How to save money now that you’re back at work

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Commuting has always been one of the most unpleasant parts of working life – and the most expensive. During pandemic shutdowns, Americans have saved an average of $2,000 each on transportation costs, or $758 million a day since the pandemic hit in March 2020.

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See: Where you should and shouldn’t cut costs in the second half of 2021

Although some companies stick to remote work for the long termfor many people, it’s a return to routine.

“Over the past year or so, the benefits of remote working for employees and businesses have practically been shouted from the rooftops, since this new model of working has become the new norm,” said Eden Cheng, co- founder of PeopleFinderFree. “Whether it’s driving to work every day or using public transport, the introduction of remote working has dramatically helped people save on travel costs that used to accrue every day. year.”

We spoke to real-life commuters to find out how they saved money on commuting and explored other ways to keep saving if you’re back on the road to work.

Tips: What should your post-pandemic savings strategy be?

Save on gas

“The average commuter typically spends between $2,000 and $5,000 a year on transportation alone, and the biggest [expense] in this department there was gasoline“Cheng said. “With most people now telecommuting, it’s helped millions of people spend a lot less on gas.

Gasoline prices are skyrocketing, so unfortunately there’s no clear way to cut corners here other than to reduce your time spent driving. The best way to do this is to opt for public transport or consider carpooling with colleagues.

Important: 5 pandemic expenses to cut now that states are reopened

Dodge the traffic

Another time sink is traffic, which can put wear and tear on your car, and that can impact your wallet.. If you can afford to relocate closer to your work, you will greatly minimize your expenses.

You can save time on the daily commute when you can reduce the commute time between your home and work,” said Tyler Wall, President and CEO of SD bars. “You can also walk, cycle or take public transport when your location is close. This means you save money burning gas and getting stuck in traffic.

See: 57 Items That Got Less Expensive Over the Last Year

The cost of food

“The time saved on commuting can easily be reallocated to preparing meals at home,” said Ouriel Lemmel, CEO and Founder of win it. “Preparing homemade meals is not only cheaper, but also a much healthier option. When I spent long hours commuting to the office, it was much more tempting to grab something on the way or to only remember to eat when I was really hungry.

When you return to the office, consider investing in a slow cooker to keep meals cooking all day at home. “It will reduce the cost of grabbing a meal on the way home after a long day at the office,” Lemmel said.

Looked: 8 Key Ways We’ve Had to Adjust Financially Due to the Pandemic

Have time to brainstorm money-making ideas

Adam Garcia, founder of Dork Stock, found he was able to spend the time he would have spent commuting on more important things, like thinking about lucrative dreams he was able to turn into reality.

“Some of the ideas and projects turned into income-generating businesses, which I never would have had if I was stuck in the morning commute,” Garcia said. “I was also able to focus on learning new skills and gaining knowledge, which enhanced my ability to do great work for the website. I increased my value, and therefore indirectly increased the value of my business.

Planning a brainstorming session doesn’t seem natural, but if you can set aside a few minutes after waking up to jot down ideas, it could help get the creative juices flowing. If that doesn’t work for you, try it around lunchtime, which has been shown to be the ideal time slot for productivity, according to scientific research..

To verify: The 11 most popular pandemic home improvement projects — and how much they cost

Rest

“Certainly not the least of all: I rested,” Garcia said. “When I’m not busy working or learning, I can use that time to relax and regain strength. What is the relationship with money? Well, I finally gave my stressed immune system a break. That means fewer sick days, less need for vacations, and more energy to put into work when I’m actually working.

There is no valid replacement for rest. If you’re exhausted at work, talk to your human resources department or try taking a nap. Many offices now accommodate employees who need a nap during the day.

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Last update: July 23, 2021

About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles via Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, The Atlantic, Vice and The New Yorker. She is a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray, received rave reviews from Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and has been published in the US, UK, France and Russia – well let no one know what happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.

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