Money saving

Ways to save money in the office

Posted 10 August 2016

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Workers spend a sixth of what they earn on work-related costs.

We all go to work to make money – but have you ever thought about how much you spend there too? A sixth of workers’ income goes on work-related costs, with research from Quidco suggesting that commuting to and from work causes the biggest expense. Buying lunch, regular coffee trips and contributing to birthday collections are other reasons highlighted in this research that encourage us to part with our cash. 

From budget-friendly wardrobe ideas to cheaper ways to commute, we’ll take you through our top five tips to help cut back on what you spend at work.

Cheaper ways to commute

Research by TUC found that on average, over 3 million workers commute over two hours a day. Though you may not be able to reduce the time it takes to get to work, you can look to reduce the cost of your commute. 

If working from home is not a realistic option for you, why not consider a car share scheme? Lift-sharing with colleagues helps not only reduce the cost of your trip but also helps you do your bit for the planet. And what’s more, some employers offer added benefits as an incentive such as priority parking. 

Travelling by public transport can be costly. You should check to see if your employer offers an annual ticket scheme. This is where they’ll pay for the season ticket upfront and you’ll then repay the cost in instalments from your net salary. With annual tickets being cheaper than weekly or monthly tickets, you can save yourself some money if you can afford to pay for this outright. 

If you fancy a healthier alternative, why not cycle to work? This will save you money and, even better, you can enjoy morning exercise while avoiding rush hour queues.

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Ditch the coffee shop

Are you an avid coffee drinker? Consider finding a cheaper way to satisfy your caffeine fix than paying £2 every time you go to the café. Cutting back on your coffee shop visits cuts down your daily costs. Why not treat yourself just once a week? If at first you can’t break the habit, try opting for a smaller cup and avoiding expensive speciality drinks. This way, you can still indulge but spend less. If you visit a regular coffee shop, look into joining their loyalty scheme to be entitled to discounts and maybe freebies.  

Other great ways of saving money in the office is to switch to drinking tea and swap fizzy drinks to water. You can always factor a ‘treat day’ into your budget. By applying a few of these budget-friendly tips, you can make some easy cutbacks. 

Homemade lunch

Further ways to cut back on your daily spending is to take your lunch to work. If you’re struggling to keep within your weekly budget, you can easily monitor what you spend by planning your meals in advance. 

After a hard day’s work and long commute, you may lack the motivation to make lunch for the following day. Why not cook large portions at the beginning of the week? You can then divide them up ready for your lunches or even freeze them. Another cost-effective way is to take leftovers to work with you the next day.

Plus planning your lunches in advance can help you save money on your big shop by encouraging you to only buy what you need. You can set yourself a budget and make sure you’re sticking to it each week.  

For more great ways to save even more money at work, check out our top tips on how to save money on work lunches.

Set up a club

You can easily save yourself the cost of a gym membership by joining a running club. This is a great way to not only socialise with your work colleagues, but exercise for less. If you enjoy reading, why consider arranging a book club with your colleagues? This will help you cut back costs.  

Other ways you can save money is to team up with some of your colleagues and share the responsibility of cooking lunch on different days. You can save money by only cooking once a week and having lunch cooked for you on the other days. 

If your workplace doesn’t offer any clubs, why not see if you can set up a new one? You may be surprised at how much money you could save.

Save on your work wardrobe

Living within a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t spruce up your work wardrobe. Adopting a capsule wardrobe into your work outfit planning is a budget-friendly way of keeping up to date with the trends. 

Within your capsule wardrobe, you’ll have a number of your favourite clothing pieces that can be mix and matched with each other to create fresh looks. This way you’ll have a versatile, yet cost effective wardrobe – leaving you with more money to be spent on other areas of your life. 

By investing in black trousers or a black skirt for example, you can mix and match blouses and tops to create new looks. Instead of a blazer, why not opt to wear a cardigan to change your style or add some accessorises to a plain blouse? If you did need to purchase something new, make sure it can be worn with a number of items you already own.

There are many ways you can save when updating your wardrobe. Whether that’s using cashback apps or grabbing yourself second hand bargains, be sure to check out our previous blog for great tips on how to save money when shopping online.

by Christine Walsh

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To find out more about managing your money and getting free debt advice, visit Money Advice Service, an independent service set up to help people manage their money.