Michelle isn't the only one who's making the switch to working from home, I recently accepted a job that is 100% remote, and as of this Monday, I'm working remotely – from home.
This isn't the first time I've worked from home, I actually have done it in two other jobs, so while I know what to expect – it's still an adjustment. One of the biggest things to change – besides talking to coworkers exclusively through a screen, is my budget. Working from home changes my expenses in ways that I didn't initially anticipate, and it's not all savings.
Here are some of the ways working from home is good, and bad, for my wallet.
Save On Gas
For one thing, I don't spend as much money on gas, because I'm not commuting anymore. I wake up, do some housework, make my breakfast, and sit down on the couch to get started with work.
If I chose, I don't even have to leave the house! This is my first month of working remotely, but I wouldn't be surprised to come in under budget for gas costs this month. I'm also really looking forward to what the decreased mileage is going to do to the maintenance costs for my vehicle – hello less frequent oil changes!
Save on Eating Out
Since I'm home, I have absolutely no excuse when it comes to eating out for breakfast or lunch. When I worked in an office, I would sometimes fail to make my lunch at home, and end up buying my lunch.
Usually this only happened once per week or so, but still, that adds up! Working at home means that I'll never have to buy my lunch again – unless I chose to – as a treat.
Save On Work Wardrobe
Now, I don't spend as much as some people on wardrobe, since I'm trying to be frugal and get out of debt. That said, I do like to have at least a few decent outfits for work.
I recently bit the bullet and spent some money to upgrade my wardrobe. Thanks to my new job, that clothing will hopefully last me a good long time. That's because I'm mostly going to be working while wearing pajamas, except while I'm in video meetings, of course.
Increased Grocery Costs
Staying at home also means that I'll spend more on groceries. Since I'll be eating every lunch at home, that should mean our grocery spending will be a bit higher this month. That said, I'm going to be very vigilant about not snacking just because there is food within easy reach – that's a recipe for a bigger grocery budget, and bigger waistline.
Increased Office Expenses
After deciding to accept the job and work from home, I knew I needed to upgrade my office equipment. My laptop is five years old and can barely handle WordPress. I'm also going to need a printer and a steady supply of pens and notebooks. Electricity costs will most likely increase as well, as you would be home more. Compare electricity costs if you can. These are things that I've always bought occasionally, but I can count on an increase in purchasing frequency now.
So, is working from home cheaper? For me, I think it will be. Saving money on gas and car maintenance, along with work wardrobe will probably be much greater that the small increase in grocery costs. Working from home can be a wonderful way to increase productivity and save money – if you have the opportunity to do it, I highly recommend it!
Have you ever worked from home? Did you find it saved you money?
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