I’ve been fortunate enough to work from home during COVID-19, and while I’d certainly rather the world not be suffering from a pandemic, I’ve found a few silver linings in my own situation. Working from home has many obvious perks (like a nonexistent commute and close proximity to your beloved pets) and one study from FlexJobs found that remote workers can save as much as $4,000 annually. I’m not sure that I’ll hit that hefty of a savings rate, but I certainly have found a few tips and tricks for saving more as I work from home.
1. Limited my wardrobe updates
While I typically would have bought a summer blazer or dress for work by now, I’m thankful to say I haven’t needed to. Since I’m able to stay at home all day as I work, I can happily wear any professional looking top (which I almost always pair with legging on the bottom–no one needs to know!) for conference calls. Of course, I should give the disclaimer that I did buy an additional pair of leggings for my remote life, but overall, I’m definitely at a net-positive when it comes to typical summer wardrobe costs.
Monthly savings: $30
2. Reduced my car insurance
I called Geico to let their team know that I would be working remotely until the end of the year. It took about ten minutes to get through to a representative, and once I did, the call itself lasted about two minutes. While my insurance only went down about $12, you may be able to save even more depending on your car, commute, and record. And hey–even saving $12 over a few months makes a difference.
Monthly savings: $12
3. Made lunches at home
This one is perhaps the easiest to say but the hardest to stick to. At the beginning of quarantine, I felt much more adventurous about making new recipes. Now, the thought is a bit overwhelming, as I’ve gotten in the bad habit of giving myself only 15-minute lunches. However, I’ve made a point to never order takeout for lunch out of convenience. If I’m spending money on food, I want to be intentional so that I can really savor the moment. While it would be easy to justify ordering in food on Mondays (which was when I used to eat out while working in an office), I’ve decided I’d rather save the money and cook at home. I’ve been meal prepping burrito bowls that I can easily heat up on days I’m feeling lazy, and on days when I’m ready to put in just a bit more work, I’ll make avocado toast with an egg. By doing so, I’m saving the $10-20 I used to spend weekly on eating out for lunch at the office.
Monthly savings: $60
4. Maximized my newfound time
I have 40 minutes of my morning and 40 minutes of my evening back in my day now. With that extra time, I’ve been reading and exercising, but I’ve also been doing a great financial form of self-care: more regular budget tracking. Three times a week I look at my spending to see how it aligns with the plan I set for myself for the month. Am I close to reaching my savings goal? Am I close to being out of my food budget? By checking in on my spending so often, I always have an idea of how much money I have left to spend, so I can limit and adjust myself accordingly.
Monthly savings: Priceless 🙂
While working from home certainly has its frustrations, I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to be just a little more intentional with my spending and work towards my savings and debt payoff goals. An extra $102 a month means well over a thousand additional dollars a year to put towards my financial priorities.
Simplicity Bryan is deeply entrenched in the worlds of self-help, gratitude, personal finance, and organization. She’s happiest paddleboarding with her pup and storytelling with a purpose. You can follow her here.
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