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When we make the decision to work from home, one thing that we often forget to consider is the how this will affect our household bills. Sure, we’ll save money on a uniform and the commute to work. But, you’ll be at home, all of the time. You’ll spend more on food and drinks as you eat at home more. You’ll be using your own electricity to power computers and other tech. In the winter, you’ll need to heat your home for longer periods, so that you are able to work in comfort. If you hold meetings at home, or invite clients, customers and suppliers into your house you may even have to spend more on cleaning supplies or staff to keep it looking its best. While you may be able to claim some of these costs back as tax-deductible expenses, it’s probably fair to say your costs will still be higher than you are used to.
But, just like there are ways to save money on traveling to and eating at work, there are ways to save money on running your household when you are working from it. Let’s take a look at some of the best.
Over winter time, heating our home is essential. Especially if you work in it during the day. You shouldn’t have to try and type with freezing fingers or go out to meet clients as your house is too cold. But, you won’t want to spend too much either.
Firstly, look at how you work. Can you stick to one room during the day to reduce heating needs? Make sure you are wrapped up warm and have plenty of hot drinks. You can also use a hot water bottle and add a draught excluder to keep cooler air out of your workspace.
Then, look at how you heat your home. Gas Oil is often much cheaper to use as the tax is lower, just make sure your boiler is able to use it to heat your home. Generally, over the winter time, you might find it cheaper to keep your heating on all of the time, with the thermostat at a steady temperature, than turning it on and off all of the time. Consider adding a smart meter to monitor your usage.
In theory, eating at home should be much cheaper than buying lunches at work every day. But, this isn’t always the case. When you are at home, with no set break times, it can be tempting to graze all day. Many home workers find this leads to greater food bills and weight gain. Try preparing lunches and snacks in advance and sticking to a food plan, to help you avoid overeating and cut your food bills.
Electricity is probably the one thing that you can’t work without. But, try to when you can. Switch off when you aren’t working or working on paper. Use energy saving bulbs and try to get the most out of your laptop batteries. If you’ve got solar panels, and free electricity during daylight hours, make sure you use that time to charge and get more done.