How I Save Money by Working at Home - picture of woman sitting at laptop
Frugal Living

How I Save Money by Working at Home

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It’s about 20 degrees outside right now. I’ve got yoga pants and my favorite Bud Light t-shirt on, and my dog is trying to lay on my arm while I type again. I’m answering emails and wrapping up some end-of-the-day work, all while drinking hot tea and listening to Nirvana Unplugged.

I didn’t scrape my windshield today. I didn’t iron my work outfit. I didn’t pack a lunch and I didn’t even drive my car. Why? Because I work at home. And after doing it for two full years, I can honestly say that I will never go back.

How I Save Money by Working at Home

But there are other benefits that come with working at home aside from not getting dressed and not having to talk to people in person. Yeah, I’m talking about the financial savings that come with doing your j-o-b in the comfort of your own abode. Here’s how I save by working at home:

Commuting Is Free

I have a home office, but I prefer to work in the comfort of my family room. I just like it here for some reason, probably because it feels more calm and serene than my office. Regardless, my commute is still only about two seconds down the stairs. Maybe ten seconds if I decide to take the scenic route past the coffee maker on my way.

Obviously, that means that my commute costs zero. NadaNothing. We do have a second car, but we only keep it because it is paid off and not really worth anything. When it dies or we need to get rid of it, I doubt we’ll replace it. I just don’t drive that much.

And money aside, I also love working at home because it helps me save time – time I would probably spend scraping my windshield or navigating through early morning traffic to get to work.  The time getting all spiffed up in the morning and putting on full whore makeup so that I look legit.  I love having that hour of my life back every day, and not spending it doing things I never wanted to do in the first place.

Saving On Meals

When I was at my 9-5 job, I always packed a lunch and brought it with me to save money.  Unfortunately, I didn’t always do things the healthy way and even kept a stash of disgusting, frozen Lean Cuisines that I could eat when I ran out of time, or forgot, to bring something.  Still, there were times when I was asked to go out to lunch, or that I didn’t properly utilize leftovers because I was busy rushing the kids around and dealing with more important stuff.

Now that I work at home, I no longer have to buy convenience meals, nor do I have to pack anything or plan ahead.  And most of the time, I just eat leftovers for lunch anyway.  Not only are they mostly prepared already, but that helps to cut down on the amount of food we throw away.

Living with a Questionable Wardrobe

doggy
My dog stares at me while I work…ALL DAY LONG

When more than one person refers to what you’re wearing as “your paint pants,” you know you’re making one hell of a fashion statement. Unfortunately, my “paint pants,” (which are also maternity BTW) are my favorite freakin’ pair! I love them! And yes, I’ve painted in them a time or two, which is why they have splashes of Oyster White and Honeycomb on them, but I feel like that just makes them unique. Seriously.

All kidding aside, the cool thing about working at home is that your wardrobe doesn’t really matter. I could wear a giant adult onesie all day if I wanted to. Hell, I could work naked! You freaks would never know, although I’m sure you’re totally picturing it right now. (I don’t blame you…wink wink.)

At my old job, I had to play the part and that meant wearing fancy suits, sweaters, and shoes ’til the cows came home. Now I can wear paint pants.  And I like it.

Do you think working at home would help you save money?  How does your work situation help you save?

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60 Comments

  1. I get to rack up a bunch of frequent flyer miles through my ob, so that helps to save on travel. That said, I’d probably trade the miles for the ability to wear yoga pants every day, if given the option.

    1. Ha! Hey, maybe you could pull off some black pajama jeans or something.

  2. Ever since I quit my job to be a stay at home mom, we’ve been saving money on lots of the same things. I think yoga pants are way more comfy than what I used to wear to work! We’ve actually been able to be a lot more frugal now that I’m not working, since I now have time to meal plan and cook and time to list our old crap on eBay. I have more time to go through our bills and harass our billers into giving us discounts. We thought we were frugal before, but we’ve really stepped up our game since I became a stay at home mom.

    1. That makes sense. When you work 9-5, there is less time to save or dream up ways to make more money! I was lucky to put a nice dinner on the table when I worked 9-5.

  3. Hah! I love the days when I work from home–it is definitely my preferred mode of operation. I’m totally with you on the benefits of not needing to get dressed or ready or drive anywhere–sheer bliss to me. Fortunately, I don’t have to get super dressed up for my job and my commute is dang short, but still, your commute and wardrobe are both vastly better. Count me envious.

