If you’re a money saver like me, you look to save money anytime and anyplace. What better place to start than where you spend forty hours a week? Saving money while you make money doesn’t get any better than that. Whether you’re on a tight budget, need help saving money, or are just looking for tips for saving money to up your game, you’ve come to the right place. Money can be saved in all sorts of ways. Here are a few super simple ways to save money while at work.
Make Breakfast and Brew Your Coffee
Well, I guess you’re not at work yet, but your workday starts the moment you get up. Getting your day started the right way for your health and finances begins with a good homemade breakfast and a cup of coffee. I get that we can be in a rush to get out the door in the morning, but you can program a coffee pot to have the cup of joe ready to go, and you can make a solid breakfast in less than 15 minutes.
Buying breakfast and coffee might not seem like a lot, but over the long run, it can add up a lot quicker than you think. Even it’s just a few bucks a day, multiply that by five days and week and roughly 50 weeks a year (assuming you get two weeks vacation). Let’s say five bucks all in; that’s twenty-five dollars a week and $1250 a year! Make yourself some eggs or a quick shake instead and pocket that money. As an added bonus, your favorite breakfast joint likely isn’t on the exact route you take to work, so you’ll save time not stopping and even more money by needing to drive less in the morning.
Suppose you work relatively close to your employer. In that case, it’s likely that there are at least a few co-workers living in your general area. Forming a carpool is a great way to help the environment and reduce your commuting costs. You’ll save on gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Hopefully, you have enough people in your group where you’ll only be the drive every few weeks. Even if it’s only one other person, it’s still cutting your gas costs in half. You might even make a few friends in the process!
If possible, try to work out a shared commute with your spouse. If it takes you a few miles out of the way of your typical commute, it’s still worth it. You might not be cutting your costs entirely in half, but you’ll certainly be saving money. Another noteworthy way to save money by commuting with your spouse is to update your auto-insurance and lower the daily mileage on the second car.
What’s the Rush?
Sticking with your morning commute, here’s another super simple way to save money, slow down! Speeding isn’t worth it for several reasons, one of which is to save money. For most vehicles, picking a consistent speed and not speeding will give you the optimal miles per gallon.
Let’s say your daily commute is about 30 miles. If you are going an average of 60 mph, you’ll get there in about a half-hour. If you speed that up to 70 mph, now you’ll get there in roughly 27 minutes. I don’t know about you, but saving those extra three minutes isn’t going to make a big difference in my day. The point is, speeding bad, slowing down good.
Don’t forget the bonus of not getting pulled over. Speeding tickets will not only cost you a hefty fine upfront, but your insurance rate could go up as a result as well. Being able to avoid altogether either of those two might not save lots of money in your current budget. Still, it will prevent the unnecessary raising of your expenses.
Bike if Possible
Biking is likely a long shot for most of us, but try taking a bike to work if it’s even remotely possible. Not only will you save a little money, but you’ll get some good exercise as well. Obviously, this is only useful to you during milder weather conditions. Still, even if you only get ten to twenty days a year you can bike to work, it will undoubtedly help.
Change Your Clothes
I know we all want to look our best, but that doesn’t mean we need to wear designer clothes. One of the best ways to save money at work also works for your life outside of work too. There are plenty of reputable and fashionable clothes out there that won’t break the bank. When looking for work clothes, keep them reasonably priced. Don’t go so cheap that you’ll need to replace your clothes often either. Finding clothes that will last is just as important as the price.
Another point worth noting is that of fashion trends. Many trends last only a few years at most. Looking into your wardrobe to see garments that you don’t wear simply because they are out of style are not the best use of your money. I’m not saying don’t buy anything trendy, but instead of buying the latest trends, try to limit your wardrobe to more classic or timeless looks as much as you can. By doing this, you’ll avoid needed to replace those articles of clothing that are no longer part of the current trend, saving a lot of money.
