9 Ways Working from Home Saves You Money

Posted July 12, 2013 by
Sara Sutton Fell

Sara Sutton Fell, Salary.com contributing writer

A recent comparison of the salaries of in-office jobs and work-at-home jobs found that working from home typically comes with a slight pay cut. But that’s not quite the end of the salary debate when it comes to telecommuting jobs versus in-office jobs.

While telecommuting jobs may pay slightly less than the same job done from a traditional office, there are a number of cost-savings associated with working from home that more than make up the difference.
Here are 10 ways that working from home saves you money, including the obvious costs and some that you may not have considered before.

9. Gas

SAVINGS: $1,120 per year

If you work from home full-time, you immediately eliminate any costs associated with your commute, whether they be from driving to work or taking public transportation. Even if you’re walking or biking to work, you’ll wind up with lower bike maintenance costs and fewer pairs of sneakers to buy.

But in all seriousness, the average U.S. worker commutes 30 miles and 60 minutes round-trip every day, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor. If the average gallon of gas costs $3.59, according to AAA, and you average 25 MPG, by not commuting to work, you will save $1,120 on gas every year.

 8. Car Maintenance

Consumer Reports estimates the median cost of annual car maintenance is $312, which only includes maintenance and repairs. If you factor in lowered insurance costs and slower depreciation from driving your vehicle less, that savings can rise significantly.

It may not seem like much, but every little bit helps when you’re potentially taking a decreased salary to work at home.

 7. Dry Cleaning & Laundering

SAVINGS: $600 – $1,000 per year

If you’re working from home, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a professional wardrobe which often has to be dry cleaned.

The average professional spends between $600 and $1,000 each year on dry cleaning, but you can eliminate this entirely by telecommuting because your clothes will be decidedly more casual and less delicate. Let’s face it, no one ever went broke dry cleaning their flannel pajamas.

 6. Lunches & Coffee

SAVINGS: $832 per year

Eating out on a regular basis is costly.

Let’s assume you’re a fairly thrifty person and you have lunch out with coworkers twice each week at $5 a pop. Throw in a morning coffee twice a week for $3 each, and you’re spending $16 each week, or $832 each year eating out while working in a regular office. Telecommuting makes it much easier to make lunches and coffee at home, which won’t eliminate your food and coffee expenses entirely, but will certainly bring them down.  Continue reading . . .

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