Over one third of Brits name ‘money saving’ as the best result of remote working

Has the latest lockdown resulted in you are working from home again? We take a look at just how much money you could be saving by working remotely.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Young lady working from home office during coronavirus pandemic.

Image source: Getty Images

The way we work may never be the same again. The coronavirus pandemic saw 81% of office workers in Britain work from home in 2020, according to research by Currys PC World and Canon. And without the cost of a commute or a daily takeaway coffee, a lot of us have been saving money as a result.

So it’s not a surprise that 72% of office workers would like to work remotely, at least part-time, in the future.

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Does working remotely help with ‘money saving’?

Think back to the beginning of 2020, before social distancing measures and stay at home orders. It’s likely that your workday involved some sort of commute, a cheeky takeaway coffee to get the day started and then lunch out from the local cafe just to take a break.

Fast forward to the beginning of 2021, and it’s likely that you are working from home as we experience another lockdown. Gone are your commute, your coffee and your sandwich, and your bank balance probably looks a lot healthier for it.

According to the study by Currys PC World, 35% of British workers said the best thing about working from home is money saving.

Let’s take a look at the figures:

  • The average cost of commuting in the UK is £796 a year. In places where commuting into London is the norm, costs climb to over £5,000 a year.
  • Brits spend an average of £270 a year on coffee.
  • If a pastry in the morning was your thing, then you won’t be surprised to read that on average, Brits spend £278 a year on breakfast from cafes and restaurants.

In total, that is a potential money saving of £1,344 a year just from avoiding the commute and foregoing your breakfast and coffee out.

What can you do with the savings?

Build up your savings pot

The most obvious thing to do with the money you save is to squirrel it away for a rainy day. Opening an easy access savings account could be a great way to build up an emergency cash fund. While interest on these types of accounts is typically low, you can still grow your savings pot gradually over time.

If you are not exactly sure how much you are saving each month by working remotely, then why not try a new savings account like Chip or Plum? These money-saving apps use AI technology to assess your spending and calculate how much you can afford to save. As the saving is done in small amounts – say, making a £6 saving every few days – it is perfect for putting away the amounts you would have previously spent on coffee out.

Pay off your debts

You may have an outstanding balance on your credit card. This can become costly quite quickly if you do not have a 0% purchases promotional period in place. So you could use some of your lockdown money saving to pay off a portion of the debt?

Alternatively, if you have an outstanding balance, maybe consider using a 0% balance transfer card to reduce the cost of your debt. You may find that what you have saved on commuting costs will cover the balance transfer fee.

Future proof your money saving

If you think you are likely to continue to work remotely after the pandemic ends, then it could be time to buy some things for the house that will help you to continue saving.

For example, the cheapest Nespresso coffee machine is £139 and Starbucks coffee pods are £3.30 for 10 from Tesco. So once the initial outlay has been made for the machine, you are looking at 33p for your coffee rather than the £3.35 for a tall latte from Starbucks itself.

Also, if you are working remotely all the time, then your broadband connection is important for all of those Zoom meetings. So it may be time to use some of your money savings to upgrade your current package.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

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