You have a job in order to make money—not to spend it. But there is a lot of work-related spending that is unavoidable, and although there might not be ways to get around it completely, you can cut down on some of these expenses with the following tips:
Getting into the habit of bringing your lunch to work every day can help you cut down substantially on expenses. It also goes beyond your lunch, however. If you find yourself at the vending machines for afternoon snacks, this can not only add inches to your waistline, but can cost you even more money. The costs may seem minimal, but if you make a daily habit out of them, they’ll add up. Keep extra snacks with you from home, so that you avoid making those trips to the vending machines. Don’t forget to also bring your own drinks and/or refillable water bottle, so you can ensure you stay hydrated all day without spending extra.
Do you make a habit out of getting your morning coffee from your favorite coffee shop on the way to work? Just treat yourself now and then, or nix the habit altogether. The math can be alarming if you think about it: if you spend $3.00 on a coffee five days a week, that’s $60.00 a month, and $720 in one year! Instead, make your own coffee at home and put it in a refillable thermos so you can take it with you. It will cost you much less. Try some cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract if you’re looking for a way to add some extra flavor—you might not even notice the difference from your local coffee shop!
Your daily commute can easily be one of your biggest work-related expenses, but there are a few different ways you can down on these costs. Try carpooling or opting for a fuel-efficient car if you’re looking to cut down on gas prices. Limit (or completely eliminate) the amount of times you drive to and from work by taking advantage of public transportation, or telecommuting full or part-time, if possible. If you live far away from your place of employment, consider looking for closer job opportunities or moving closer to where you work, if feasible. Even if home prices are slightly higher, the amount of money you’ll save in transportation could make it worth it—not to mention the time you’ll save.
Everyone has their own way to unwind after a long day or deal with stress. Some forms of decompression can be expensive and not the healthiest—for example, hitting up the local bar for happy hour every evening. Instead, focus on healthier, free ways to relax—such as exercise, meditation, or reading.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.