We go to work to make money but quite often we spend a lot of that hard earned money while we are working! We pay for transport, parking, lunches an more. In this post I am going to show you the best ways to save money at work.
1. Ride a bike
Riding a bike to work is one of the best ways to save money, keep fit and look good. If your office is under 30 minutes away from your home riding to and from work will save you a lot of money over the years. Gas prices are getting higher and higher but you must also consider the costs of health care that you might avoid by keeping fit.
2. Catch the bus
If you don’t want to ride to work the next best option is to catch the bus. This is a better option for a lot of people as it keeps you out of the weather and saves a bit of time. Again, catching the bus will save you money as well as having many other benefits such as helping to reduce green house gas emissions.
3. Get your car serviced and wheels aligned
If you really don’t want to ride or catch the bus it is important to keep your car well maintained. Having your wheels well aligned is particularly important. Poorly aligned wheels create a lot of resistance and make your car a lot less fuel efficient.
4. Fill up on fuel ahead of time
If you wait until your car is nearly empty to fill up you run the risk of paying more for petrol. Whatever the oil companies might say there are cheap days and expensive days. In Australia the petrol price goes up 10 to 15 cents on Wednesday morning for no good reason. If you leave it until then to fill up you are spending more than you need to. Watch your petrol stations price activity for a few weeks and ear mark the days that are more affordable.
5. Buy a yearly parking pass
If you pay for parking everyday you are losing a lot of cash. Almost every parking station in the world offer annual memberships which discount your parking by a massive percentage. If your closest car park doesn’t offer an annual fee service don’t be afraid to ask for one. You will be surprised how often you can strike a deal.
6. Ask a nearby building for a car park deal
Nearby office blocks with their own internal car parking are a sneaky way to save some parking dollars. Quite often these car parks are underutilized and the owners will jump at the opportunity to take a years worth of parking money from you. I know several people in my fathers office who have struck a deal with the building next door and are saving hundreds of dollars a year.
7. Experiment with different routes
The shortest route in terms of distance is not always the fastest. Traffic jams, long lasting red lights, multitudes of pedestrians, etc. can all slow a route down. Experiment with different routes because a long one might save you a lot of time and petrol.
8. Pack your lunch
I know a lot of people who are against packing their lunch and taking it to work because they are afraid of looking like a school kid. I can understand this but there are a few ways around it.
One way is to tell people you are on a doctor ordered health diet in an attempt to get your cholesterol down. Or you might be trying to lose some weight. For some reason these reasons seem more acceptable than telling people you need to save a bit of money.
Packing your lunch doesn’t have to be a sandwich in a lunch box. You can bring in some gourmet vegetable soup in a thermos or the leftovers of last night’s vegetable curry. A lot of this home cooked stuff is better than the local eateries anyway.
9. Make your lunch at work
Recently Mrs. Daily Minder has started making her lunch at work. She heads down to the local market and buys a bunch of fresh produce. Some days she has a tuna and chili salad and other days a salad and chicken wrap. And she has saved a lot of money. This method takes a lot of discipline though. If you are anything like me you will just end up eating at the restaurant next to the market!
10. Don’t buy coffee
I used to buy one of two coffees per day. A coffee costs about $3 so two coffees will set you back $6 per day. That is $2190 per year. Think of what you can do with $2190. Upgrade your car, pay for some medical bills, put away some savings, etc. Why not make your coffee instead of buying them? Over time you will get pretty good at it and it will save you a few dollars a year.
11. Explore your tax options
There are a quite a few work related expenses that you can get back at tax time. For example, you might be able to get back a certain amount for clothes washing, petrol expense, mobile phone bills, etc. Make sure you find a couple income tax calculators handy or even better, talk to your accountant about this when June comes along.
Anyone got any more tips?