The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a dramatic shift in the way businesses operate, with many of us working from home. This also begs the question, what will the ‘new normal’ look like once this pandemic has run its course?
In the coming months, we may see more and more people opting to split their time between working from home and working in the office.
And while everyone is spending more time at home this means that there are opportunities to save money.
Check out OC’s top five simple tips on how to save money while working from home.
1. Save money with no commuting
The most obvious way you’ll be saving money working from home is that you no longer need to commute every day. Whether you drive or catch public transport, you’ll be saving money on petrol, tolls, parking and fares. Unless you’re already saving money by walking or riding a pushbike, in which case, good on you!
A report from Canstar¹ found that the average Sydney household was spending more than $22,000 every year on transport costs. It was slightly less than this in other major cities, but the fact still remains – you can save a lot of money by cutting out your weekly commute.
2.Cook at home more often
As Australia’s largest supermarkets love to remind us, it is possible to cook a family meal for $10 or less. This is a lot cheaper than ordering takeaway food. Even the average takeaway pizza will cost you between $18 – $25 (and don’t forget the delivery fee).
Cooking more often at home instead of going out or ordering takeaway will mean that you can save money and eat healthy.
And if you’re not a home master chef? Maybe it’s time to consider brushing up on your skills. There are plenty of websites and vlogs that are dedicated to helping beginner cooks create awesome, simple meals that won’t break the bank – whether you’re cooking for one or for an entire family.
3. Save on Childcare fees
No one is saying that it’s easy to work from home with kids. We’ve all had a company Zoom meeting that’s been interrupted by a baby who’s just woken up from her nap or a curious toddler who wants to say hi. And while it can definitely be difficult, and some days are tougher than others, it’s not impossible, and it can save money in day-care fees.
4. Business attire
We all like to look professional when we go into work every day. However, this usually means forking out cash for presentable, work-appropriate clothes.
You can save on clothes when you’re working from home, as there’s no need to follow company guidelines on attire. You can get away with working in your favourite pair of trackies and your favourite tee. Just make sure you’re presentable for those Zoom meetings with your boss!
5. Electricity costs
Usually, most of us would be out of the house for at least eight hours a day while we’re at work. However, now that we’re spending those working hours at home, it’s important to keep an eye on how much electricity we’re using.
No one’s saying that you can’t turn on the heating on particularly chilly days – but there are ways that you can lessen your electricity bill even while spending more time indoors than you normally would.
How to save money on electricity during winter:
- Rug up instead of turning on the heating full blast. Put on your warmest jumper, your fluffiest slippers and throw a blanket over your legs – remember, there’s no company dress code to adhere to!
- Close your curtains to keep in the heat. You can also use bubble wrap to cover your windows, as this will act like a heat seal.
- Use a draft stopper to plug the gap beneath doors to prevent drafts.
- Place a hot water bottle on your lap (wrapped in a cover so you don’t burn yourself, of course) if you’re really feeling the cold while working in your home office.
- Leave the oven door open after you’ve finished cooking and let the heat disperse through the house.
How to save money on electricity during summer:
- Air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer. In the hot summer heat, they’ll be done in no time.
- Cook outdoors. Crank up the barbecue to avoid using the stove or oven which can heat up the house.
- Use floor or ceiling fans instead of an air conditioner, as they cost less to run. Consider using the air conditioning only when totally necessary.
- Take advantage of the longer days and spend more time outside after you’ve finished work for the day, rather than in front of the TV.
General tips for saving money:
- Unplug appliances when they’re not in use.
- Don’t leave lights on in rooms that aren’t being used.
- Avoid overly long hot showers.
- Skip using appliances like the dishwasher – washing by hand is more cost-effective!
- Buy fresh produce that’s in season. Hey, with all that home cooking you’ll be doing, you’ll be a master chef in no time!
Do you have any stay-at-home tips on how to save money you’d like to share? Let us know how you’ve been saving money in the comments section below.
1. Sam Bloom, “Sydney Households Spending Over $22,000 Per Year On Transport”, https://www.canstar.com.au/news-articles/sydney-households-spending-22000-per-year-transport/