Saving Money at the Office: 4 Tips

Saving money at the office requires planning and some budgeting. The best way to do this is to treat it like a budgeting exercise, and include some quality of life improvements while you're at it. 

Planning your savings 

The simple way to define what you can achieve is to literally cost your days at work, and look at options to improve costs and do things in a way you like. 

These are the usual costs of any job:

  • Commuting: Car or public transport. These are real, regular overheads, and they can be expensive. They may also involve using up a lot of time and space in your day.
  • Food and drink: Takeaway meals and drinks are always more expensive.
  • Parking: The curse of the car owner, extremely expensive. The parking process also involves a minor epic of getting yourself from the car park to work, another time issue.
  • Shopping: The daily shopping trip can cost more than it seems. Although people try to stick to budgets, "impulse buying", and the sudden realization that you need a lifetime supply of your favorite food, will blow out any budget regularly.

Budgeting tips

Everybody has had an experience where they've tried so hard to stick to a budget, and blown it repeatedly. That's because you're trying to do the budget in the wrong way, giving yourself opportunities to blow it. Some budgets are too restrictive, and you react against them, buying things you like.

It actually is avoidable. All you need to do is find better ways of doing your budget so it's never an issue:

1. Commuting:  

  • Cars: Car pooling does work. You may find that you save a lot of money, in a big car pool.
  • Public transport: Buy monthly or yearly tickets, and make sure that you're commuting on the cheapest route. If your public transport system is a "grid" system, or has several options, you can also make sure you can get to work on time.

 

2. Food and drink: Make sure you have all your favorite foods available, and it won't even occur to you to go out for lunch. The wide choice of favorite foods is a good quality of life move, adding some built in pleasures and your own preferences to your day.

3. Parking:
Car pools save you most of this problem, but you can also save by doing some research on parking areas. If possible, see if you can find a friend or colleague with a parking space, and share costs when the options arise.

4. Shopping:
The regular groaning realization that you've just done an entire month's budget in 40 minutes is avoidable. You can get back the joy of shopping, without the guilt. If you can plan your shopping to take advantage of good purchasing deals, you can have a ball:

  1. Shut down the impulse buying by buying your impulses in bulk. That really takes the edge off buying those inevitable extras.
  2. Shop for your very favorite things, particularly your office lunches: This is fun, and you can be quite creative in your food and drink, while actually spending less. That means you can fit quite a bit more into your budget.