Working from home is super convenient, but it has also seen many people’s mobile, broadband, and energy costs shoot up rapidly. When working from home, the last thing you want is to run into debt because your bills have got bigger. Although working from home is not a new idea, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has caused many people and businesses to embrace more flexible working arrangements.
Whether we are for or against it, working from home is here to stay. This means that more and more people will have to find ways to avoid increasing bills and other home expenses, while at the same time saving money. If you’re working from home, you may have noticed that you are spending significantly less on daily transport, but there are also a ton of other ways you could be making savings. Are you looking for ways to save money while working from home? You’re in luck. Read on to discover eight easy ways you can boost your buck.
1. Use Home Appliances More Efficiently
Before so many people started working from home, many of us were not aware of the amount of energy we use to prepare our meals. Appliances, in general, consume a lot of energy, especially during the day. However, as you spend a lot of time cooking at home, you can use a few cooking tips to keep your costs down. For example, when cooking with the oven, you do not need to preheat it or wait till it reaches the desired temperature – it will only drain your electricity. When baking or preparing any dish that contains eggs and flour, the general rule is to preheat your oven. But then again, this only means you will be wasting a lot of money. Ensure that you keep the oven door shut as much as possible; this will save energy and money. When cooking with saucepans, be sure to keep the lid on to prevent energy from escaping. There is no need to overfill your kettle when making one cup of tea, as this will only consume more power. 250ml is enough for just one cup.
2. Look for Available Tax Relief
Unfortunately, depending on where you find yourself, you may or may not get a tax break for working from home costs. In America, for example, only seven States allow taxpayers to make claims on work-from-home expenses on their state income tax returns. It is possible for a self-employed person working from home to claim federal tax reduction for their home office. However, those employed by others cannot write off employee expenses on their federal returns. It is essential to ensure that you keep a record of all work-from-home costs even if you’re not receiving any tax relief. You can also speak with legal experts on debt and bankruptcy issues if you fear that work-from-home expenses which are not reimbursed may lead you to debt. Leinart Law Firm, for example, has a team of bankruptcy lawyers who are capable of handling all forms of debt issues.
3. Use Wi-Fi Calls Where Possible
One activity you would be doing a lot of when working from home is contacting people over the phone. Fortunately, there are a lot of bill plans that offer unlimited call packages every month. But if you are on a pay-as-you-go package, then it is best to opt for Wi-Fi calls whenever possible. Wi-Fi calls are always cheaper and even free in many cases, and will therefore, save you a lot of money on pay-as-you-go calls. Besides, with the proliferation of smartphones, landline calls are gradually becoming obsolete – not to mention the fact that they also cost a lot of money. Thankfully, so many businesses and individuals have access to different kinds of internet call apps for official businesses. So, why spend a lot of money on pay-as-you-go and landline calls when internet or Wi-Fi calls can help transform your business?
4. Change Your Heating and Immersion Settings
If you used to work away from home, you most likely find that working from home requires a slightly different daily routine. It might also mean making changes to your heating and immersion settings. For example, if you used to set your heating and immersion from 5 to 7 every morning, that may not have to be the case any longer. You may have had to wake up early in previous days to commute to work, but since that is no longer the case, there may be no need to turn the water heating system on so early anymore. This simple change will help you save a lot of money on your energy bills. It is also a good idea at this point, to purchase a good quality lagging jacket for your immersion. No need to let hot water go to waste, as heating it consumes a lot of electricity.
5. Sign Up for the Best Broadband Package
You are going to need the right broadband package to support your internet calls – but that’s not all. working from home also means that you’ll be doing a huge chunk of your work online including sending and receiving emails, accessing cloud documents, online training and meetings – you name it. Therefore not only do you need a fast broadband service, you should also ensure that you opt for the best package in terms of cost. If not, you might end up spending a lot of money on your internet service. Even if you’re lucky enough to receive a generous internet allowance from your employer, it does not mean you should spend it all on expensive packages. The great thing is that there are several broadband packages available for you. Just take time to pick the most reliable, and less costly package.
6. Conserve Energy on Your Computer and Laptop
Your laptop or desktop computer are your best friends when working from home. However, they can also easily be your worst enemies when it comes to how much energy they use. For this reason, it is essential to avoid bad habits such as leaving your computer plugged in for several hours. If you are working with a laptop, it is easy to forget that the power cord is still plugged into the power supply, draining electricity even after your laptop battery charges fully. Often, this means that your electricity bills will also shoot up. But aside from your electricity bill, leaving your laptop plugged in when the battery charges fully will shorten your battery’s lifespan. The last thing you want is to add the cost of a new laptop battery to your expenses. Even with desktop computers, you must ensure that the power cables are unplugged when the computer is not in use. Shutting down the computer does not mean that it can no longer drain electricity. When not in use, leaving a computer plugged in can account for about a 15% increase in your power bills.
7. Invest in a Slow Cooker or Tupperware
It can be quite easy to blow your budget by ordering fast food too often when working from home. Not only is this dangerous to your health, but it also means that you will struggle to save money. Working from home also means that one should take extra care to live healthily. One of the best ways of eating healthy food while saving money is wholesome home cooking. The easiest way to make savings when cooking is by batch cooking. Although the idea sometimes evokes some negative connotations, this is the reality. It is more than possible to prepare meals in large quantities and save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on eating out. Meals such as casseroles, pasta dishes, soups, and stews can all be batch prepared and stored in a refrigerator or deep freezer. And with the help of a slow cooker, you can retrieve and warm any frozen food at any time. Not only will this stop you from ordering food anytime you’re too busy to cook, but it will also cost you a fraction of the price of eating out.
8. Pick the Best Place for Your Workstation
You must choose the best location in the house to use as your workstation. Not only will this save you a lot of money on your energy bills, but it will also help you maximize your ability to handle your workflow. For example, you can map out your workspace to follow the sunlight’s natural progression during the day. It makes it worth the short time it takes to plan, especially when doing so will save you from turning on the heating system unnecessarily. Depending on the layout of your home, you may find that some rooms may be warmer and brighter than other rooms during the day – and vice versa. Therefore, whenever possible, set your workstation in a place where it follows the sun’s natural progression. Doing this will help ensure that you are always in the brightest and warmest room during working hours. For example, East facing rooms are more brightly lit in the morning, as they greet the rising sun. However, they tend to be colder during the evening time.