My freelance life: Why working from home can save you money

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Other than an improved work-life balance, working from home has many benefits – and the extra money in your pocket is a big incentive. If you were to work out how much money you spend going to the office each day, you would be amazed. Allow me to throw some figures at you…

Do you know how much it costs the average UK employee to go to work? We’re talking around £4000 a year! It’s no wonder then that remote flexible working has grown in popularity over the last half decade. Working from home may have raised a few eyebrows in those early days, but now both employers and employees are starting to recognise the advantages. Here are a few…


Unless you walk to work, or live close enough to ride your bicycle there, the daily commute is arguably your biggest expense. According to Totaljobs, the average employee in the UK spends £146 a month getting to and from work. Rail commuters were given a jolt last year when train fares went up. The TUC revealed UK workers that take the train to work spend around 13% of their salary on their season ticket.

Working from home, however, is a very different story! The distance between your bedroom and the office is maybe a few feet. Perhaps a flight of stairs. It doesn’t cost you anything to get there – and if you want, you can arrive to work in your PJ’s (you don’t even need to buy a suit). So, working from home can feasibly save you £1752 a year on travel – and at least £200 on clothes too!


If you calculated how much you spend on food and drink during a working month, you’d probably start taking a flask! Your morning coffee at circa £2.50 costs you a roasting £12.50 a week. That’s £52 a month for a caffeine fix. And that’s before lunch. Prices obviously vary from one person to the next. If you’re packing your own lunch to work every day, you won’t save any money eating at home. However, research commissioned by the New York Bakery earlier this year revealed the average UK worker spends an average of £6.08 a day on lunchtime meals. That figure is more than doubled in London – £15.51 in the capital canteen.


Now that telecommuting is increasingly widespread across the UK, the government offers some tax reliefs for employees that work at home. There are differences on how much you can save depending on whether you are self-employed or a full-time worker taking advantage of telecommuting offered by your employer. In general, you can claim tax relief on utilities, rent or mortgage, broadband access, office furniture and business equipment. You can also claim a proportion of your council tax, water bills and property repairs depending on how many hours you work from home. It should be noted that you are not entitled to tax relief on bills if you work for a company and volunteer to work from home though. But if you’re entirely self-employed, you can use ‘simplified home office expenses’ to deduct a monthly value to cover your home office set-up.

So, there you have it. Three ways you can save money by working for yourself or working remotely. Can you afford to not work from home, eh?? Of course, these expenses aren’t a problem if you love your job and can get lots of work done on the commute or if you’re employed by one of those groovy companies who provide employees with lunches, drinks and a wonderful working environment. Let me know if you’ve considered – or are currently – working from home in the comments below.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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