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How to Save (More) With a Hybrid Work Schedule

By: Holly Benedetto03.21.24
Woman working from home on a video call

If you’ve worked remotely over the last few years, you might have noticed changes in your daily schedule and monthly budget. Now that you’re used to your new working arrangements, take a few moments to reflect on how these adjustments have impacted your financial habits and living expenses.

You can find ways to alleviate some of your financial anxieties by evaluating areas of your budget where you’re already saving. Shifting those funds to areas that need more attention, like your savings, can help you implement budgeting best practices throughout the year.


What you’re saving on:


Commuting Costs

Hybrid work schedules can eliminate roughly half of your daily travel expenses, including gasoline, repairs, parking, tolls, and transit pass expenses. AAA estimates the average annual cost of new vehicle ownership to be $12,182, or $1,015 a month. So although you’ll need to continue making car payments and keep your registration up to date, you can expect to see savings on fuel and maintenance spending.

Besides saving money, removing the commute saves another valuable resource: time. The average one-way commute time in the United States is around 27 minutes. You can take advantage of this additional hour in your day by picking up healthier habits like exercising, new hobbies like cooking, or catching up on some much-needed sleep. Enjoy a less stressful day without fighting rush hour traffic and find ways to make that time work for you.


Work Wardrobe

With each new season, clothing stores inevitably roll out their newest office attire trends. With only half of your time spent in the office, you can opt-out of the fashion cycle and opt-in for repurposing last year’s favorites. Not only will you help prevent clothing waste, you’ll also get more use out of the clothing items you already love.

You can enjoy extra savings on dry cleaning services too, since you’ll be wearing business professional wear less and can help to keep it properly preserved in between uses.


Ordering Out

Ordering lunch as an office can be a fun social activity, but constant takeout consumption can take its toll on the wallet and waistline. Ordering out costs $11 per meal on average. Likewise, the cost of a cup of coffee can vary greatly depending on your order and café of choice, but the average cup costs around $2.70. By brewing your own coffee and preparing lunch at home, even if it’s just on the days you work from home, could save yourself thousands of dollars a year.


How to save more: 


Monitor Utility Usage

An office space costs money, from the cost of electricity, heating and cooling, plumbing, and more. What was previously all of your employer’s expenses have now partially fallen into your budget as you spend more time at home using your own utilities. You can cut back on some of your electricity cost by turning off devices when you’re finished with them for the day and unplugging them after charging over the weekend.

While your thermostat may have previously been set to auto while working in the office each day, you might be more aware of fluctuating temperatures and lighting at home. Take advantage of natural lighting and fresh air when possible to limit the amount of times you’re adjusting your temperature. 

Working at home also means your kitchen and bathrooms will be used more frequently. Keep these facilities in good repair and be aware of how often you’re using water. Consider upgrading to Energy Star efficient appliances for the most used parts of your home if you haven’t already.


Deals on Supplies

If your employer offers to let you bring your desk supplies home or has a home office reimbursement policy, use it! By making your transition to working from home as similar to your in-office experience as possible, your work won’t be interrupted by things taken for granted, like needing extra monitors or sticky notes.

Though hybrid work schedules bring a digital-first work environment to mind, some occupations still rely on traditional office supplies and paper goods. If possible, buy these items in bulk for greater savings and to avoid future scarcity issues.


Cell Phone Usage

While home, you won’t have access to your company’s physical office phone system, if it uses one. Unless your company provides you with a work-designated cell phone, you may be more reliant on your personal cell phone to text, call, or chat with your team and coworkers. Check with your Human Resources department to see if they offer reimbursement for cellular usage each month and use those funds to cover the cost of your plan.

Keep Your Budget on Track

Small purchases can easily snowball over time to negatively impact your monthly budget while working from home. Individual online purchases, grocery orders, and other deliveries can slip through the cracks of our budgets. Make sure to look at your account balances and statements frequently to ensure that you aren’t straying outside the boundaries of your typical budget. Prioritize essential purchases, use this blog’s money saving tips, and, if you don’t have one already, create an emergency fund.


Get the Right Savings Account

Making sure your funds are in an account that works for you is the easiest way to grow your savings. The next time you're reviewing your finances, research various savings options to see if it's possible for you to upgrade to a high-yield savings account that offers a more competitive rate. If you're looking for an alternative to a traditional savings account with a locked-in rate to guarantee a savings goal, a certificate of deposit is a great way to help your money grow securely.



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