lifestyle

Seven ways to save money when you go back to the office


How much do all those coffees add up to? (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You might be dreading the return to the office, or you might be desperate to get out of the house and see your colleagues.

However you feel about going back to office life, I think we can all agree that it’s much more expensive than working from home.

From paying for your commute, tube fares or petrol, to accidentally spending half your life savings in Pret at lunchtime, and don’t forget those mid-morning coffees.

It all adds up pretty quickly.

Half of London workers are expecting to spend at least three days a week at their desks from September onwards. Many office workers across the country are heading back to work this week. But it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Personal finance experts at Ocean Finance, have shared seven ways to cut down costs at work.  

They say that if you follow all these tips, it can save you up to £1,514 per year – which is certainly not to be sniffed at.

Ditch takeaway coffees

The average coffee costs £2.63 so should you have one three days per week, this amounts to £410.28 per year.

Instead, try to take advantage of coffee and tea-making facilities in the office which are often free.

If your office doesn’t offer these, why not set up a kitty for a kettle, tea bags, and coffee so you can pool your money together?

Make the most of ‘flexi’ transport tickets

Now that many Brits are following a new hybrid pattern of working, which only requires a few days spent in the office, many transport companies are offering ‘flexi’ tickets.

This allows you to purchase a discounted block booking of day/return tickets, around 3-5 days’ worth, which you then can use over a specified period.

For example, Stagecoach slows you to buy 10-day tickets for the price of 7 (30% off), and you have 12 months to use your tickets.

Bring in your own lunch

Whilst the office canteen or nearby cafes can be a convenient way of grabbing a meal, they can be expensive.

In fact, the average lunch costs £6.08, which amounts to a staggering £948.48 should you eat out three days per week.

Instead, prep your meals at home to save nearly £1,000.

Be smart about snacks

The same goes for snacking. Whether nipping out to a shop or raiding the vending machine, even spending £1 a day amounts to £156 per year, should you do it three times a week.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth, though.

Instead, purchase multipacks in a supermarket and stash a week’s worth in your desk drawers. 

Stop lunchtime shopping sprees

An hour away from your desk is great sanctitude, but it can lead you down the route of spending money.

Nipping to the shops for a browse or scanning online retailers are sure-fire ways to shell out even more of your wages.

Instead, try to recognise why you are spending.

Tough meetings or office confrontations can lead us to retail therapy, but it’s very rarely a positive way to deal with these pressures. You should look to find more effective, and cheaper, ways of tackling these issues.

Make the most of your perks

As well as a salary, some jobs come with added perks such as a generous pension, retail discounts or childcare contributions. Whatever they are, find them out and make the most of them. 

Be creative about how you can make these work to your advantage too. If there’s a free or subsidised gym, then it’s an obvious idea to use that to get fit.

But if you get your meals paid for when meeting clients or staying away, try to do more of this to cut down on your food and drink bills. 

Suggest a fairer policy for birthdays and gifts 

In the past year, many weddings have been put on hold, and office birthday celebrations haven’t been much of a thing.

So, while it’s exciting to share these experiences with your colleagues, chipping in for a present every time there is a celebration can be an expensive affair.

If you feel that this is happening, you may have to have a bigger conversation with your colleagues about an agreeable policy.

Perhaps you could restrict birthday presents to milestone celebrations, or charity donations could be anonymous, so people don’t feel pressured to donate. 

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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