I work from home. As I am typing right now, my naked cat is sleeping on my lap. Perhaps the best perk is getting to cuddle my fur-babies while I work. Of course, the freedom to make my own schedule and pee whenever I want (I was a teacher) is just as enjoyable.
There is one more perk that I have found working from home- spending less money. I spend less money on things that I used to purchase on the regular now that I work from home.
4 Things I Spend Less on now that I Work from Home
Not driving my car as much has saved me on gas and maintenance expenses. This is automatic and unintentional when working from home. But I found four more things that became an unintentional way of not spending as much money.
When working in any position out of the home, I think you tend to put more emphasis on what you wear and how you look. I mean obviously, my dog isn’t going to judge me. (Maybe my cats will) . When I work from home, I don’t wear makeup. Especially if I’m going to hit a morning or afternoon cycle class where I would just sweat it all off.
My skincare still takes center stage for me as a form of self-care, but not so much the second step. This being the case, when I do go out on a date or to hang out friends- I GO OUT with the makeup. It’s been fun this way.
Things I have noticed about myself since I stopped wearing make-up every day:
- My skin is one thousand times happier. I have super sensitive skin, so my daily makeup would sometimes cause irritation
- I don’t actually miss it. I thought I would. I thought I would feel “less put together”. But I don’t, I actually feel more relaxed about myself.
- When I do go to the grocery store or out of the house I have only been asked if I am sick once and tired twice. What can I say, we live in a world that doesn’t want to see dark circles. Sigh.
- I pay more attention to the rest of my body by doing dry brushing, moisturizing, etc.
And of course, I don’t spend money on it like I used to. I probably purchased one or two items a month to try out. I would spend between $25 and $50 a month on this. It was fun, and I don’t feel any regret about it. But now that money is staying in my pocket, and I also have no regrets about that.
2. Pet care
This one I knew would be reduced. When I was teaching and HisFI was working shifts our dog needed to be walked. This was especially true when I was doing writing and designing as a side hustle and working full time. Henry, our giant Borzoi requires daily walks. Not just because he would go crazy, but because that’s really what dogs live for.
I hired my sister and a past student who had graduated to come over and walk Henry on the weekdays where both HisFI and I were working. This added up to about $200 per month.
Now that I work from home, his walks have become a really great way for HisFI and I have to have time out of the house talking about our day. We will walk him in the late evenings together and its been a really good way for us to connect and me not to go crazy if I have been in the house all day.
3. Online purchases
I know this will come as a shock to any you who know my love of Amazon Prime. But it’s true, I actually spend less with online purchases now that I work from home. There is a simple explanation too.
I need to get out of the house. One of the things that is the most challenging about working from home is not having co-workers or social interactions. As an extrovert, this is semi-torturous. So, I need to leave the house and I have made this a priority.
Anytime I need something that I could buy on Prime, I will go to the store instead. The second benefit of this is that I typically have to wait a day or two before rushing out to purchase it. This means I’ll be thinking about it longer, and may decide it’s not worth my money.
4. The bad news …Retirement
It’s not all coming up daisies with what I spend less on. There is one major downfall: Retirement. The importance of funding my retirement is at the top of my list along with paying off my student loans. Now that I work from home and my pay is less predictable, I am putting less into retirement accounts.
Some months I have put $0! Yikes!
I am sure this will change as I learn to budget with an inconsistent income. The transition from having automated retirement savings to it being on me each month was new for me. I am developing a system. HisFI and I have totally changed how we do money, and this retirement saving slack is changing. So that’s the good news.
The Changing Days
My days are different now. They consist of writing, designing and occasionally meeting with a client. I have a side hustle to my day job at a local boutique where I still get to work on design. If I’m not doing one of these things I am walking the dog, going to cycle, hanging out with Charles or finding my zen in yoga class.
I love the shift into flexibility. It feels…almost “relaxing”. I didn’t think that was even possible for me.
If you want to see what I spend money on, you can check out my weekly spending reports. I post them on my insta stories @His and Her FI Post and at the end of each month here. Note that the spending reports are just for me, not what HisFI and I pay for together or on his own. They aren’t the bills. It’s my own accountability tracker for buying things that aren’t a need.