Does Working from Home Save You Money?

As the events of the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold throughout 2020, businesses around the globe had to shift from working in office spaces to remote working.

Even though remote jobs had already been increasing in popularity due to technological updates and restructuring businesses, the ability to work from home became essential for many of us throughout 2020 and into 2021.

As businesses begin to open back up and employees transition to working in their offices once again, it has left many of us to wonder: how much money do you save working from home — and does it have its financial perks?

Working in an office environment can certainly have its benefits — catered lunches, company-purchased office supplies, but do the perks outweigh the potential to save money?

How Much Money Do People Save While Working from Home?

Spending more time at home in 2020 and 2021 while enjoying the company of family and/or pets was certainly a silver lining to remote work during the COVID pandemic.

Another perk of working from home is eliminating costs associated with commuting — whether it’s gas money or car maintenance, among other costs.

The average person could save approximately $4,000 each year simply by working from home, according to FlexJobs.

The actual amount someone can save while working from home can vary based on where you live and their money-management choices.

But there are a few areas where it’s possible to save money while working remotely.

Dining Out

Picking up a cup of coffee on your way to work, ordering lunch, or going out for a bite after work with a colleague feels harmless but the costs add up rather quickly.

If this is something you have grown accustom to doing, it could have been costing you hundreds of dollars.

Business Insider reported that people in New York spent an average of $3,470 on takeout in 2019. In fact, prior to the pandemic, Americans were going out to eat nearly 6 times per week.

If that statistic sounds like you, but now you’re making your own coffee and eating at home more, it’s likely that you will have saved a lot of money.

As businesses begin to open back up and you find yourself working at the office rather than home, create a budget that works for you so that you can continue saving money throughout the year.

Tax Breaks

Freelancers, self-employed, or full-time employees can benefit from a variety of tax breaks, as long as they meet eligibility requirements.

It’s important to note that a full-time employee working from home may not be eligible for the same tax breaks as a freelancer.

Potential tax breaks include:

  • Retirement contributions
  • Home office deduction
  • Healthcare expenses
  • Depreciation of equipment

Filing taxes can be exciting, but tricky — especially if you aren’t sure which write-offs you’re eligible for.

To get the most out of your tax return, it’s vital to work with a finance professional.

Attire

Even if your work has adopted a casual dress code, dressing for work isn’t the same as your casual weekend or vacation attire.

Closets filled with khakis, collared shirts, ties, and many other pieces of clothing are fairly common for those who work in a business-casual work environment.

But these clothes still get dirty, go out of style, or need to be taken to the dry cleaners.

While working from home, unless a video call is in session, employees can wear any clothes that they choose. Meaning, it’s likely that professional pieces won’t have to be replaced as often.

It can also mean spending less, if anything at all, at the dry cleaners.

Commuting

Working from home allows employees the opportunity to save on commuting — both with money and time, which you can’t put a price on.

On average, commuters in New York spend $3,710 each year on their commute, according to Business Insider.

Whether it’s paying for gas, Uber, or public transportation, the cost to get to and from your job can add up rather fast.

And, if the employee is using their own vehicle as a means of transportation for work, there’s added costs of maintenance and automotive insurance they are also responsible for.

During the pandemic, some insurance companies were offering temporary discounted rates because employees were spending more time at home. If you’re currently anticipating working remotely indefinitely, it’s worth updating your insurance information since companies take daily commutes into consideration while calculating cost of coverage.

The future of working remotely or going back to the office is still uncertain for some businesses as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change.

But one thing is certain: working from home will inevitably save people money in at least one area of life, and perhaps help create better money-spending habits as well.

To learn ways to reach your money saving goals,  prevent credit card fraud, or how to save for the future, contact our financial team today.