If you can Keep your money at home on the tree, not in the tank or hassles of commuiting to and from work.
$1,120 per year or more, and the Time and stress is valued at a much higher amount than the gas savings.
If you have good High Speed Internet at home this allows you to choose to work from home full-time, you immediately eliminate any costs associated with your commute, whether they be from driving to work or taking public transportation. Even if you’re walking or biking to work, you’ll wind up with lower bike maintenance costs and fewer pairs of sneakers to buy.
But in all seriousness, the average U.S. worker commutes 30 miles and 60 minutes round-trip every day, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor. If the average gallon of gas costs $3.59, according to AAA, and you average 25 MPG, by not commuting to work, you will save $1,120 on gas every year.
Consumer Reports estimates the median cost of annual car maintenance is $312, which only includes maintenance and repairs. If you factor in lowered insurance costs and slower depreciation from driving your vehicle less, that savings can rise significantly.
It may not seem like much, but every little bit helps when you're potentially taking a decreased salary to work at home.
- Dry Cleaning & Laundering
SAVINGS: $600 - $1,000 per year
If you’re working from home, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a professional wardrobe which often has to be dry cleaned.
SAVINGS: $832 per year
Eating out on a regular basis is costly.
Let’s assume you’re a fairly thrifty person and you have lunch out with coworkers twice each week at $5 a pop. Throw in a morning coffee twice a week for $3 each, and you’re spending $16 each week, or $832 each year eating out while working in a regular office. Telecommuting makes it much easier to make lunches and coffee at home, which won’t eliminate your food and coffee expenses entirely, but will certainly bring them down.
- Vacation Time & "Real" Salary
SAVINGS: $5,553 per year
If the average U.S. worker commutes almost 30 minutes each way to work, it adds up to an extra 60 minutes daily that we spend for the purpose of work, but don’t actually get paid for. By saving that 60 minutes every day, the average full-time telecommuter will work 260 fewer hours, or 32.5 fewer eight-hour work days (11 24-hour days) each year. Not having to commute to work equals a LOT more free time throughout the year.
When you take those hours and add them all up, it really makes a difference in terms of salary. If you’re making $50,000 a year but commuting to the office, you’re making $21.37 per hour (because you’re working an eight-hour work day plus a one-hour commute for a total of nine hours daily). If you aren’t commuting, your $50,000 salary becomes $24.04 per hour because your eight-hour work day is really eight hours. Add that up throughout the year, and it’s like you’re making $5,553 more annually.
SAVINGS: $750 per year
If you work from home, you may be able to claim several home office deductions that office-bound workers can’t touch.
These include deductions for your home office space, property taxes, office decor, and maintenance and business expenses. Even if you’re a full-time employee (and not a freelancer or contractor), you can still claim these deductions and expenses as a telecommuter. Depending on your home office set-up, these deductions can vary widely, but the IRS estimates that the average home office deduction is $3,000 which lowers a typical tax obligation by $750.
TOTAL SAVINGS FROM WORKING AT HOME: minimum of $4,172 per year
If we go conservative and just tally up the actual, tangible savings of working from home, the average telecommuter can save at least $4,172 each year! This doesn’t even include the cost savings from more vacation time, time overall, lowered stress, and the higher “real” salary mentioned above.
So, the next time you consider the salary difference between an in-office job and a telecommuting job, be sure to take into consideration all the different ways working from home can save you money. Opting for a smaller salary to be able to work from home might be the smarter choice after all.