Since the beginning of the pandemic, people are not only working from home in record numbers but they’re also saving tons of money on expenses they’d otherwise need to pay.
Working from home can save you money in pay-per-mile car insurance discounts, lunches you would normally eat with coworkers, wardrobe updates, office expenditures, public transportation, and more, leaving you with more cash to save or use for other things.
Here are a few ways you can save thousands of dollars each year by working from home.
#1 – Lunches and Coffees with Coworkers
When people work at their offices, it’s only natural to buy a coffee before work or to eat lunch with coworkers. However, these quick bites add up.
When you work from home, you’re more likely to make both your lunch and coffee at home, which is cheaper than dining out. Doing so can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per year that you can use toward buying new furniture, decorating your home office, or saving up for a larger purchase.
#2 – Work Clothes and Upkeep Costs
A professional wardrobe for the office can be costly. To look presentable in person, office workers are generally required to follow a dress code, though the code itself may vary from business to business. Spending cash on good-quality clothes can add up throughout the year.
However, when you work from home, you don’t always need to have an extravagant wardrobe. More and more Americans are wearing athleisure while working from home, which can be bought almost anywhere and is significantly cheaper than suits and other work-appropriate attire.
Keeping quality work wear in tip-top shape also costs money, from going to the dry cleaners and tailor to getting expensive shoes resoled.
When you’re not required to put on a suit and tie for work, you save money in the long run.
#3 – Gas or Public Transportation
The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States has skyrocketed in recent months due to inflation, supply chain bottlenecks, and COVID-19 mitigation measures. Taking public transportation such as a train or bus adds up over time, too. By working from home, you can avoid these hefty prices and save hundreds per year.
#4 – Tax Breaks
People who are self-employed are entitled to various tax deductions when they work from home.
If you have a home office, you can deduct the percentage of space (compared to your entire home) that you work in from your taxes. For example, if your home office takes up 10% of your home, you can deduct that amount in insurance costs or utility bills. Some of your rent can be written off, too.
There are even COVID-19–related tax breaks for 2021. If you dealt with issues related to COVID-19 during the first nine months of 2021 and were unable to work, you can claim sick and family leave credits.
#5 – Health Improvements
Morning commutes can be stressful. From spending hours in the car dealing with traffic to running after the train so you don’t miss it, the stress of commuting takes a toll on the best of us.
This can potentially lead to your spending more money on medications and therapy. People who work from home can cut that stress out of their lives and feel less anxious as they take the 10-second commute to their home office and put away that gas money toward other things, like retirement.
You’ll also have more time to hit the gym and cook healthier foods since you won’t be spending hours in the car or on the train. This will also lead to less time at the doctor’s office to receive treatment for conditions related to poor diet and exercise, therefore saving you money.
Sleep health is extremely important. Lack of proper sleep hygiene can lead to all sorts of dangerous health woes, including depression, obesity, and heart disease. Working from home gives you more time to get enough sleep since you won’t be waking up as early to commute to work.
#6 – Low-Mileage Car Discounts
Some drivers can get discounts on car insurance if they cover low mileage. Since insurance rates are based on risk and time spent on the road, this means that low-mileage drivers are considered less risky drivers. This is why it may be possible to receive a discount if the miles you cover fall within discount criteria.
Every insurance company defines “low mileage” differently. However, this number can usually be anywhere from 7,500 to 15,000 miles per year. Since remote workers are driving less than they used to, they may be eligible for low-mileage car discounts.
Talk to your insurance provider about low-mileage policies.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, BuyAutoInsurance.com. His passions include writing about insurance, business, finance, and other ways everyday people can spend better.