How to save £126 a month when you go back to the office after lockdown

With furlough finishing at the end of September, many Brits are now back at work - and may be feeling the financial strain that can come with commuting, office lunches and more.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 11:05 am

To help, personal finance experts, Ocean Finance have shared seven ways to cut down the costs at work – saving you £1,514 per year – £126 per month.

1. Ditch takeaway coffees and save £410 per year

The average coffee costs £2.63 so should you have one three days per week, this amounts to £410.28 per year. Instead, try to take advantage of coffee and tea making facilities in the office which are often free. If your office doesn’t offer these, why not set up a kitty for a kettle, tea bags and coffee so you can pool your money together?

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There are ways to save money on your return to the office.

2. Make the most of flexi transport tickets

Now that many Brits are following a new hybrid pattern of working, which only requires a few days spent in the office, many transport companies are offering ‘flexi’ tickets. These allow you to purchase a discounted block booking of day/return tickets, around 3-5 days’ worth, which you then can use over a specified period. For example, Stagecoach slows you to buy 10-day tickets for the price of 7 (30% off), and you have 12 months to use your tickets.

3. Bring in your own lunch to save £948 per year

Whilst the office canteen or nearby cafes can be a convenient way of grabbing a meal, they can be expensive. In fact, the average lunch costs £6.08, which amounts to a staggering £948.48 should you eat out three days per week. Instead, prep your meals at home to save nearly £1,000.

4. Be smart about snacks and save £156 per year

The same goes for snacking. Whether nipping out to a shop or raiding the vending machine, even spending £1 a day amounts to £156 per year, should you do it three times a week. This doesn’t mean that you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth, though. Instead, purchase multipacks in a supermarket and stash a week’s worth in your desk drawers.

5. Stop spending money on your lunch

An hour away from your desk is great sanctitude, but it can lead you down the route of spending money. Nipping into shops for a browse or scanning online retailers are sure-fire ways to shell out even more of your wages. Instead, try to recognise why you are spending. Tough meetings or office confrontations can lead us to retail therapy, but it’s very rarely a positive way to deal with these pressures. You should look to find more effective, and cheaper, ways of tackling these issues.

6. Make the most of your perks

As well as a salary, many jobs come with added perks such as a generous pension, retail discounts or childcare contributions. Whatever they are, find them out and make the most of them. Be creative about how you can make these work to your advantage too. If there’s a free or subsidised gym, then it’s an obvious idea to use that to get fit. But if you get your meals paid for when meeting clients or staying away, try to do more of this to cut down on your food and drink bills.

7. Suggest a fairer policy for birthdays and other gifts

In the past year, many weddings have been put on hold, and office birthday celebrations haven’t been much of a thing. So, whilst it’s exciting to share these experiences with your colleagues, chipping in for a present every time there is a celebration can be an expensive affair. If you feel that this is happening, you may have to have a bigger conversation with your colleagues about an agreeable policy. Perhaps you could restrict birthday presents to milestone celebrations, or charity donations could be anonymous, so people don’t feel pressure to donate.