Most people already know that remote arrangements can improve work-life balance and overall well-being. But the icing on the cake? Remote work also can benefit your wallet! In fact, the average person may save around $4,000 per year by working remotely.
Here’s a look at the little (and not so little) ways working remotely can save money:
No Commuting Costs
Remote workers love starting and ending the day without battling traffic or crowds. Eliminating a commute not only decreases “wasted” time, it gets rid of paying for train tickets, bus passes, downtown parking spots (the average rate for two hours in lots or garages within a mile of downtown Chicago sits at $21.54!), and gas for your car.
Fewer Car-Related Expenses
Without needing a vehicle to get back and forth to work, remote work allows some households to forgo a second car—preventing a costly purchase as well as the associated maintenance and insurance. Even on a single car, remote work causes less wear and tear. This translates into a longer lifespan and less need to replace things such as tires and brakes.
Also, virtual workers often receive car insurance discounts by qualifying as “low-mileage drivers,” generally defined as someone who puts less than 7,500 miles per year on their vehicle (standard annual mileage is 12,000).
Reduced Food Bills
When a stomach rumbles, convenience rules. At an office, this often means frequent trips to the vending machine or a run for quickly prepared food.
“I use to order lots of takeout at my non-remote jobs because I was in a rush and never prioritized packing a lunch (or grocery shopping for that matter!),” says remote worker Hillary Heinz, marketing strategist at Skillcrush. “Now I am saving lots of money by eating breakfast and lunch at home most days. The time I got back from my commute and general office shenanigans went into organizing my life—including finding time to cook!”
And remember that beverage costs add up, too.
“My Keurig has saved me so much money from my daily Starbucks trips,” says remote worker Andrea Bing, project manager at Cigna.
Lower Wardrobe Expenses
While remote workers needn’t (and probably shouldn’t) stay in pajamas all day, the ability to streamline rather than maintain separate “home” and “work” wardrobes can mean substantial savings, especially given the cost of items in the latter category (such as suits). Fewer “dress up” clothes also cuts down on dry-cleaning bills.
Finally, flexwork allows greater control over time. For some, this might mean eliminating the need for an after-school babysitter, walking the dog regularly instead of paying someone, or checking in on an elderly parent periodically throughout the day rather than hiring a service. Others may benefit from the ability to avoid extra charges associated with Saturday deliveries, choose to take advantage of Tuesday haircut specials at their favorite salon, or catch matinees rather than pay evening rates at the movies.
Getting more from life by working remotely is priceless, but the added cash doesn’t hurt either!