If you haven’t noticed, there’s a telecommuting trend taking over the nation. Getting to work from home sounds cool, but it doesn’t mean you’re just hanging around in your pajamas and eating cereal all day with the TV on. Although technically you could if you wanted to…
What is very cool is the fact that not going to the office every day actually saves you a good chunk of money. How’s that? Let us count the ways:
1. You can avoid the expensive commute
Besides draining your energy, commuting to and from work drains your budget too. Without that boring commute, you can save on gas, toll road fees, maintenance of the wear and tear of your car and bus/train tickets or public transport passes. If you keep track of your commuting expenses, you’ll find that cutting out that round-trip to the office saves you quite a lot of money each month.
2. You don’t spend as much on lunch
You don’t have to eat out for lunch anymore or throw away your quarters on the iffy selection in the vending machine when the afternoon lag rolls around. Skipping the Starbucks drive-thru every morning will can save you over $1,000 a year.
3. You can get more work done in less time
Your manager will surely tell you that time is money, and more studies are finding that remote workers are often far more productive than their onsite counterparts. Surprised? Don’t be. Without the stress of a long commute, office politics, and a looming boss, you’d be astonished at what you could get done in a few hours. You also get to try out productivity tools, like the Pomodoro Technique.
4. You’ll save on childcare costs
Of course, some people still think that if you’re working from home, then sure, why can’t you watch the kids at the same time? Because work, that’s why. But even if you have someone watch your kids during the day (when school’s out), you don’t have to hire a babysitter or pay to place them in an after school program while they wait for you to make the commute after work to pick them up.
5. You can walk your own pets
No need to have someone come by and walk your restless dog, and driving back home to do let him out. You can do it yourself, and it’s a great way to take a break and refresh your head during the workday.
6. You won’t zombie shop after work
You’re brain dead after a long day at the office, but you have to pass the French bakery on the way home, or that new clothing boutique. May as well stop by just to see what they have, right? By working from home, you avoid that tempting retail therapy and those unhealthy cravings that come about.
7. You won’t get dragged to Happy Hour
Hanging out with colleagues after work can be fun whether you telecommute or work from the office. But when you’re onsite, it’s much more likely you’ll be sucked into going out for drinks and dinners when the workday is done.
8. You can ditch the pantsuits, and don the PJs
You may not want to chuck out your pantsuits, shiny shoes and silk ties just yet—what about those monthly onsite meetings and video conference calls? However, working from home means no longer spending oodles of cash on slick business suits and “I need to look taller so I can get this promotion” heels. And no more dry-cleaning bills either.
Whether you call yourself a freelancer or a remote employee, a telecommuter or a WAHM (or WAHD), you’ll quickly find that your weekly spending will drop dramatically. Working at home never sounded more satisfying.
Suchi Rudra is an avid traveler and freelance writer from Texas who covers personal finance, travel, green building, tech, and entrepreneurship. Her work can be found in VICE, The Guardian, Vice, American Way, BBC Travel, Fodor’s, Transitions Abroad, PlanetEye.com, TravelStart.com, Expats.cz, The Writer and India Currents and many other publications.