When we all started working from home back in March, no one expected us to still be conducting work meetings from our living rooms in late October.
Whilst working from home comes with its perks, such as no commute and an extra hours sleep, it also has its challenges. Even more so as we enter the winter months, which will likely see larger utility bills as well as other additional costs, such as stationary supplies and coffee stocks.
There are ways to save money this winter when working from home; here’s our top tips:
How to claim for the ‘working from home’ tax relief
If you are required to work from home, you are entitled to claim up to £6 a week back in tax. There are two ways to do this:
- Employers can pay you £6 a week extra tax-free. However, in the midst of a pandemic and with many firms struggling in the current climate – it may be bad timing to ask. So, an alternative way to claim back is...
- You can request for the amount to be deducted from your taxable income. To make the process easy, HMRC have amended their online portal so that people can complete the application in a few simple steps. The result will be less tax taken off each month for the rest of the year, which means you'll take home more.
Whilst it might not sound like a lot of money, it’s still a gain of £62 per year for basic rate taxpayers, or £124 a year for anyone on the higher rate.
Save on household bills
Throughout the winter months, it’s not unusual to want the heating on full blast by 10am along with a constant stream of coffees, however this will be costly.
There are simple things you can do to prevent racking up a huge bill this winter. Firstly, avoid rushing to put the heating on - why not try layering up and adding a jumper or blanket to keep yourself warm?
Another tip would be to ensure that plug sockets or light switches aren’t left on standby. The Energy Savings Trust states that up to £80 a year is wasted in the average household due to appliances unnecessarily being left on.
Even going old school and using candles for a few hours instead of flicking the lights on could save you some extra pennies!
Unsubscribe from old emails
We’ve all been there on our lunch break, scrolling through our phones and suddenly receiving an email from a company offering some brand new deals. It can be all too-tempting to have a quick peek at what’s on offer, but typically, this can lead to a spontaneous purchase.
Whether it be the instant gratification of a new purchase, or simply down to the boredom that comes with being indoors, online spending is at an all time high.
A way to avoid these unnecessary purchases is to simply remove the source - by unsubscribing from any marketing emails from retailers that you no longer want to hear from.
If this tactic saves you one spontaneous purchase a month - it all adds up!
The 50-30-20 rule
Put this time indoors to good use and begin rearranging your finances in order to save some money. The 50-30-20 rule is a great place to start; to successfully use this technique, spending should be split into the following three categories:
1) 50% - ‘your needs’
This section comprises half the money you make after tax, and is used to pay essential bills such as your rent, mortgage, insurance.
2) 30% - ‘your wants’
Here at Caxton, we like to call this the enjoyable section; 30% of your salary should be set aside for spending that isn’t deemed as essential. For example, the oat-milk latte from your favourite coffee shop, TV subscriptions, gym memberships and clothing would all fall into this category.
3) 20% - ‘your savings’
Last but no means least is the 20% category - your savings. It’s advised that 20% of your salary (after tax) is put in savings for the future, investing, emergency funds or debt repayments.
Working through your current spends and placing them into these three categories will help you with future budgeting, even if you don’t completely follow the 50/30/20 ratio.
Implementing this savings tactic throughout the winter months will set your spending habits off to a great start in 2021.
As we approach the colder, darker months of the pandemic - it’s a good time to start thinking about where we can save those extra pennies. Using any of the money-saving tactics in this article is a great place to begin.