Working from home can save you over £1,500 a year

A big perk of working from home is eliminating commuting costs, and it seems Brits can save a lot of money by not going back to the office.

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.

Man putting a coin into a pink piggy bank

Image source: Getty Images

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More.

After a year and a half of working from home, Brits are starting to reevaluate the pros and cons of giving up commuting. A survey by Real Business Rescue found that some people are missing the office, but also found that many are very happy about all the time and money saved by being able to work from home.


What the numbers say

Only 14% of Brits are still working from home full-time, with most having a hybrid schedule and 42% back to commuting five days a week. For those working from home, one of the biggest savings is time. According to Real Business Rescue, the average work commute takes 46 minutes each day. This adds up to 11,667 minutes in commuting time every year – the equivalent of eight days.

While many are enjoying the extra ‘found’ days, others admit they actually miss the commute to work. This is because many Brits are using commute time as ‘me’ time. About 35% use that time to listen to music, while 32% just enjoy the drive and 9% catch up on their reading.

Financially, working from home is much cheaper

The average Brit spends £126 a month commuting, according to Real Business Rescue. This means working from home will result in £1,500 a year in savings. But the savings are even bigger for certain groups. For example, 16-24-year-olds have monthly commute costs of £191, while 25-34 olds spend £169 a month.

Those taking the train spend much more at an average of £70 per week plus parking costs near the train station. In fact, according to research by Brits are spending as much as £544 for their monthly commute once you add costs like lunch and snacks, social activities, and items bought during breaks at work.

The numbers look good for drivers too. research says the average daily commute to work is 21 miles. Less driving not only means less money spent on petrol but also a potential reduction in car insurance premiums because of reduced mileage.


Where the savings are going 

About 15% of people are using the money they’re saving by working from home to treat themselves. But a much larger percentage are looking to use that money better by saving or investing it.

Savings of £1,500 could be used to set up an emergency fund or start savings towards a bigger purchase in the future. You could also look into opening a cash ISA, which stretches further because any interest earned in a cash ISA account is tax free. 

Other ways to make the most of those savings

  • Use them to pay off high-interest debt. If you end up accruing credit card debt during the pandemic, it could be a good time to clear that up while you’re working from home.
  • Review your retirement account options and see whether you can contribute additional money to your long-term future.
  • Figure out your savings goals and see where your money could work better for you. If you’re thinking long term, investing in the stock market might be a better option than holding the money in a savings account. 

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 assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

More on Personal Finance

Note paper with question mark on orange background
Personal Finance

Should you invest your ISA in a model portfolio?

Which model ISA portfolios offer both high performance and low fees? Hargreaves Lansdown, Interactive Investor and AJ Bell go under…

Read more »

Economic Uncertainty Ahead Sign With Stormy Background
Personal Finance

Is it time to exit emerging markets investments?

Investors may well be sitting on losses from emerging markets funds. Is it worth keeping the faith for a sustained…

Read more »

Personal Finance

Share trading? Three shares with turnaround potential

Share trading has been difficult in 2022, but which companies have turnaround potential? Jo Groves takes a closer look at…

Read more »

Man using credit card and smartphone for purchasing goods online.
Personal Finance

Revealed! Why Gen Z may be the savviest generation when it comes to credit cards

New research reveals that Gen Z may be the most astute when it comes to credit cards. But why? And…

Read more »

Environmental technology concept.
Personal Finance

The 10 best-performing sectors for ISA investors

The best-performing sectors over the past year invested in real assets such as infrastructure, but is this trend set to…

Read more »

Road sign warning of a risk ahead
Personal Finance

Recession risk ‘on the rise’: is it time for investors to worry?

A major global bank has suggested the risk of a recession in the UK is 'on the rise'. So, should…

Read more »

pensive bearded business man sitting on chair looking out of the window
Personal Finance

1 in 4 cutting back on investments amid cost of living crisis

New research shows one in four investors have cut back on their investing contributions to cope with the rising cost…

Read more »

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer
Personal Finance

The 10 most popular stocks among UK investors so far this year

As the new tax year kicks off, here's a look at some of the most popular stocks among UK investors…

Read more »