Many of us are not spending as much on transport, car maintenance, takeaway coffees, and lunches, after-work drinks and meals with colleagues or office clothes but more of our money is going towards the energy, phone and internet provider bills. Working from home however, needn’t leave you out of pocket. You only need to make some clever adjustments like the ones I’ve detailed below.
Anyone who has been required to work from home due to coronavirus - even for one day - and has increased costs, can claim a tax relief from the government.
From 6 April 2020, employers have been able to pay employees up to £6 a week (£26 per month) tax-free to cover additional costs if they have had to work from home. If you are an employee who has not received the working from home expenses payment direct from your employer, you can apply to receive the tax relief from HMRC. Expenses like office equipment, stationery and even the electric bill might qualify.
You don't need to provide receipts or information, unless you believe you have higher costs than £6 a week.
Claim tax relief for your job expenses: Working from home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Make wi-fi calls when possible
Make Wi-Fi calls when possible, instead of using your mobile. Skype or Zoom also allows you to make calls without video: it’s just like a phone call but without the expense, after all you’re already paying for your internet.
Another small energy saver is to unplug your devices when the battery is charged i.e. don’t have it plugged in, they have batteries, after all. In general, you should unplug your laptop or phone when the battery reaches about 80% and then plug in again when the battery power drops below 40%. Not only is this likely to save you energy but can improve battery lifespan too.
Change your heat setting and lights
When you’re working from home it means that your daily routine looks very different to when you were going in to your pre Covid place of work. Heating bills now a bit higher than this time last year perhaps? Why not put on your favourite jumper and then you can turn the thermostat down a degree or two. Is there a need to heat up the whole house if you are only using one room? A programmable room thermostat combines time and temperature control and allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day.
As it looks like we are all in this for the long run, you could also change the lights bulbs to LEDs. They use 85-90% less energy than traditional bulbs and can sometimes pay for themselves through energy savings in just a couple of months especially if they are in use for more than a usual 8 hour working day.
It is so much easier to spend money from home when everything is just one click away. Unsubscribe from free promotional e-mails to avoid impulsive, unnecessary purchases.
No commute? Enjoy the extra time saved!
We can save enormous amount of money by doing things ourselves, rather than paying somebody else, not to mention the self-satisfaction. You Tube is an infinite source of information even without previous experience, from cooking to DIY. With no more stressful commute to work, we have the possibility to spend more valuable time on our mental health and well-being as well as enjoy more quality time with those we live with, and you cannot put the price on that.
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