This post is for the new graduates, entering the working world for the first time, and those of us who’ve been toiling in our day jobs for awhile now.
Working is hard and (depending on your job) sometimes not the most fun the in the world. Most people only work because they need money to live.
Unfortunately, working a regular job usually comes with it’s own set of expenses.
If you’re lucky enough to have a job right now, here are some tips on how to save some of the money you’re working so hard for.
If you want to save money on transportation, you’ll probably have to think a little outside the box. Sure, your car is great: it gets you where you need to go and you can blast the radio and rock out during your commute. It just may not be the cheapest way to go to work.
Look for other options. Is there a co-worker or two who lives near you that you can carpool with? Splitting the cost saves you money and is better for the environment.
What about public transportation? If it’s available in your area, even if you have to drive a little bit to get to the station or stop, it can save you big money. Look for frequent rider passes to save you even more.
Depending on how far you live from your workplace, maybe walking or biking is an option. Even if you only do it when the weather is favorable, or just once or twice a week, those savings add up. Plus it’s good exercise.
walking, biking, car pooling, public transportation, work from home if you can.
Talk to your boss about working from home. This is obviously dependent on what kind of job you have, but if possible telecommuting can be a big money and time saver.
Food & Drink
Let’s get straight to it: bring your lunch to work. You will save so much more money than running out to a restaurant or buying junk from the vending machine. Plus, it’s most likely healthier. This doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Bring leftovers, a sandwich, whatever strikes your fancy. Make it the night before so you’re not scrambling to put something together in the morning.
Get a water bottle, whether it’s one of those fancy stainless steal ones or just something you have collecting dust in a cupboard at home. Fill it with water, juice, tea, coffee, whatever you want. Just bring it from home.
If you insist on having snacks or sodas throughout the day that you’d usually be buying from the vending machine, think ahead. Buy those same snacks and drinks in bulk from the grocery store, and store a few in your desk or the break room at work. It’ll be cheaper than paying $1+ each from the vending machine.
Some job-related expenses may be deductible from your income tax. If you itemize your deductions, some job search expenses are deductible, like job placement services, travel, etc.
Once you have a job, some expense that you have (which aren’t reimbursed by your employer) can be deducted. This includes things like travel, entertainment, Union dues, work uniforms, and work-related education. To deduct these things, make sure you keep thorough records and receipts for every expense!
These deductions will help you save money on your taxes so you’ll owe the IRS less and possibly get a tax refund.
These are just my suggestions on how to save money while working. What do you do to save money week to week?