Working from home is now a very normal way of life. It is set to stay as we look at ways to keep safe during the pandemic and beyond. We take a look at some of the financial benefits that working from home can bring.
Transport to and from work is often an employees biggest expense so cutting down on the commute is the most obvious way to save money.
If you drive to work, you’ll be cutting down on fuel costs and car parking as well as maintenance costs due to less wear and tear to the car. Public transport doesn’t come cheap either so eliminating the cost of annual travel passes could be a huge saving.
If you work in a town or city surrounded by lots of different food and drink options, it can be all too convenient to grab a different lunch option every day. But it’s certainly not good for your bank balance. A typical meal deal consisting of a sandwich, snack and a drink would normally cost around £4/5 so if you’re buying lunch every day, this will set you back up to £25 each week. Over a typical year you would have spent approx £1200.
Working from home can encourage people to eat more economically, using the ingredients they already have in their kitchen to make meals from scratch. This could also help you to eat better too, choosing healthy options over the convenience of grab and go. So a positive effect on both your finances and your health!
Okay, so we’re not encouraging you to wear your pyjamas for every zoom call, but you could certainly get away with it from the bottom down!
Getting dressed for the office, even when working from home, can actually be really positive for our mental health. It helps us to remain positive and motivated and not get stuck in the routine of pyjamas and loungewear. However if you’re not travelling into the office or meeting different people, then there is no need for lots of different outfits so this could actually save you money in the long term as you begin to buy less.
If you are a part of a family with children then childcare can be a huge expense. From nursery fees and wraparound school clubs, it can take a huge chunk of your salary to ensure your kids are safe and secure until you are home from the office to collect.
When schools closed earlier this year, lots of people had to make adjustments to their working life in order to look after their children. Whilst some couldn’t wait until the schools and childcare providers reopened, others found that they actually adjusted well, and perhaps paying someone else for childcare wasn’t necessary after all.
Working from home and looking after children all day isn’t an ideal situation to be in, and you’d need a pretty understanding employer if you were going to go down this route. However working from home may give some parents the flexibility to manage the school run and cut out breakfast clubs and after school activities where relevant which could actually be a significant saving.
You should check your insurance policies on a regular basis as you could save money if your circumstances have changed. For example, your car insurance may actually be cheaper if you are doing less miles per annum. And insurers could deem it less of a risk if it’s parked on your home driveway all day rather than a work car park or in a side street.
The same goes for your home insurance. If you were previously working in an office your home would be unoccupied for a large percentage of the week. If you’re now working remotely and therefore mostly at home, this could bring the cost of your policy down.
It’s definitely good to compare policies with your new details and see how much you could save.
Other benefits of working from home
Did you know that if your employer requires you to work from home, then you could actually claim tax relief? This is to cover additional expenses you may incur due to working from home, such as electricity or heating costs. The saving works out at around £60 per annum – not huge, but every little helps. Many employees have been asked to work from home, whether full time or part time, due to coronavirus. If so, even if only on a temporary basis you may be eligible to receive this tax relief. Find out more at https://www.gov.uk/tax-relief-for-employees/working-at-home
So Smart Money are financial specialists and could save you money on your next mortgage deal.
The above post does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. The information within this article is the author’s own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of SO Media or So Smart Money.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.