    1. I was fairly happy with my short commute too. I just didn’t like getting gussied up for my old job every day- it was somewhat of a requirement, and it took 45 minutes.

  4. You crack me up as usual, Holly. 🙂 LOVE working at home. Love wearing yoga pants all day, having my hair up in a crazy bun or 80’s ponytail on top of my head, and love the money I save by not commuting, not having to buy fancy clothes and not being tempted to go out to lunch. It’s all awesome!

    1. Yes! It houses my computer and stores all of my files. I also work about twenty feet away in my living room…..so no, I don’t feel bad about it. I have a home office and all of the equipment it requires. Nobody can make me sit in it all day.

  5. Love this!! We save money in day care costs, too! Currently, our little ones don’t go to daycare at all, but I’m thinking of changing that in the next few weeks. It would be nice to have a little more time to work and not get so stressed out that they nap at the same time! Even still, it will only be part time, about 10 hours a week. That’s huge savings right there!!

    1. I hear ya, My oldest is in school so I send my youngest to daycare during the day. I work a full-time job at home, so it wouldn’t really be fair for her to be here.

  6. Thanks for the article! Actually, I’m working at home right now, And I can say that it saved a lot money.

  7. I agree working at home whenever possible is a great way to save money, time, and stress. It’s amazing how much commuting can effectively reduce one’s salary. The part about your questionable wardrobe is a crack up!

    1. So you are totally picturing me naked. I get it.

  8. I hope to never go back to a workplace either. I like having control of my own time and my own (EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE) wardrobe. No makeup. Crazy hair. I dreamed of this from the time I started working at 18 and stopped at 26. I wish everyone who wanted to do it, could. 🙂

    1. What kind of work are you able to do from home?

  9. I work my corporate job from home and really enjoy it. I’m not sure what is better… the commute from the coffee pot or the change in wardrobe. Actually, the very best part has been returning to the workforce, in some capacity, while still keeping Mini Maroon #2 at home. I will return to full-time hours in 10 days and she will join big brother at school. But I have gotten 19 weeks home with her, compared to the 11 I took with Mini #1. Major victory!!

  10. I’m with you. I’ve been working from home for about a year and a half and love it. I haven’t bought work clothes in that time, saved money on gas and actually walk and exercise more often. Somedays I’ll work in my office, other days on my couch and still other days in bed, just to spice things up.

    1. I don’t think I could work in bed. I would probably just go to sleep!

  11. Oh, it definitely helps us save money! I’m usually in shorts & a hoodie most days and my wife is usually wearing yoga pants or something similar. Whenever we have family come to visit they always make cracks about us might “wanting to look like a productive member of society”…suffice it to say I’m more productive these days and can’t beat the 3 second commute!

    1. No, you really can’t. I barely feel like I can drive anymore because I do it so infrequently!

  12. I have been shocked at how much I saved since working from home more. I mostly wear yoga pants everyday so that saves dry cleaning bills. I make all of my meals and coffee at home which has cut back on eating and since I don’t typically wear make up, my personal care expenses have gone down. I love it!

    1. Coffee is big if you drink a lot of it! I’m down to only one cup now, but at least I can make that cup here.

  13. I work from home here and there and the best thing is saving time and money on commute. Being able to wear pajama while working is a bonus too. 😀

    1. Pajamas! Yes. Sadly, my pajamas have basically been my everyday wear this winter.

  14. There is no doubt that working from home is the best, especially not having to deal with LA traffic. On the couple occasions I’ve had to drive to an on-site job, I realize just how lucky I am in that aspect.

    1. Yep, those business clothes can get expensive. I typically bought used ones, but it still added up!

  15. I’m curious if you ever get all dressed up to “feel like you are going to work”, I’ve read some people will throw on the suit and tie to get them in the work mindset.

  16. For me, unless I could work from home and also still watch my two kids, I don’t think I would save money. I already do a decent job of packing leftovers and I carpool with my husband. However, I do indentify with the time savings. I have a long commute and I always feel like there is not enough time in the day to accomplish any one thing well.

    1. You just need to make more money! That’s all. If you figure out how to make as much money at home as you did at your day job then daycare makes perfect sense.

