Working from home can have a huge impact on your finances. It can both help and hurt your financial situation for various reasons. When you’re working from home, you could be saving money on commuting, buying your lunch, and other expenses. But you could also be spending more on things such as heating or cooling your home, office supplies, and groceries. It can be difficult to manage your money when you have a change in circumstances like this, but there are some tips that you can use to protect your finances. Read this guide to find out about how you could be managing your money while working from home.
Make the Most of Your Savings
Working from home can allow you to save in a few different ways. Firstly, you no longer have to commute to work, which can save you a lot of money. You could be saving money on fuel for your car or perhaps public transport costs. You might even have decided to ditch your car completely, depending on where you live and what other options you have for transport. You could also be saving money because you’re no longer buying coffee or lunch out, you’re not attending happy hour with coworkers, and perhaps you no longer need as much help with childcare.
However you’re saving money, you should try to make the most of what you’re saving. Some of your savings might simply be redirected into other expenses that have increased due to working from home. But you might find that overall, you’re now saving more money than you were before. Try to make the most of what you’ve saved so that you benefit from working from home. After redistributing your savings to the expenses that have increased, make a plan for the rest. Consider setting a goal and start saving toward something that you weren’t able to afford before.
Manage Your Energy Costs
One of the things that’s likely to increase when you work from home is your energy costs. You need to have your heating turned up when it’s cold, and you’ll want to keep your home cool when it’s hot. Plus, you’ll be running any office equipment that you need and you may need to have the lights on more often too. These things can all raise your energy costs, which may mean that you need to take steps to manage them. You might be able to switch to a new energy provider or tariff to start with. You can also make some changes to how you use various things around your home to save energy.
Keeping your home at the perfect temperature might be a priority for you, but you might not need to have it as warm or as cool as you think. The average temperature range of a home is around 68 to 78 degrees, but you could actually turn it down a little in the winter. Many people find that around 64 to 66 degrees is fine.
As for your home office, try to turn off any electronics when you’re not using them. While it might be annoying to boot up your computer every morning, it could save energy. If you have the lights on at home, try to turn them off in rooms that you’re not currently using.
Get a Good Deal on Internet
One thing that’s likely to get a good workout when you’re working from home is your internet connection. It might have been adequate before, but now you’re placing more demand on it. As well as general internet browsing, you might be using it for video calls, streaming music, running various cloud applications, and more. This probably means that you need more bandwidth to handle all of your activities both when you’re working and during your downtime.
Now is the perfect time to look for a new provider or a better deal with your current provider. Check to see if fast fiber broadband is available in your area if you’re looking for a speedier connection. It can help you to get more done without the worry that your connection is going to lag or cause problems for you. When you’re looking for the right deal for your internet provider, compare some different options to see what gives you the best option. You might also want to take a look at some different packages. You can bundle up your internet, TV, and phone with some providers so you can save more money.
Protect Your Equipment and Work Environment
When you’re working from home, you need the right equipment to do it. If anything that you need to work isn’t working as it should, it can cause a huge disruption. That’s why it’s important to protect the equipment that you use. There are several ways you might do this. Firstly, make sure you can pay for any repairs or replacements that you might need. You could take out individual insurance policies for different gadgets and pieces of equipment, or you could add things to your home insurance. Another option is to take out extra cover on your home warranty, which can protect your electronics and more. Your warranty should also protect your home’s electrical system and other systems and appliances. This is important because any problems in your home could make it difficult for you to continue working.
You can also protect your home office equipment by taking good care of it. While it’s tempting to eat at your desk, be careful with food and drinks around electronics. Make sure all of your equipment is in a secure and safe space, and that it can’t be accidentally knocked or pushed over. If you have children or pets, try to keep them out of your office so that you can protect anything in there.
Invest in a Good Home Office Setup
Speaking of your home office, investing in a good setup for your office can help you to manage your finances too. If you’re willing to spend a little more on the things that you need, it can last longer. When you’re looking at the savings you’ve made from working from home, you might want to consider spending some of it on a new desk, chair, computer, or anything else that you might need. If you don’t currently have a suitable space for working from home, you might even invest a little more into creating the space that you need. That could mean converting a room in your home or maybe even setting up a garden office or something similar.
Save on Groceries
Working from home can help you to save money on food and drink. However, you might also be spending more on groceries because you need to make sure you have lunch at home. You might also get through more coffee or tea, as well as snacks. Fortunately, eating at home will usually cost less, especially if you avoid ordering food straight to your door. But if you want to make the most of the savings you’ve made and put them toward your lunches or other groceries, you should be careful about how you plan your meals.
Being at home gives you the option to make your lunch from fresh ingredients every day if you want to. Or you can make them in advance at the beginning of the week. There are plenty of cheap lunch ideas that you can find online, and you can make sure you’re eating healthily too.
Cut Down on Office Supplies
You could find that you’re getting through more office supplies when working from home. Printer ink, paper, and other supplies could become necessary, and your employer isn’t paying for them. If you want to avoid this type of expense, one thing you can do is try to make sure your home office is as paperless as possible. Digitizing everything will remove the need to print things out or write things down. Sometimes it can be hard to do this if you have an employer or clients who expect you to do things on paper. But convincing them that it can save time and money could help.
Working remotely means you can work where you like, giving you more flexibility and mobility. So if you want to improve and protect your finances, you might consider whether moving home could work out for you. You don’t have to live close to work anymore, so you could choose where you live based on other factors. Even if you need to occasionally go into the office, a slightly longer commute isn’t as demanding when you don’t need to do it as often.
Moving home could help you to save money on rent or your mortgage. It could also help you to save money in other ways if you can reduce your overall cost of living. Even a temporary move could be something to try that could allow you to save some more money for a while.
Look after your finances when you’re working from home and you could save a lot of money. Start by creating a new budget that fits the changes in your finances.