Working from home has become common as businesses begin to realize how much cheaper and easier it is to maintain a home-based workforce. Working from home also offers significant advantages for workers.
One of the most important benefits of working from a home office is the potential for saving money. Here are ten expenses you may be able to eliminate when you work from home. Then what you do with all the money you save is up to you!
In This Post:
1. Commuting Expenses
Say goodbye to your commute. Whether your money goes to purchase bus or train passes or is spent on parking permits, fuel and auto maintenance expenses, the money you will save by losing that commute is significant.
2. Auto Insurance
While you probably won’t be able to eliminate your automobile insurance entirely, you should qualify for cheaper insurance if you are no longer driving to work each day. Call your insurance agent to find out how much you can save.
When you work from home, nobody knows what you are wearing. Yoga pants, sweats or even pajamas are all perfectly fine, and no one will notice or even care if your fuzzy slippers are showing signs of wear.
Theoretically, you will still need pens, briefcases, watches, jewelry and business card holders even if you work from home. However, you will soon learn that, when no one is watching, a plastic briefcase is as good as a designer leather model. Outside the office, it becomes abundantly clear that the only opinion that matters is your own.
5. Restaurant Lunches
While toting a bag lunch back and forth and eating it in a grimy break room might not appeal to you, there is nothing quite as enjoyable as taking a midday break to eat lunch in your own kitchen. You can expect to save at least $25 a week on lunch, and you might save a whole lot more.
6. Last-Minute Take-Out
When you work from home, you are free to spend your afternoon break putting a frozen entree in the oven. If you prefer, you can whip up a home-cooked meal during what would have been your commute home.
It’s a misconception that home-based workers can watch the children while they work. However, depending upon your children’s ages, it may be possible for you to save on after-school care or to avoid paying for sick-child care. If you get paid by the job rather than the hour, or if your break times are flexible, you may be able to get your kids off the bus every afternoon.
8. Elder Care
Often, elderly parents are able to stay home during the day as long as someone is nearby in case of an emergency. While you probably won’t be able to keep your elderly loved one entertained throughout the day, checking in during breaks and having lunch with your parent may be all that’s needed to keep you both happy without the expense of daycare.
9. Pet Care
In most cases, your employer won’t know or care that your tabby is curled up on your lap or your Pomeranian is sleeping beneath your desk. Pets learn quickly that they cannot bother you when you are working and may learn to recognize cues, such as removing your telephone headset or turning off your desk lamp, that indicate that it’s time for a break and a walk around the block.
10. Sick Leave
Although many employers offer a limited number of paid personal days that can be used for sick days, many don’t offer enough, and some don’t offer any. When you work from home, no one cares if you are contagious, and they have no way of knowing that you are wrapped up in your grandmother’s afghan with a hot water bottle at your feet.
Working from home won’t eliminate all your work-based expenses. You will still have to maintain any professional fees required by your job, and you may have to provide your own Internet access, computer and telephone. You will also see increases in your electric bill, and if you are in the habit of adjusting the thermostat when you leave for work, you will see an increase in your heating and cooling bills, as well. However, overall you should see considerable savings when you make the transition to working from home.