  17. I dream of world where I can wear yoga pants to work!
    I can’t work on my laptop on the couch or in bed because one of my dogs will try to lay on my arm or the keyboard!

    1. My dog does every day. I have to pick him up and move him!

  18. These are all great benefits to staying home, especially the yoga pants. Although I will admit, sometimes I do feel like a bum when I realize it’s 3pm and I haven’t even put a bra on yet. I can’t even remember what it’s like to get dressed nicely for work!

  19. LOL I would like to see a photo of you wearing a giant onesie! I wouldn’t say that my blog is my job (as far paying bills), but it’s nice to be home and not have to shlep to the office every day. I like it! At some point, I will probably help out my in-laws in their accounting business, but I hope to never deal with the office politics again. At least, I can yell at my in-laws and not get fired.

    1. Yes please post a pic working in a giant onesie. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that would make our day.

  20. I read where yoga pants were rapidly replacing jeans as women’s go to casual wear. I wonder if I could get away with them at work. Would you be proud or mortified if your eye doctor wore yoga attire?

    I’m so proud of you for being able to work from home and really rocking life!

    1. Yes! Throw a coat on over those yoga pants and rock it out.

  21. I work from home once a week now and love the gas and lunch savings. However, more than anything the cost savings on my mental health is huge, i.e. not being in open cube land (where concentration is impossible), not receiving drive-by requests, not parking in a ramp up 5 levels and walking .5 mile in the cold, not listening to office gossip and complaining…really the benefits are endless. I can still get ample socialization from the folks I really want to connect with, so I have never felt this was a cost some people sometimes call out.

    1. Yes, exactly. The mental drain of working in an office takes it toll. I don’t miss it, although I do miss some of the people I once worked with.

  22. Great roundup as usual, really enjoyed your article. Thanks for sharing your article on How I Save Money by working at Home. It’s very helpful and useful article. Looking forward for your best article this year.

  23. I love working from home for these very reasons. I am saving so much on clothing lately and it’s been amazing!

  24. Worked from home for almost 2 years for one job. Hated it. It started out fine, but after a while I’d miss the human contact. Plus being at home all day made me start to go a bit cabin fever.

    That was all working for someone else where I had a set schedule and external obligations. Working for myself I think would be a little easier since you could take the breaks you wanted whenever you need.

  25. Working from home isn’t for everyone. You need to be really disciplined to get the job done without having your supervisor nearby. I tried taking on a little side job to do from home a while back, it was the most boring work I had ever done. I just couldn’t do it.

    To add to your list of savings … you won’t have to give any money to office collections … Jenny’s babyshower, Larry’s kid’s baseball team raffle tickets, etc. etc. I swear it never ends.

    1. I hear ya! It’s not for everyone. It is easy for me to stay focused because I am very money motivated! I also have a lot of deadlines and they help me stay on track.

      I agree about the office pitch-ins! No Sneaky Santas either!

  26. Great post, Holly! I too am celebrating two full years of working from home as of this month, and could never ever go back! I have to agree with all of these points, my favorite one being how much time I save from not commuting. Prior to working for myself, I commuted to an office that was 1-2.5 hours of driving each way. So in comparison, I now have an extra 2-5 hours a day that I can allocate towards getting work done rather than spending it in the car in traffic. A total win in my book!

  27. Holly, work from home is really advantageous for me as I don’t have to commute. So I have more than eight hours of work, meaning it gives me more income. There are are downsides, but I don’t mind it and honestly prefer it this way.

  28. Haha I can relate 100%. I am wearing Hubs’ clothes right now. It’s what I slept in. I am a mess lol. Love working from home and not having to talk to humans during the day. I don’t even want to call up and order takeout anymore. I am that spoiled by working by myself haha.

  29. Ha ha ha… I match my ‘painting pants’ with a ‘painting t-shirt’! I *love* working from home. Really, truly love it.

    I’ve been doing it for the last two years while running an online business. Unfortunately, that might be coming to an end. I’m considering winding up the biz which will mean a return to the ‘real’ world. Not sure how I’ll cope with the commute (it’ll be at least 3 hours per day), the clothes, and all the obnoxiousness of trying to work in an office full of noisy people.

    Rats… now I’ve depressed myself, ‘cos I *really* love working from home.

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