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If you’re working from home, you’ve probably already noticed the drastic savings. You’re already saving on your commute and work clothes, but there are even more ways you could be cutting costs in your home office. Working from home can save you up to $5,000 per year. Here’s how you can make sure you’re saving the most while you work from home.
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Maybe going to a gym was all part of your work-from-office routine because it was in the same neighborhood, or on the way back home. However, now that your office is your home, why not make your home your gym as well? Working out will be easier to fit in and take less time, since you don’t have to factor in travel. Introducing an exercise routine in the middle of the day can help break up your work schedule and re-energize you as well. Depending on what activities you like to do, setting up a home gym can be pretty easy and cost-effective. Considering the average gym membership costs $38 a month, you’ll be saving $456 a year if you work out at home.
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“Buy Nothing” groups on Facebook are people in your area who are looking to give away items. The best part is, the items are always free. If you’re looking for a printer, a computer chair or even just a wastebasket, you’re likely to find them on Buy Nothing. Members post multiple times per day, and something is bound to be to your liking. You can also declutter your space by offering up your own items that you don’t need any more.
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Keeping an eye on your thermostat will help reduce your electric bill. You can at least cut down on usage by doing some simple tricks. Make sure your home is properly weather-proofed in the winter by sealing up any cracks in the windows and using sweepers under your door to block air from getting out. During the summer, run a fan instead of the AC unless you absolutely have to so your bills stay low.
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When you worked in an office, you might have bought coffee and food from local restaurants a lot of the time. Now that you work from home, you can start saving a lot of cash on what you eat and drink. Making coffee at home can save you $1,500 a year. You also have the opportunity to carve out some more time to cook or plan meals for the entire week. Even simple recipes that only take 15 minutes or so can save you $10 a meal, which comes out to about $200 a month if you cook every workday.
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If you’re a freelancer and work from home, you qualify for certain tax write offs. Make sure you keep the receipts for items you bought for your home office, your internet, your cell phone, your laptop and other expenses that you need to perform the work you do so you can write them off at the end of the year and owe less in taxes.
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Though it might not be explicitly advertised, some car insurance companies will lower your premium if you’ve switched from driving to work to working from home. You can see if your insurance company will lower your monthly payment by calling and saying that you used to drive a certain number of miles every day to work, but since you’ve been working from home, you drive X miles less. The worst thing they can say is no, but the best thing is that you might be saving a few hundred dollars a year!
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Since you’re home more, it might be time to spring for that Costco membership. Buying in bulk costs less per unit and can save you 25% a year versus shopping at the grocery store. You can stock up on things you use a lot like paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, dish soap, hand soap and other household items to make sure you’re saving the most cash.
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