How to keep your budget intact while working from home
If you’re new to the world of home offices and conducting business meetings from your sofa, then you could be forgiven for thinking that working from home is an automatic win for your savings account.
While it’s true that working from the comfort of your own home does come with some automatic savings perks, such as saving on transport costs and eliminating the temptation to buy yourself lunch everyday, there are still plenty of ways to blow your budget without putting a foot outside your front door.
To help with this, here are five tips to help you stick to your budget:
1. Watch your power usage
It stands to reason that if you work from home full time, your electricity bill will be bigger. You might be able to claim a percentage of it come tax time, but in the meantime you also don’t want to be slugged with a massive energy bill to pay.
To make sure you aren’t wasting money, try to get into energy saving habits. Turn off lights and electrical appliances when you leave a room and remember to close all doors when you have your heater or air conditioner on. That way you can warm yourself up or cool yourself down for longer and only have your heater or air conditioner on for a few hours a day.
2. Meal prep all the way
As the old adage goes ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’ or in this case preparing your lunches ahead of time can save you some serious dollars.
Weekend meal prepping might not seem so necessary when you’re at home in close proximity to your fridge everyday, but it is! Preparing your lunches ahead of time can help reduce your food waste, meaning less money wasted on ingredients purchased without a purpose. Plus, if you already have some yummy lunches stored away, then you’ll be less tempted to order takeout for lunch.
3. Don’t be tempted to shop online
While you’re at home with no boss looking over your shoulder, you might be tempted to do a little online shopping. Now besides the obvious hit to your productivity, online shopping can see you burn through some serious dollars.
Plus, unless you’re buying from a known and trusted seller, nine times out of ten, the item won’t look exactly as it does in the pictures. So to save yourself some storage space, steer clear of online shopping and instead read a book, call a friend or even listen to a podcast during your lunch break.
4. Keep track of your spending
If you’re at home more - possibly spending less money on takeaway coffees and snacks - it could be easy to fall into the trap of not tracking your spend. After all, there’s less stuff to spend money on so why bother, right?
Again, online shopping is a very real temptation as a stay-at-home-worker. Add to that dining out, groceries and subscriptions and there are plenty of opportunities to overspend. The best way to keep track of your spending is to create a budget for yourself and stick to it.
5. Have a savings goal
One way to inspire yourself to save more is to have a savings goal. Having something to stash money away for, whether it be a wedding, a dream holiday in 12 months time or a new car is a great way to motivate yourself.
If you’re not sure what your dreams are or why you might want to save, sit down and come up with a list of things you want to do. Think about all the things you’ve dreamt about doing and work on making them a reality.
Now that you have a handle on some of the spending traps you might fall into while working from home, you might want to find a savings account with a competitive interest rate for your money. Head to Mozo’s compare savings accounts page to see what interest rates are on offer right now.