Can working from home save you money?


By Beehive Money

working from home
On 16th March 2020, the Government instructed everyone to work from home where possible and that's what people did. But now, working from home is the norm for a massive percentage of the population. It's a reality, a hashtag, an actual way of life, and not something you do occasionally while your parents think you're not really doing any work and still feel the need to “air quote” it.  
Lots of people are continuing to work from home and trial hybrid working because it's been proven that work still gets done - lots of work! Hey, we launched Beehive from home - anything is possible. We’re gradually learning that with our new ways of working come little bonuses - but exactly how much money can we save by working from home?

The savings

Finders research shows 26% of Brits plan to continue to work from home permanently or occasionally after lockdown and on average, each of these workers will save £44.78 a week by cutting out things like commuting and buying lunch out. This equates to 23.9 million Brits working from home who are saving around £1.1 billion each week between them. Here's a list of a few additional things that you could be saving more money on without realising.   
  • Petrol or other travel costs including wear and tear on your car 
  • Parking costs
  • Dry cleaning and 'office wear'
  • Lunches and coffee
While we’re on the topic of lunch, check out our eight ways to save money on food article which is a reminder that you don't *always* have to meal deal it up when you're in the office. Plus, we have a handy Pinterest board full of lunchbox-friendly recipes that can be created on a budget.  With these, it's not just money you're saving - it's time too. Talking of time saving, between five and 10 hours a week that would usually be spent travelling, are now there for your taking. This means that you should have lots more time for hobbies, exercise and socialising as much as we can. 

A helping hand

Another bonus that you may also be able to claim is tax relief for your job expenses whilst working from home. This is available to cover additional household costs if you have to work from home on a regular basis and it doesn't matter if it's all or part of the week either, you might still be able to claim. You can't claim this if you choose to work from home though, only if you have to. You can claim for part of the bill for things like; 
  • gas and electricity 
  • metered water
  • business phone calls and internet access
You can claim either;
  • £6 a week from April 2020 without having to have evidence of your costs 
  • Exact amount of extra costs if you have receipts,  bills and contracts - whatever you'll need as evidence
The GOV website explains that "you'll get tax relief based on the rate that you pay. For example, if you pay 20% basic rate of tax and claim tax relief on £6 a week you would get £1.20 per week in tax relief."

Energy saving

We've had some tips passed on to us by our 'Net Zero' partner, Inspired Energy.  They're helping The Nottingham and Beehive Money in our ambition to be a Net Zero organisation by 2025. If you are worried about rising household bills, here are some ideas to save a little energy and hopefully even more pennies.  
  1. Always try an extra layer rather than whacking the heating up
  2. Switch off your laptop and screen over night instead of leaving them on standby
  3. Minimise printing documents
  4. Charge your phone during the day and unplug it once it's fully charged
  5. Switch lights off as leaving them on wastes energy. Plus, making sure you have LED lightbulbs can use up to 90% less energy than standard halogen ones.

What next? 

If you’re renting or living with the 'rents and working from your very own home office is your dream and you have made some savings whilst having to work from home, you could pop any excess money into a Homebuyer Lifetime ISA
  • If you're 18-39 and looking to save for your first home, a Homebuyer Lifetime ISA could be ideal 
  • It's a tax-free savings account
  • The LISA is boosted by a 25% Government bonus, which means as well as earning interest, you could earn up to £1,000 a year in bonuses alone until you turn 50
  • For every £4 you save, the Government will add £1
  • Each tax year you can put an annual total of £4,000 into your Beehive LISA
  • Open one online with just £10 
  • There's a 25% Government withdrawal fee if you use the savings for most other things that aren't buying your first home or for retirement so you may get back less than you put in. 
There's a whole bunch of information on working from home and the monetary savings plus a few tips on how to save energy to help you out.