Whilst there are pros and cons to working from home, I'm trying my best to concentrate on the pros before my husband goes fully self-employed in July.
One of the big benefits of working from home is that it can, in fact, be a great way to save money.
In this blog post I am going to share with you how working from home can save money.
Why do I care about saving money so much?
Most people who have known me for a long time, particularly close family, will not know me as a saver due to the horrific debt I got into around 15 years ago.
Well, at the time I was in debt crisis and it was my main focus. I paid it all back on a five year debt management plan, every last penny.
I do have debt now, two manageable loans, but I am also super keen on saving money!
For the past three years we have been saving as much as possible with a £10,000 emergency fund goal. This will be an emergency fund that we do not touch unless we desperately need to and I really feel once it’s saved I will relax a lot more about money.
We’d have saved it by the end of last year, but we had over £3000 in car repair bills last year (!) and I was expecting to pay around £500 for some dental work, but the NHS dentist/lab was so awful that I ended up going private for a cost of around £3200 which wasn’t expected at all, so our savings took a big unexpected hit last year!
But now, with Ben leaving his job in two months to go self-employed, we are on a savings mission! We are up to £7500 and we are trying to hit our £10k goal within the next two months. Quite the challenge as 2.5k is pretty much one entire month’s wage!
Ben is literally working nearly every evening and weekend around his full-time job making furniture to sell and also doing local handyman jobs. He’s flat out!
I’m taking on more work than I usually would on my blogs and seeking out every side hustle opportunity I can!
I stress all the time about money, even though we both work and we are doing OK with money. I think it’s a combination of having been in debt before, being self-employed with no income security and being brought up by a young single mum where money was super-duper tight, always a stress and every penny was budgeted for. And of course Ben is going self-employed for the first time in July so there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding that decision. So that explains my big savings goal and why I want to have some financial peace of mind stashed away.
I do hate having a bit of debt again, but at least it’s affordable and once we have reached our savings goal then we will start overpaying our loans and get them cleared. It will be a great feeling to be debt free once again. Well, aside from the mortgage!
You can read more about why I’m saving an emergency fund before paying off my debt and also 3 of the ways I have been saving more money each month to get a better understanding of how I’ve been saving so much and why I’ve decided to not prioritise my debt for now.
How working from home saves money
Whilst wanting to reach this savings goal we have looked into many ways to save money and I’m forever going through our monthly budget sheet, updating balances and checking our accounts every day to see what’s gone out and where we can save.
Doing this has made me realise that there are lots of ways that working from home saves me money and when Ben works from home we will be able to save even more, hopefully.
Here are the ways I save money by working from home:
The biggest shocker of our monthly outgoing is always fuel! We spend around £200-250 per month on fuel! It’s insane. It’s necessary though as it’s mostly for Ben who has to travel to work and back each day. It’s just a lot.
We get through 0.5-1 tank on my car per month, but 2-2.5 tanks on Ben’s.
It will definitely help when Ben does not have to commute every day. Of course he will have some clients to travel to, but the aim is to keep his business as local as possible which will cut fuel costs. Any customer over a certain distance will have to pay a fuel charge.
I’m hoping we will save a small fortune on fuel costs each month when we both work for ourselves.
Of course even if you travel by bus or train to work then this is very expensive. Working from home cuts out these pesky commuting costs as well as being more eco-friendly!
I have a capsule wardrobe anyway and basically wear the same clothes for years on end. I decided to challenge myself to not spend any money on clothes this year and it’s going great. I’ve had to give in once to get a new pair of stretchy black jeans as my original pair lost all their elasticity and I only had the one pair which I wear almost daily.
It was interesting when a friend recently started a new job and went clothes shopping. I realised I don’t have suitable ‘work’ clothes and so I save money by working from home as I can wear whatever I like!
If I got a job I’d have nothing suitable and I’d have to buy a ‘work wardrobe’.
Ben quite often gets some fresh clothes for work, but once he’s working in his workshop and doing property maintenance then he’s not going to need to buy new clothes as regularly so we’ll save some money.
When I used to work in an office every day before I had Bella, I would wear makeup every single day. This came at a cost to my wallet and my skin! I always had terrible skin and covering up the spots with makeup certainly wasn’t helpful. I wanted to look my best each day though and presentable, so I would wear makeup.
Now I work from home I don't need to wear makeup. There’s just no point! Almost every day I do the school run, go to Tesco, go to the gym and work from home. It just seems so pointless and wasteful to wear makeup if this is the extent of my day!
I now only own mascara and lip balm which I rarely wear.
Working from home means I don’t need to buy makeup and I can therefore save money.
So yes, perhaps this is quite sad and I am a bit of a loner now, but I also save money by having zero work social life. I have no colleagues. It’s just me. So there are no work meals, no Christmas dos, no work events, no colleague birthday or leaving cards, presents or get-togethers.
It does save money, but I do also wonder if I’ll become a hermit…
Another big saver is food. I used to work by a lot of shops and cafes and so it was tempting to go for lunch with colleagues and eat out or buy prepared foods every lunch time. I never took food from home. This was pre-kids so I did have way more disposable income that I wasted!
Ben is much better and takes lunch, but he has a café at work and often treats himself to food there.
Working at home means I have my kitchen right next to me and so I can whip up something healthy and cheap using the food we already have in our cupboards. I’m never tempted to escape from work and go to the shops or a pub to get lunch!
Though it might be a different story when Ben is working here too and there’s a nice pub lunch waiting for us down the road…! I’m hoping we will do this occasionally as it will be a great opportunity to have a little bit of time together without the kids.
There are lots of ways that working from home saves me money and so instead of worrying about finances as Ben is going self-employed I’m trying to think of all the ways it will save us money!
All images from Canva