Bring Your Own Food
You’d be amazed how much money is saved by making your breakfast in the morning. Not eating out and bringing your lunch and snacks are a great way to save money at work. If you are worried about being rushed in the morning, I have you covered there too. There are two possible solutions for this problem. The first is to make your lunch for the following day the night before. Another possibility is to premake your lunches for the week on Sunday night. Toss in a few easy to grab options like an avocado, apple, or other healthy addition to your lunch, and you can zip right out the door without adding any additional time to your morning routine.
Not all offices will have one, but many do have vending machines for your snacking pleasure. The problem here is that those snacks have a markup, and even the healthy choices aren’t really all that healthy, typically due to added sugars. Bring in a piece of fruit or a healthy granola bar to get you through your day. You’ll be saving money and eating healthier.
Bringing your lunch\snacks can have another added benefit. Instead of getting in your car and going out to get your lunch, now you can use that time for other things. If you want to be a go-getter at work, you can use that time to get some extra assignments done. My recommendation, though, is to use that time to unwind a bit. Go for a walk outside, sit on a park bench, anything that’s not sitting at your desk. You can save money on the gas by not getting into your car and get a bit of extra exercise, not a bad lunch break if you ask me!
Use What’s Provided to You
Bringing in your food may be an excellent way to save money at the office, but don’t overlook the rest of what your employer is providing for you. When bringing in your lunch, if you need cups, silverware, napkins, etc., it’s more than likely your company will provide those for you. Save yourself money by taking advantage of the freebies, they are there for a reason. Bringing your supplies in from home may be a small cost, but small expenses add up quickly. The same thing goes for any coffee you may be craving during the day. Don’t go out and pay for one, as most companies will provide free coffee right there in the office.
Office supplies and other work-related costs could be covered by your employer too. Pens, pencils, paper, it’s bound to somewhere in the office. Don’t be afraid to be frugal and use what’s available to you. If you need a USB stick, webcam, microphone, or anything else you might need for a work-related function, don’t buy it yourself. It would be best if you weren’t covering the costs for you to do your job in the most effective way possible. Before you go out and buy anything, be sure to run it past the appropriate people first.
Use the Wifi or Use Your Cell Phone Less
The cost of our phones is continuously on the rise with no end in sight. If your company has public wifi available, use it to save data. Save enough data, and you can get yourself onto a lower plan. If the company you work locks that down, stay off your phone then. Anything you think you need to use it for can likely wait until you get home.
Work from Home
Most of us have found that it’s very possible to do our jobs from home full time. Working full time will save you money on your commute (and therefore insurance too), remove the temptation of going out to lunch, and save a lot of time, which is even more valuable. Maybe you or your employer don’t want your home full time but are open to a few days a week at home; that works too. Even one day home a week will provide you with savings that could add up to thousands of dollars over time.
Work a Different Schedule
If working from home isn’t an option, another good saving strategy is to see if you can work slightly different hours. With everyone on the road during typical rush hour traffic times, you are more than likely not getting the best gas mileage and wasting time on the road you don’t need to be. Try shifting your work schedule by a half-hour to an hour. Going in a little earlier or later should alleviate most of the traffic you are sitting in. By being on the road with less traffic, you’ll be able to get better gas efficiency. You’ll also spend less time overall in your car, which can put you in a better mood to be more productive while at work as well.
The whole point of going to work is to make money, so why not amplify that by saving some money and keeping as much of your paycheck as you can. There are many simple strategies you can use to cut expenses throughout your entire workday. Commuting, food, supplies, and many daily expenses can be trimmed back or even cut out completely, saving you time and money. With the added benefits of helping the environment and getting in better shape, good money habits are a win all around. Any savings tips that allow you to save any amount of money are worth trying. With so many easy ways to save money, find a few that work for you and start saving money today!
Have any more money saving tips or saving advice for your workday? Leave them in the comments!
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Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he’s not out there changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, a Mets game, playing video games, or just playing around with his kids.