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The pandemic has changed the world forever. A lot of people have lost loved ones, scarring them emotionally and leaving a hole in their families. Others have lost their jobs and had to change careers. This revelation has forced many employees to evaluate the other skills they possess. They find there are other work opportunities available, including becoming a remote worker.
Whether you had to find a different job or you were lucky enough to retain the one you had, you probably ended up working remotely for a long period of time. This caused many businesses to change the way their employees work. The abrupt change caused everyone to see that productivity can still be high from home.
There are a lot of financial benefits of being a remote worker as an employee. For example, car insurance when you work from home becomes a lot cheaper. You no longer have to worry about buying new dress clothes when you have a big presentation in front of your colleagues. You may even get some tax breaks if you are a freelance contractor.
We’ll discuss these perks and a few more. This will let you see the bright side of the remote working environment.
Say Goodbye to Restrictive Clothing as a Remote Worker
Being behind a computer screen for work has been very convenient and comfortable for employees. You often get to dress more casually as a remote worker. Many people have to spend hundreds of dollars a year to replace old dress clothes and garments for work, but this is no longer an issue.
Looking professional is still a thing for remote work, but it is much cheaper to only buy shirts. Nobody can see what you have below the belt when you are on Zoom. If you want to take it a step further and skimp on other methods of self-care, that will go over easier, too.
Women no longer have to put on all their makeup if they are going to be in front of a spreadsheet instead of their boss. Men don’t have to shave or put gel in their hair. You can skimp on these methods of hygiene and upkeep if you feel tired. This can save you money on the products that go along with these routines.
These tips don’t apply to everyone, obviously. Use good judgment when deciding how much your coworkers are going to see of you from behind your screen. If you are a teacher, for example, it’s probably a good idea to still look teacherly for your students.
Kids already feel confused about this remote school environment. Maintaining your familiar attributes for the class will make the atmosphere as normal as possible.
Say Hello to Tax Breaks for Contractors
This benefit usually only applies to those who do remote work as contractors or are self-employed in other ways. When you work as a freelancer, you can get several tax breaks depending on your working environment.
If you have a specific room you work from, and you have a computer that is only used for your job, see whether the IRS will give you a break on some expenses. These are items that are normally paid for by your employer. If you have to buy extra supplies for your job as a remote worker, it’s only fair that your employer reimburse you for those expenses.
There might be some loopholes for those who are working from home temporarily, but only if you communicate with the IRS. You are going to have to prove you are working for an extended period of time. You are also going to have to show evidence that remote work has been a financial hardship for you before getting a tax break on those extra purchases for work.
As a Remote Worker You Can Limit Your Driving
When you have to go into the office, one of the most tiresome aspects of the experience is driving in congested traffic. This part of a worker’s day is very stressful and adds a lot of wasted time to your schedule that could be better off used on more productive activities.
This is not only emotionally depressing but also damaging to a person’s finances. We often don’t realize how much cash we put into all the aspects of driving. For example, putting gas in the car is an obvious hit to the wallet. If you have a 50-mile round trip every day, you’re going to be filling up frequently. Working from home will save you thousands of dollars over several years.
A not-so-clear benefit of being a remote worker is that you can also apply for cheaper auto insurance rates. If you aren’t on the road very often, there is less of a chance you will get into an accident and have to file a claim. Make sure you let your insurance agent know about this lifestyle change so you can negotiate a more realistic rate you deserve.
There are also all the extra expenses that hang out on the fringe of the driving experience. You can say goodbye to going to the car wash every other week after spilling coffee on the seats. You also don’t need to buy the cellphone holder you had been thinking about putting into your car for your morning commute.
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Let Daycare Become a Distant Memory
Getting to work from home allows you to spend more time with your family. If your kids want to eat lunch with you or roughhouse a little during a break, have at it. This will create lasting memories that both of you will cherish for years to come.
It also means you don’t have to worry about spending money on daycare or alternative methods of watching your children. So many households no longer have a stay-at-home parent. This presents financial hardships. Who is going to watch your kids when they get home from school? As a remote worker, that answer can now be you.
Society’s digital transformation keeps you right in front of your kids and away from the expenses of third-party care. This will save you an enormous amount of money over time. You should be warned that this may take your attention away from your job, though. Make sure your productivity is still good while multitasking as a parent and a worker.
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Nothing is perfect, but the pandemic’s push for remote work has been happening for almost two years now. Hopefully, you have seen some upsides to this experience, especially as they pertain to saving money. Continue to find these small (or large) savings whenever you can, and maybe even ask to keep working remotely after your job goes back to the office.
About the Author
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. He wants to help families understand how they can save money in a variety of ways throughout the pandemic and the remote working experience.