Money Bite-Size Read:
- Australians spending nearly $600 a month on work-related expenses.
- Work-related costs easily add when you factor in lunches, coffee and transport.
- Here’s 5 ways to save money when you’re at work to ensure more of your salary paycheque goes home with you.
The Money Bites Take:
When you spend money at work, you’re effectively paying to work, which is why you need to assess your work-related spending habits.
Most of us work to earn money.
Unless you have mega-rich parents, the salary and income side of work is going to be very important to you. However, you’re likely paying for work-related expenses like buying lunch or coffee at work, which comes out of your salary paycheque. Those work-related expenses mean you’re effectively paying to work and the costs can start to spiral.
In fact, Australians spend nearly $600 a month paying to work.
More money going to work-related transport, clothing and food costs mean that your work doesn’t just earn money but consumes it too. It’s important to look at ways you could save money when you’re at work to keep the work-related expenses in check and ensure more of your salary paycheque goes home with you.
Here’s 5 ways to save money when you’re at work:
1. Make your lunch beforehand
Most of us buy our lunch at work out of convenience. It’s easy and we don’t make the effort to organise it beforehand, which means we spend an average of $129 a month for lunch at work. If you love cooking, try batching food on a weekend into lunch portions ready for the week ahead. A cheat for takeaway addicts is ordering meal kits with more portions and taking leftovers to work.
2. Watch your coffee habits
We don’t subscribe to guilting people about coffee. But we do subscribe to watching your habits and checking that they still serve you. Given 22% of us dip into our salary every day for food and beverages at work, sometimes this becomes a habit rather than something we actually value or get enjoyment from. Try limiting the number of coffees you buy each day, switching up your coffee shop or switching over to tea brewed in the office and see how much you can save.
3. Keep window shopping to the window
If you work in a city centre, it can be really tempting to browse the shops on your lunch break. However, with shop window displays tempting you inside the store and sales persuading you to part with your cash, you can end up treating yourself to more retail therapy than you can afford. To save money, put yourself on a work clothing budget or avoid the shops and step into the local park instead if you know you’ll be tempted.
4. Invest in a snack drawer
Many of us need an afternoon sugar hit around 3pm in our workday and go to the vending machine for an emergency energy boost. Instead, invest in building a snack drawer of non-perishable healthy snacks bought from a supermarket where you’ll pay less per item and have easy access to healthy choices.
5. Switch up your transport
Many of us drive to work because it’s what we’ve always done and transport can be one of your biggest work-related expenses. To save money, you could look at public transport as an option, with most government websites showing a journey planner to help map out your route to work. You could also build exercise into your day and make a sustainable consumer choice by biking or walking all or part of your work journey.
Remember, most of us work to live, we don’t live to work.
We want more of the money you earn at work to go home with you. By saving money when you’re at work, you can put more money towards your financial goals and funding the life choices you go to work to afford.