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How Working from Home Can Save You Money

How Working from Home Can Save You Money :: Mint.com/blog

While most people think of the numerous benefits of working from home (i.e. a flexible schedule, a non-existent commute, not dealing with nagging coworkers), there are big financial savings benefits when you telecommute, too.

For those one in five Americans who currently works at home, their estimated savings can equal upwards of $10,000 or more annually.

How are they doing it?

Read below to see some of the top areas where you can save money when you work at home.

Commuting

You save lots of time not having to trek into an office every day, but you’ll also save big bucks, too.

According to a recent survey from AAA, if you drive only half an hour each way to work every day, you’ll spend over $9,000 annually on costs such as gas, tolls—even car repairs.

Your cost to stroll from your bedroom to your home office?

Zero.

Lunch

When you have an in-office job, you swear that you’ll bring last night’s leftovers to work with you for lunch the next day.

But then you rush out of the house in the morning and you wind up spending $10 (or more) for a California Cobb salad from your local salad bar.

Working from home ensures that, for the most part, you’ll eat what’s in the fridge.

Clothing

Say sayonara to three-piece suits and other work attire.

Telecommuting means you can work in yoga pants, shorts, t-shirts (and yes, on occasion, in your PJs).

You get to work comfortably, casually, and without blowing your budget.

Child Care

Working in a traditional office when you have small children means daycare and, if you pull late nights at work, sometimes aftercare, too.

While it’s not really advisable to work from home and try take care of your children, too, it can still be more affordable.

You can combine efforts with other work-from-home parents to create childcare swaps and take care of each other’s children on different days.

Snacks and Coffee

Sure, you love your Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers drink from Starbucks, but having that drink every day can put a deep dent in your pocketbook.

The same goes for mid-afternoon snack runs with in-office colleagues.

When you work from home, you’re not as apt to run out every day (and sometimes twice a day) to escape the office and get something to eat.

So stock up on snacks and drinks at your local supermarket so you’ll always have something tasty—and inexpensive—to nosh on.

Dry Cleaning

It’s crucial to look your best when you’re working in an office and trying to woo a new client.

But dry cleaning comes at a cost, and it’s not something that you can skimp on.

Fortunately, you don’t have to dry clean your “I Heart New York” t-shirt.

Now, you can keep your power suit hung up neatly in your closet for the (rare) times that you need to make an in-office appearance—and save big bucks in the process.

Tax Break

Deductions abound when you work at home.

If your dedicated home office meets certain size standards, you can claim it as a tax deduction.

Ditto for other office necessities, such as office and computer equipment—even your staples are deductible.

And don’t forget to include other costs, such as utility bills, which all count towards your working from home expenses.

Telecommuting comes with many, many benefits, both to your budget and your work life balance.

So soak up the savings while you work from home—just be sure to save your receipts!

Jennifer Parris is the Career Writer for FlexJobs, an award-winning service that helps job-seekers find professional opportunities that offer work flexibility, such as telecommuting, freelance, part-time or alternative schedules. To learn more about Jennifer, visit FlexJobs.com or tweet @flexjobs.