In March 2020, the nation heard the announcement “We need people to start working from home where they possibly can”. Since the number of people working from home has drastically increased. Business owners are recognising the advantages of allowing their employees to work remotely. They’re also saving money on office rent and workplace facilities. However, we will now explore what finances to consider when you work from home.
Remote working has its advantages, remaining in PJ bottoms during a zoom call is one. However, we do need to factor in the extra costs involved with us being at home more.
Electric and gas bill
With working from home, your electric usage will no doubt increase. Turning lights on, charging laptops, more trips to the kettle and microwave lunches. All these little extras would usually remain off during a working day at the office. However, they will now be on throughout the day too. Let’s not forget how cold and damp winter in the UK can be. Factor in those heating costs to keep you warm throughout the day!
Your current internet setup may not provide the fastest and most reliable connection that you require. This is particularly if there is more than one of you working from home. You may need to upgrade to a higher-performing broadband provider.
Printer ink costs and other stationery
Working from home means exactly that. So, any documents that you may need to print will need to come out of your own printer ink. You may also be required to supply yourself with the stationery needed to do your job.
Can I claim back any of these costs?
If you are employed, your employer may reimburse you for work equipment you needed to purchase yourself, but you will likely need proof so keep all receipts! If you are self-employed, you ultimately end up with more flexibility on what you can claim for, than what you can if you are employed by a business.
Claim tax relief
You can claim tax relief on SOME bills when working from homes, such as the increase in gas and electricity or the extra costs to your phone bill purely for business calls, but you can only claim on things that are used for the sole purpose of work. Broadband is used for both private and work purposes so, therefore, you cannot claim for this, so beware when upgrading your broadband!
To check if you are eligible to claim and how much for, you can access the government website here.
Other ways to save money
While some bills with the increase, there are some that decrease and can, therefore, save you money. You will save money on how you usually travel to work, whether that means not needing a bus or train pass or saving on petrol costs. If you usually drive to work, you may be able to lower your insurance by updating your mileage usage, no longer needing to add on commute and updating where your car is now kept during the day.
Changing energy provider
Ensure you are using the cheapest energy provider to cover your electric and gas increase. You can use comparison websites such as MoneySuperMarket, GoCompare and USwitch to check to see if you could be saving by switching!
Make your own lunch
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But how many times have we been guilty of oversleeping, being too tired or simply forgetting to make a lunch for work and then needing something shop-bought, well now you don’t have to. Keep your food bill lower by planning meals and sticking to buying only what you need.
By putting aside money that you save from doing the above, you can cover the costs that may increase by working from home. Please do get in touch with McCarthy Browne today if you’d like to know more on this subject.