When you’re working from home there’s some expenses you can’t avoid, like upfront costs for electricity and internet bills. But how much do you actually save working remotely? The short answer is, quite a bit if you’re no longer paying for the following:
- Transport: Commute? What commute? Depending on where you live, working from home could save you around $50 a week in public transport costs. And if you used to drive to work, you might not have to fork out as much for car maintenance, petrol, parking and tolls. The average Aussie spends around $92,500 over their career driving to and from work, so even if you’re at home a few days a week, you could be saving a lot.
- Food: Sadly, there’s no more Friday pub lunches with your workmates, but leftovers are your new bestie. Meal-prepping like a boss or adding a few extra ingredients to a recipe can help double your dinners and have you sorted for your (at home) lunch the next day.
- Coffee: We’re all about sticking to your routine when working from home, but a $4 coffee each morning (and arvo, let’s be honest!) adds up fast. Switching to instant or investing in a coffee machine could help save some cash in the long run.
- Clothes: Business on the top, comfort on the bottom. Doing meetings via webcam means you can have a bit more flexibility with what you wear. Plus, more days at home means less washing, ironing and fewer new outfits needed for the office.
- Tax: Claiming your working from home costs might be another way you can save some cash. It all depends on your job, but things like a portion of electricity, internet and phone bills might be top of your list at tax time.
There’s potential health benefits when working from home too. With less time spent commuting, you might be able to squeeze in extra exercise, or catch up on sleep. Plus, fewer cars on the road and less disposable coffee cups being used helps our environment. Win-win!
What to do with the extra cash each week?
We’re all about balance when it comes to saving and spending on little luxuries, especially in the current climate. Upgrading your iso outfit or ending the week with a fancy takeaway isn’t going to break the bank. But if you’re keen to save some of that extra cash, here’s some tips on how to invest:
- Emergency fund: An oldie but a goodie. An emergency fund could help bail you out when you’re in a tough spot.
- A higher-interest savings account: Keep your money growing by adding it to a savings account with a competitive interest rate. Once the travel restrictions are lifted, you could be closer to booking a plane ticket and enjoying a well-deserved holiday.
Pro tip: Linking a UBank USave savings account and USpend transaction account could help you earn bonus interest each month if certain other conditions are met*. Nice!
What are the costs of working from home?
Now that we know some of the savings of working from home, there could be some costs to consider, like decking out your office space or upgrading your internet. While you do have to cover these costs up front, you might be able to claim them back on tax. Note to self - Just because you’re now paying for your own bread, tea and milk doesn’t mean you can claim those as well. To find out what’s on (and off) the list, click here.
Working from home, even if it’s just a few days a week, might help reduce your costs and give you a bit extra in your bank account. While you might not be able to hang out with your teammates as much, make the most of those sleep-ins (and savings!) while you can.
*To qualify for the bonus variable interest rate on eligible amounts in your USave account(s) in a calendar month, you must have both a USave and USpend account and deposit $200 or more into your USpend transaction account or your linked USave savings account from non-UBank accounts during the same month. The bonus variable interest rate will be applied to a combined balance of up to $250,000 held in your USave account(s), including joint accounts. Any remaining balance greater than $250,000 will earn the USave base variable rate. Bonus interest is earned the same month you meet the bonus interest criteria and paid by the first day of the following month. No interest is payable on your linked USpend account. Maximum balance is $5 million per customer. No minimum balance applies.
USave and USpend are issued by UBank, a division of National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL 230686. Before making a decision to acquire either product, you should obtain and consider the relevant Terms and Conditions available at ubank.com.au.