With the current cost of living getting more and more expensive, you may be thinking of ways you can cut back on your living expenses. A great place to start is by considering ways to reduce your spending when working from home.
Working from home is the new normal for many due to a shift in attitudes in regards to working post-COVID, so establishing practical methods to reduce costs is a necessity.
Power down when you can
In order to reduce your electricity bill, you should be powering everything down when it’s not needed. This could be a computer, a printer, and even air conditioning fans. You’d be surprised by how much electricity your electronics use when still plugged into the wall, even if they aren’t turned on or simply on standby.
By completely shutting down your electronics, by unplugging them or turning them off at the wall, you could save on your annual electricity bill. Plus shutting everything down completely may provide a better work-life balance, as you may be less tempted to open your laptop after working hours!
Buy items second hand
Sitting in the same room for hours on end a day can get boring. If you’re considering redecorating your home office and don’t want to spend too much, you could always purchase items second-hand. Whether it be a different desk, a new chair, or even small home furnishings, there’s always someone out there selling hidden gems that could be perfect for your office.
Electronics are also great to buy second-hand. Alternatively, you could rent them out instead of paying an upfront cost. Printer and photocopier rentals are a great option as it means you can rent the device as and when you need them, instead of being tied to a fixed agreement. Packages can range from days to weeks to years, meaning no matter how long you require a printer or copier in your home office, you will have full flexibility whilst also reducing your spending.
Make better lighting choices
When it gets to autumn and winter time, you may be more reliant on the lighting in your home, but did you know the type of lighting you use could save you costs? By simply switching your old lightbulbs to new LED light bulbs, you could be saving money on your electricity bills. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than traditional light bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs, meaning you don’t need to purchase them as often. Simply turning your light off when you leave your office will also be saving you some money, as well as reduce your carbon footprint.
Save on energy usage
If you are spending more time at home, it’s likely that energy usage is going to increase due to more than just your lighting. With the current rise in energy bills across the UK, putting restrictions on yourself may help to reduce your overall energy bills.
Anything from boiling a kettle more often to turning the heating on for longer periods of time will raise the cost of your energy bills. To help keep costs down you could try:
- Only heating rooms you’re using
- Making the most of natural lighting
- Turning the thermostat down by a degree
Save what you would have spent at work
If you used to work in an office environment outside of your home, you may have been spending on things such as a train pass, fuel, lunch, or accommodation. As these outgoings may have stopped or reduced, you could add the money you would have spent into your savings account. Moving the money across can help limit the temptation to spend it.
Save on your equipment
Speak to your employer about any equipment you may need to be able to work from home. You may be able to borrow a monitor or an office chair. Alternatively, your employer could reimburse you for any equipment you’ve needed to buy out of your own pocket.
Claim tax relief
If your role has moved fully remote, you may be able to claim tax relief on additional costs that are not reimbursed by your employer. This can include bills such as heating, water, and business calls. You may also be able to include a share of your rent, mortgage, or council tax. To check your eligibility make sure you visit the government website.
Keep your food bill down
If you and your family are spending more time at home due to a change in working environments, you may find that your food bill goes up due to a need to buy more lunches and snacks.
You may have to reduce your spending on certain items in order to cover this cost or consider shopping around the different supermarkets in order to find the best value for your money.
Working from home can bring about massive changes to your lifestyle, and you may notice it is harder to keep costs down. However, there are some small steps you can take to keep costs down such as renting equipment, unplugging equipment and potentially claiming tax relief.