It’s impossible to avoid news around the cost of living crisis. At every turn we’re reminded that prices are sky rocketing and salaries aren’t getting any better. With a bleak winter forecast ahead, those new to working from home or remotely might be wondering how to curb costs.
While on the one hand, there’s less cost involved in commuting and eating out for lunch every day, there’s other expenses to incur. Such as keeping a warm home office and paying for overheads you didn’t worry about before. For digital nomads, there’s also the escalating cost of co-working spaces.
However, there are a few steps you can take to help keep costs down in the coming months, here’s a few ideas.
Review lighting options
If you’re working from home in a large office and don’t need full lights on all day, why not invest in a desk lamp. Particularly good for working into the evening, it can help cut back on unnecessary electricity costs.
Expansible items and tax relief
Perhaps one of the most googled questions around working from home during the cost-of-living crisis is ‘what expenses can I claim when working from home’. Good news is at hand. Did you know that utility bills, internet, phone, mortgage/rent and council tax are all expansible within guidelines. You might find that you can benefit from working from home tax relief if you’re self-employed, visit the government website to find out more.
Keeping a warm home office in the cold winter months is always a challenge, especially when you’re home 22 of 24 hours a day. However there are a few things you can do, as well as layer up. First of all, keep doors closed and draught proof your home – this includes windows or any gaps in the doors that let the cold in. As obvious as it seems, ensure furniture isn’t blocking radiators, so you can maximise the heat. And when you’re cooking lunch in the oven, leave the door open afterwards to heat up the house.
Co-working space audit
If remote working involves hybrid working or visiting a co-working space, do your due diligence and audit how much it costs you. Co-working spaces can vary hugely by location, some from £10 right up to £150. So, it really pays to shop around. Failing that, if you’re a digital nomad looking for the best countries to work remotely check out Romania, Thailand and Poland, which all rank much cheaper than the UK.
If you’re a frequent printer user, or get flowers for your office, you might want to look at subscription offers. Loyalty is rewarded with discounts, especially if you sign-up to a year’s worth of services. This can be an economical way to run your home office. Also if you use online services like Canva, or Adobe, you might find that switching to an annual payment offers better value for money.
It’s a habit you get use to with remote working: leaving everything plugged in. Martin Lewis has been reminding us lately that we can save hundreds of pounds every year just by unplugging items and turning off switches. Easier said then done. If you’re a busy professional, you might find a wireless charger a much easier solution – plus it’s handy on the go too!
Cut back on unnecessary spend
Finally, if you’re really feeling the pinch and need to curb your home working costs, then take a look at all the ways you can make savings. For instance, using appliances like kettles, oven and the microwave during the day could be avoided with some forward planning. Making your own lunch, instead of popping to the shops and switching café-bought coffee for your own homemade latte might bring you sizeable savings over the year.
Rent out unused items