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How to Save Money Between the Hours of 9-5

Whether you are on salary or work freelance, you work hard for every paycheck. But you are probably throwing away hundreds each month that could otherwise be saved. Crazy, right? If you are trying to figure out how to save money, take a look at what you’re spending at the workplace.

I’ve always found it odd to pay to go to work. You pay for work clothing, you pay for your commute and you even chip in for birthday cakes for people you didn’t even know working on your floor. Even if you freelance, there are still many ways to cut back your expenses. So that’s what this post is about – how to save money during each workday.

how to save money at workBrown Bag It

The simplest way to save $30-40 each week is to pack a lunch each day, and forego the run out to a restaurant. A sandwich and a soft drink at lunch are going to cost you quite a bit for each outing, which adds up by the end of the month. If you are driving back and forth to your favorite dining spot, you are probably adding to your monthly fuel expenditures as well.

Packing your own sandwich instead can save you some serious cash. Better yet, eating last night’s leftovers for lunch is even more cost effective; in some cases, you may be eating food that would have otherwise been tossed in the trash. Brown bagging it to work, on its own, can help you save over $120+ per month.

Invest in Hangers and Irons

If you wear a suit and tie to work every day, dry cleaning can get expensive. The average cost of dry cleaning a suit is between $15-21. You can cut down on your dry cleaning bills with a few shrewd steps, however.  

First, always hang up your suits as soon as you take them off. This will help stretch the time between trips to the dry cleaner for a particular suit. Keep your suits in a rotation, wearing a different one each day so that you don’t wrinkle or soil one too soon, and again add to the time between dry cleaning.

Invest in an iron; you can iron jackets and slacks that are otherwise clean and forego a dry cleaning session yet again. You can also look for dress shirts that you can wash at home, and then iron them yourself.

Taking shirts off of your dry cleaning bill altogether can easily save you $20+ every month. While not as efficient as packing a lunch, a little prudence when it comes to dry cleaning can easily save you a noticeable sum.

how to save money at workBuying That Coffee Machine

Many of us use coffee to keep running all day long. And it may be super convenient to stop at Starbucks on the way into work and order that tall coffee; 60 million people do exactly that every single day.  It is another luxury that eats away at your net profit from work each month.

A tall coffee at Starbucks will cost you $1.85, or $9.25 a week. That’s close to $40 each month after taxes (assuming you don’t ever splurge on something like a skinny vanilla latte, which will cost you $3.65). A coffee machine at work will drop this cost considerably. If you can keep a small pot, or even a Keurig at your desk, you can cut your java costs down considerably. Or just brew some joe before leaving home. You could also work out a deal with you officemates, establish a coffee fund, and reduce your costs even further. Optimizing your coffee habit, while not a game changer, can easily save you a noticeable sum.

But Don’t Be Cheap!

When you work in an office environment, things like chipping in for birthday cakes are the norm. You DO NOT want to rock the boat by declining to pay for a party, declining to chip in for the purified water service or not going out for drinks with colleagues all in the name of saving a buck. If you do, you just might be passed up for a promotion which will result in a MASSIVE net loss compared to if you had just bought the cake for Jerry.

But I do encourage you to implement these small ways to save. While not innovative, they are the easiest way to save money at work. What’s stopping you?

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

1 Comment

  1. Contributing to the office culture is important if you want these people to feel like you are a colleague and not someone who sits at a desk near them. Great advice here.

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