1300. I just got a notice from my landlord they’ll be increasing the rent this year too!
Since you don’t need to live in the city for your job as a remote worker, you can find somewhere cheaper. You can live outside the city, in a picturesque rural area where you can get a three-bedroom house with a garden for what you were paying for your one-bedroom apartment. Or, you can jump on a plane and move to a whole other country! Thailand, Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam—these are all places where you can live for a fraction of what you’re paying now. Check out NomadList to explore.
And suits? Who needs ’em! You’ll save money on dry cleaning too. When you work from home, you can wear what you want.
And did you know you can also save money on your taxes with a home office? Working from home is tax deductible. The amount will depend on your tax rate, the square footage of your office, and the price of your rent or mortgage. If you own a business, you can also write off part of your utilities, internet, office equipment and phone.
Lastly, you can save money on food, but it depends. If you prefer working from coffee shops, you’ll likely spend more than you did before. But, since you don’t have to drink crappy office coffee any more (or go to the Starbucks downstairs) you can make your own coffee however you like for the fraction of the price. And it doesn’t stop at coffee. The average lunch out costs around $10. Now, you can eat leftovers or stretch $10 to make lunch for three days. Use Pinterest for inspiration.
Wait, there’s a catch
Isn’t there always a catch?
You will save money on some of your biggest expenses by working from home (or somewhere much more affordable than you currently live), but there are costs to working from home too:
- You’ll spend more on utilities like electricity and you may need to upgrade your wifi.
- As aforementioned, if you eat out more or work from coffee shops every day your food expenses will add up.
- You may find yourself spending more on software and office equipment.
But that’s about it. If you’re interested in learning more about where you spend, use a tool like Mint, which can also help you achieve savings goals.
Working from home can absolutely save you money, while giving you the freedom to live and work where you want.
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