Mozo guides

How to keep your budget intact while working from home

With the rise of hybrid work, more of us are operating between the world of home offices and on-site work. But what’s the cost?

While it’s true that those days working from the comfort of your own home offer savings perks—transport costs and lunches out among them—there are still plenty of ways to blow your budget without putting a foot outside your front door.

To help with this, here are five tips to help you stick to your budget:

1. Watch your power usage

The more we work at home, the bigger our electricity bills tend to be. You might be able to claim a percentage of it come tax time, but in the meantime you don’t want to be slugged with a massive energy bill.

To make sure you aren’t wasting money, try to get into energy saving habits. Turn off lights and electrical appliances when you leave a room and remember to close all doors when you have your heater or air conditioner on. That way you can warm up or cool down for longer and only have your appliances on for a few hours a day.

2. Meal prep all the way

As the old adage goes ‘a stitch in time, saves nine’ or in this case preparing your lunches ahead of time can save you some serious dollars.

Weekend meal prepping might not seem so necessary when you’re at home in close proximity to your fridge everyday, but it is! Preparing your lunches ahead of time can help reduce your food waste, meaning less money wasted on ingredients purchased without a purpose. Plus, if you already have some yummy lunches stored away, then you’ll be less tempted to order takeout for lunch.

3. Don’t be tempted to shop online

While you’re at home with no boss looking over your shoulder, you might be tempted to do a little online shopping. Now besides the obvious hit to your productivity, online shopping can see you burn through some serious dollars.

Plus, unless you’re buying from a known and trusted seller, nine times out of ten, the item won’t look exactly as it does in the pictures. So to save yourself some storage space, steer clear of online shopping and instead read a book, call a friend or even listen to a podcast during your lunch break.

4. Keep track of your spending

If you’re at home more - possibly spending less money on takeaway coffees and snacks - it could be easy to fall into the trap of not tracking your spend. After all, there’s less stuff to spend money on so why bother, right? 

Again, online shopping is a very real temptation as a stay-at-home-worker. Add to that dining out, groceries and subscriptions and there are plenty of opportunities to overspend. The best way to keep track of your spending is to create a budget for yourself and stick to it. There are also good apps to help with this.

5. Have a savings goal

One way to inspire yourself to save more is to have a savings goal. Having something to stash money away for, whether it be a wedding, a dream holiday in 12 months time or a new car is a great way to motivate yourself.

If you’re not sure what your dreams are or why you might want to save, sit down and come up with a list of things you want to do. A good plan can make them a reality.

Now that you have a handle on some of the spending traps you might fall into while working from home, you might want to find a savings account with a competitive interest rate for your money. Head to Mozo’s compare savings accounts page to see what interest rates are on offer right now.

Tara McCabe
Tara McCabe
Money writer

Tara McCabe writes across all areas of personal finance here at Mozo from banking through to insurance. Tara is expert at practical money tips, showing readers ways to live richer and be socially conscious while doing it. She earned a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Canterbury Christ Church University.